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Herbs for healing after shoulder surgery  RSS feed

 
Joylynn Hardesty
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My Honey has to undergo surgery for shoulder spur and related damage. Reattachment of tendons is neccesary. I'm looking for herbs that will help his recovery.
I have plantian, yellow dock, dandelion, comfrey and mullien easily obtainable. Any recipies for healing? If comfrey is taken internally, what herbs will defend the liver from damage?
How much bone broth for medicinal use?
Thank you, Joy
 
Colin McGee
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My suggestion would be to ask this at one or more of the herbal groups on Facebook. You're more likely to get professional advice I think (no offense meant to the members of this illustrious group!)

Some suggestions:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2377186734/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/438076529585663/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/157772439190/

Good luck!
 
Colin McGee
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Also, there are many wonderful herbalists around the USA. It's worth paying something small for good advice. If you tell me where you are I may be able to suggest someone.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I live near Memphis TN
And I do not do facebook. Blah.
 
Susan Pruitt
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LOL - understand completely -  I "don't do" Facebook either - but I set up an account just for the purpose of accessing a WORLD of information.   I never get bothered because my profile is set to not allow anyone but yourself to see your account.   But you can query any subject or specific Facebook member from within.   Best wishes for your husband:)
 
Colin McGee
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I'm afraid that Facebook does have it's uses....

I'll see if I can find someone for you.
 
Catherine Brown
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I don't know about the others you have on hand, but comfrey is GREAT externally for tissue damage and healing.  I've been told not to use it with open wounds because it can cause rapid healing and trap in infection.  I would *think* a surgical wound would be fairly sterile...but just a word of caution there. 

I've personally used it (dried, chopped herbal grade) for pulled hamstrings that had given me days of severe pain.  I sprinkled it on a warm, wetted towel, then applied directly to my hamstring areas.  I placed a dry towel on the outside of that and then a heating pad (Because of it being the back of my thighs, I sat on all this on the couch, so really I did it backwards, so the heat would radiate up through the towels and comfrey. 

My husband made some recently into a solution and mixed it with DMSO (a horse linament, but an excellent absorbing carrier oil/solvent basically).  That's a bit more complicated...You make a fairly heavy comfrey tea, allow it to cool, strain it, mix it with the DMSO.  That creates an exothermic reaction, so you have to allow it to cool.  Once it does, it's ready for use/storage in a jar.  Just rub it on the effected area.

You didn't mention it, but tobacco is supposed to have almost the same soft-tissue effects in case you have that (Use in basically the same way). 

As far as liver protection, Milk Thistle is a good one specifically for that (I've also taken it for that reason, but just bought herbal capsules). Dandelion root is supposedly amazing for it, too, but no personal experience there.

Best of luck to him! 
 
Catherine Brown
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I would definitely support his liver with the medicines he'll be getting, lots of fluids and rest too, and probably some probiotics for his gut flora (or ferments, yogurt, etc) to help keep that stable too. 
 
Catherine Brown
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Oh geez.  I totally forgot something that I personally used as a liver detox for 6 months straight.  It's...well...gross and likely controversial.  In a time of severe and ongoing illness, I used coffee enemas daily.  I feel it really helped, but there came a time when its effectiveness waned till it didn't help any more.  The theory goes that it doesn't so much speeding up filtration, but speeds up the "dumping" of what has been filtered by the liver, freeing up the liver to filter more.  Does it do that?  I can't say.  How?  I don't know.  The same people theorize that in enema form you don't get all the same negative effects on heart rate, stomach, etc.  I never felt a caffeine high from it, but I don't when I drink coffee either (And I wasn't a coffee drinker at the time).  I can only say it seemed to noticeably help me for quite some time when other things made me sicker or did nothing at all. 

Again, best of luck.  And...sorry if TMI!    Letting it all hang out.  lol
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I have friends who have used comfrey infused oil as a wash on an animals' open wound. They had great success.

