Dear John

I am due to have an operation on my ankle in June. Are there any natural remedies that might help my recovery after surgery?
Ken Graham

The body's healing mechanism is, to a degree, dependent on nutrients. One of the most important healing nutrients is vitamin C, which promotes the regeneration of soft tissues. Take 1,000mg, twice a day. Other vital nutrients include zinc, vitamin B12 and folic acid, which stimulate cell formation. Take 30mg of zinc plus 500-1,000mcg of vitamin B12 and folic acid each day. To this regime, add Centella asiatica (Gotu kola). This herb reduces healing time and improves the strength of healing tissue. Take 500mg, twice a day. I suggest you take these supplements for two months, starting a month before surgery. Also, for two days before and until 10 days after surgery, take a supplement of bromelain (an extract of pineapple). It seems to lessen swelling and inflammation, and may reduce healing time by helping to clear tissue debris at the site of surgery. Take three capsules of bromelain, three times a day, on an empty stomach.

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