Repairing Broken Bones
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: November 21, 2000

I just broke my wrist. What herb is good to speed healing?

Bone repair is assisted by consumption and absorption of the nutrients required for bone health: calcium, magnesium and vitamin D being most essential, along with boron, vitamins A, C and E. A diet high in fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds and legumes (peas and beans) helps to optimize calcium absorption.

Canned salmon and sardines with bones, unsweetened yogurt with live bacterial cultures, sesame seeds, fresh parsley and watercress are particularly good sources of calcium. Consumption of large amounts of dairy products is not the best way to improve calcium absorption. Dairy products have a great excess calcium to magnesium ratio, making it impossible to absorb all of their calcium content.

Calcium absorption can be improved with a balance of magnesium (apples, avocados, bananas, black grapes) and vitamin D (sunlight, oily fish, cod liver oil) in the diet or with supplements.

Herbs that can help are: Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) containing silica, which improves the integrity of bone tissue, aids repair, and controls calcium absorption. Due to its high mineral content, Horsetail is best taken with a week’s break every month to avoid kidney strain. Another good source of silica is oatmeal; Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) soothes irritated intestinal surfaces and stimulates bone healing. Simmer one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Yarrow may be used to improve the circulation of the healing blood to the area. Yarrow can be taken as a tea, one teaspoon per cup of boiling water, steeped for 10-15 minutes, or it can be taken as a tincture, following directions on the bottle.

Comfrey (commonly called knitbone) is a rapid bone healer. If your wrist is not in a cast, or once your wrist is out of a cast, complete healing and strengthening can be encouraged with a poultice of comfrey leaf: use enough herb to cover the entire area; chop the fresh leaf in a blender, or use dried comfrey leaf. Boil the herb in a little water; squeeze out excess liquid; apply a little vegetable oil to the skin to prevent sticking; apply the warm herb to the skin and cover with gauze to hold in place. Change poultice every 2-4 hours for best results.

For more information on dietary considerations, please go to our website at http://www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Search Richters Q&A", and enter the word "osteoporosis" for the search.

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