I have yet to ID the thistles in my area. We have some that flower in the early summer, and other patches that flower in the very late summer, almost fall. For beeks, that's the summer dearth just before goldenrod begins to bloom. Any one know which is more likely to be milk thistle?

My Honey is a dmso Nut believer. I personally won't use it on me, but for the worst of bruising. The bruising will heal great, but my skin reacts with a rough patch and severe poison-ivy-rivaling itch that lasts longer than the pain of the bruising does. But then, my skin is a sensitive flower. Untreated mosquito bites hang around for weeks, itching all the while. He has no such reaction to dmso. Of course he has skin of steel.

Last time I checked, Tennessee does not license herbalists. Not that I need to see a government document to believe a person has expertise.
 
Colin McGee
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To my knowledge, no states license herbalists. It would cost them far too much in donor money from big pharma to do that.

However, the American Herbalists Guild has a list of accredited members, so that's one place to look. (I didn't find anyone there, near you, as it happens, but it's a good resource.

As to licensing or accreditation in general, I believe most of our best herbalists see that as an unnecessary obstacle to what is, after all, people's medicine. Stephen Buhner, who I greatly admire, is a strong voice against licensing, and there are lots of others. Sam Coffman, for one.

All that said, here is a herbalist who is also a ND, in Memphis. I can't speak for him, but take a look at http://www.ahe4life.com/
 
Mike Schroer
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Can someone post a good herbalism reference booK?  There seems to be a lot of disjoint information around.
 
            
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Good Reference Book
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide
Got mine on Amazon
 
Donna Lockey
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Nothing beats post surgery healing than a good balanced diet with quality protein to aid in the building red and white cells, physical therapy, massage and aseptic technique in wound care.


 
Bonnie Kuhlman
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Lots of bone broth from pastured animals.  I would also add gelatin (add to cool water/liquid for a few minutes to bloom, then heat), or make gelatin with juice/herbal tea.  Great Lakes is a good brand of gelatin.  Add nettle to broth.  Nettle has LOTS of vitamins and minerals.

Make a nettle infusion - 1 ounce herb in a quart jar, cover with boiling water, infuse 4 hours or overnight.  Drink this throughout the day.  Can add other herbs for flavor - mint, lemon.  Infuse comfrey the same way, but I would use mostly nettle internally, comfrey externally.

Whole food vitamin C such as rose hips, camu camu, amla.  I mix these but you can buy a similar formula from Synergy Co. 

Raw honey can be applied to the wound for healing.  I would also add lots of garlic to the diet.

Hope these help.  (I'm an herbalist)

Bonnie
 
Kat deZwart
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Bonnie Kuhlman wrote:Lots of bone broth from pastured animals.  I would also add gelatin (add to cool water/liquid for a few minutes to bloom, then heat), or make gelatin with juice/herbal tea.  Great Lakes is a good brand of gelatin.  Add nettle to broth.  Nettle has LOTS of vitamins and minerals.

Make a nettle infusion - 1 ounce herb in a quart jar, cover with boiling water, infuse 4 hours or overnight.  Drink this throughout the day.  Can add other herbs for flavor - mint, lemon.  Infuse comfrey the same way, but I would use mostly nettle internally, comfrey externally.

Whole food vitamin C such as rose hips, camu camu, amla.  I mix these but you can buy a similar formula from Synergy Co. 

Raw honey can be applied to the wound for healing.  I would also add lots of garlic to the diet.

Hope these help.  (I'm an herbalist)

Bonnie


This is very good advice.

I'd just like to add to the discussion that you might want to be careful about more intense herbs, especially if there are (post-operative) regular medicines being used too. To often people think that the magic fairy of a herb will heal you from the inside because of some vague whoo-ish claim. In essence it's all about biochemistry. We use the natural chemical makeup of certain plants to influence our body's processes. And in this, less if often more with either herbal or regular medicine, and interactions are a real thing.
 
Hans Quistorff
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I am a massage therapist, not an herbalist but I will share my experience from back in the1960's when the naturopath I went to was experimenting with DMSO.  I was extracting the allantoin gell from the flower stalks of the comfrey and he mixed it with DMSO and applied it to my forehead.  I got huge relief in my sinuses, improved focus in my eyes and eliminated headaches. It was 40 years before I got education that helped me understand what happened. Apparently the comfrey, which is also referred to as bone set, opened the sutures in the skull plates, which had been damaged in infancy, so they could move again.
It is probably too early in the year to get flower stalks but smaller amounts can be squeezed from leaf stems.
If I was doing therapy for him I would recommend ultrasound with magnet.  Then scar mobilization with muscle re education.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Catherine Brown wrote:

My husband made some recently into a solution and mixed it with DMSO (a horse linament, but an excellent absorbing carrier oil/solvent basically).  That's a bit more complicated...You make a fairly heavy comfrey tea, allow it to cool, strain it, mix it with the DMSO.  That creates an exothermic reaction, so you have to allow it to cool.  Once it does, it's ready for use/storage in a jar.  Just rub it on the effected area.


Could you ask him for roughly the ratio of tea to DMSO? And did he use the gel, or the liquid? I hate to reinvent something when others have worked through the experimental phases.
This made so much sense to me, with the transdermal effect of DMSO.
Thank you Hans, for your confirmation of effectiveness for you.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Catherine Brown wrote: ...and probably some probiotics for his gut flora (or ferments, yogurt, etc) to help keep that stable too. 


Mmm! An excuse for more Kimchi!

edited by moderator to fix code for quote
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Mike Schroer wrote:Can someone post a good herbalism reference booK?  There seems to be a lot of disjoint information around.

Disclaimer: I am not an herbalist. I do, however use herbs in my home with success. We are all still alive.

For quick reference, I use "The How to Herb Book" by Velma Keith and Monteen Gordon. This book is set up with 64 pages of herb names, actions of said herb, brief description of select studies, and any cautions associated with said herb.
Comfrey, for example. The below information is not a complete, nor exact excerpt.

Comfrey
Astringent, Cell Proliferant, Demulcent
The book describes a study that showed liver damage in rats. Hence the many cautions on using it orally. A few places suggest if using orally to include a liver support supplement as well. Use caution!
The book lists conditions that the herb has been reported, purported to treat.
Comfrey uses up 1 3/4 pages. Many herbs only use 1/4 to 1/2 page.

"The How To Herb Book" also includes 45 or so pages of Ailment and remedy pages. It is 256 pages long.

No herb book claims to be all inclusive, the above book seems to me to be intended for the use of capsuled herbs. Another book is necessary for learning to use herbs from the garden.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Kat deZwart wrote: I'd just like to add to the discussion that you might want to be careful about more intense herbs, especially if there are (post-operative) regular medicines being used too. To often people think that the magic fairy of a herb will heal you from the inside because of some vague whoo-ish claim. In essence it's all about biochemistry. We use the natural chemical makeup of certain plants to influence our body's processes. And in this, less if often more with either herbal or regular medicine, and interactions are a real thing.

Yup. We are responsible for educating ourselves.

 
dawn shears
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:
Comfrey
Astringent, Cell Proliferant, Demulcent
The book describes a study that showed liver damage in rats. Hence the many cautions on using it orally. A few places suggest if using orally to include a liver support supplement as well. Use caution!


It's only the roots of comfrey that should not be ingested orally....we use those in salves and they are awesome for poultices.  The leaves, however, have been used as a common pot herb in cooking from way back.  I use the leaves frequently in herbal infusions along with nettles.

Susun Weed is my favorite herbalist for folk medicine.  Here's what she has to say about the safety of comfrey: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/June08/wisewoman.htm

I've been practicing herbal folk medicine since the mid 70s when I was a teen and have continued to study and use and grow and wild harvest different herbs in all sorts of ways...right now we currently take zero pharmaceutical meds in our household and use herbs instead.

Here's a current list of remedies we are creating in 2017...many will be for sale online and at the local farmer's markets: http://greenspiralhand.com/greenspiralhand/2016/12/14/new-tinctures-salves-other-herbal-remedies/




 
dawn shears
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:My Honey has to undergo surgery for shoulder spur and related damage. Reattachment of tendons is neccesary. I'm looking for herbs that will help his recovery.
I have plantian, yellow dock, dandelion, comfrey and mullien easily obtainable. Any recipies for healing? If comfrey is taken internally, what herbs will defend the liver from damage?
How much bone broth for medicinal use?
Thank you, Joy


Sorry to hear about your partner's challenges.  Starting as soon as possible with herbs and foods that support healing and immune function is a really good idea.  I dont' recommend herbal pills but instead use infusions and tinctures, salves and poultices.  If you have less than 6 weeks until surgery there is not enough time to make tinctures but you can purchase those or just use other methods.

About bone broths: I don't think you can get too much.  We really recommend using organic/pastured chicken feet (cheap) or wings to make a super collagen-rich broth....use filtered water and a bit of vinegar to help extract the minerals...put on in the morning and cook all day or put in the crockpot and cook it all night.  All that collagen and gelatin is so good for the joints and tendons!

For liver protection and nourishment looks like you have that covered with the yellow dock and dandelion.  I'd zing that up and make infusions (1 cup dried herb to 2 quarts of boiling water...steep 6 hours) and have him drink that freely.  Here's more information on other common herbs for liver protection: http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/June06/anti-cancer.htm

Same with the stinging nettles which we drink cups and cups of several times a week.  Sometimes we add kelp granules and sometimes we add comfrey leaf.  Add a little mint for flavor if you wish.

For pain and bruising I have personally used pounded or blended comfrey root  applied as poultices with saran wrap over it.  I used this effectively to relieve pain from broken/cracked ribs and it's our go-to for sprains.  I dislocated my shoulder badly in 2011 so a good chance to try a plethora of herbal remedies compounded by a local herbalist because it was a really horribly painful injury (I turned black and blue from shoulder to elbow) that hurt for months and months.

Hands down the most effective pain relief (I took no pharmaceuticals nor did I go see a doctor) was from a salve made from cannabis roots (best for deep achy pain) and an oil infused with arnica and st. john's wort.  From then on we've been covered for our pain needs around here after I found out how well those worked.  Comfrey root best as first aid along with ice (first 72 hours after surgery/injury) and then the others applied frequently with a heating pad or warm stones after that.

You can order the cannabis root salve here: http://dragonsalve.com/

You can source herbs and tinctures from these sources that I use myself (for the things we don't grow or wild harvest):

http://www.mountainmausremedies.com/ (best prices from a family-run farm in the PNW)

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

https://www.oregonswildharvest.com/

http://www.apothecary-shoppe.com/

Good luck and happy healing!


 
Catherine Brown
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:
Could you ask him for roughly the ratio of tea to DMSO? And did he use the gel, or the liquid? 


He used liquid DMSO, and the tea was pretty thick. He says he used ground up herbal grade comfrey root and didn't use any measurements: "I don't know I just put a bunch in." Then gently boiled it. Strained it. Allowed it to cool. Then used roughly 4 parts comfrey tea to one part dmso. It will get warm when mixing, so let it cool off before jarring.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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dawn shears wrote: For liver protection and nourishment looks like you have that covered with the yellow dock and dandelion.  I'd zing that up and make infusions (1 cup dried herb to 2 quarts of boiling water...steep 6 hours) and have him drink that freely.


We are about 6 weeks away from surgery.
Dandies are just big enough to start harvesting greens. But not so big as to be worth drying... I think fresh is how I'll need to use them. Lots of dock to dry though.
I've seen recommendations of using from two to three times the volume of fresh herbs to equal dry amounts. What say you?

Thank you wise Permies, for the great comments here. Please keep them coming. We need him to get back to work as soon as possible after surgery. Whole and healthy, ready for physical labor.
 
max brotman
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Polygonatum, or solomon's seal... its my favorite for injured joints. I love it so much I finally posted on permies after lurking for years.  use tincture or teas. Its works on connective tissue, and emotional connections. I use it combined with Hawthorne berry. Read about it out there somewhere...
You can wild harvest it, but probly would need to buy it dried this time of year. Making your own tincture from dried herbs makes it very affordable. Like many herbal medicines, this one works with continued dosage over time, so one needs to consistently dose daily for weeks.   I'm not a trained herbalist... but I'm fairly sure this one is safe for anyone to take and has no contra-indications. ask your local herbalist and do your own research tho..
 
dawn shears
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:
dawn shears wrote: For liver protection and nourishment looks like you have that covered with the yellow dock and dandelion.  I'd zing that up and make infusions (1 cup dried herb to 2 quarts of boiling water...steep 6 hours) and have him drink that freely.


We are about 6 weeks away from surgery.
Dandies are just big enough to start harvesting greens. But not so big as to be worth drying... I think fresh is how I'll need to use them. Lots of dock to dry though.
I've seen recommendations of using from two to three times the volume of fresh herbs to equal dry amounts. What say you?

Thank you wise Permies, for the great comments here. Please keep them coming. We need him to get back to work as soon as possible after surgery. Whole and healthy, ready for physical labor.


If you want to make tinctures I'd use only the roots for that and use fresh greens for the infusions.  But that's me.

Here's a handy chart that I use all the time: https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/guide-tinctures-extracts
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Thanks for the link. I do already make some tinctures, teas etc. In this case I was referring to your infusion recommendation.
 
dawn shears
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Thanks for the link. I do already make some tinctures, teas etc. In this case I was referring to your infusion recommendation.


Yes, use more if it's fresh matter.

You can't really do anything wrong with the herbs you are talking about using.  All pretty safe.
 
Marvin Warren
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Hey Joylynn,

There are some great responses here from the 'not-herbalists' - the wonderful kitchen-witches I so appreciate. I'd consider myself somewhere in the 'journeyman' stage of herbalist at this point, with some serious study and a few months of clinical practice under my belt. What follows is off-the-cuff, and if you were my patient I'd want to ask questions like: What medicines will the surgeon be prescribing for pain/inflammation post-op? What's his history with this injury? How tolerant is he of nasty-tasting things? Can he have alcohol tinctures? Without any of those answers, here's my tuppence:

Comfrey: As someone said, root externally, leaves internally. I'd add: only Symphytum officinale; other species have different, less well-studied allantoin and pyrrolizidine alkaloids contents. Traditionally the leaves are only eaten in the spring, so I'd recommend limiting length of consumption time, maybe 6 six weeks.

Pre-op: Everything for building the body up: Bone broth, nettles, oatstraw, alfalfa, clover, chickweed. Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng, which is non-stimulating), licorice root, astragalus; reishi mushroom and other medicinal mushrooms such as turkeytail and shiitake. Possibly ashwagandha.

Avoid St. John's Wort internally. Notify anaesthetist of anything you're using beforehand, and be prepared to stop a week beforehand.
Great article here: the http://www.sfherbalist.com/docs/KSigler_TransSURGERY.pdf (it's for trans* folks having surgery, but it covers all the same bases)

After surgery: echinacea (internal and external, promotes wound-healing as well as preventing infection), turmeric with ~5% black pepper, can be mixed in honey and taken straight or in hot water, milk, etc (tasty!)
Topically: Add yarrow and if you can get it goldenseal powder (or barberry or oregon grape - Mahonia spp.) to the comfrey to prevent infection. Arnica is a great anti-inflammatory that doesn't slow wound-healing. Calendula helps heal tissue and prevent scarring.

Let me know if you have any more questions!
 
Michael Longfield
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Homeopathic arnica before and after surgery has been reported to be incredibly helpful.  This was told to me by an herbal teacher who is also a classical homeopath. 

There is a Chinese medicine formula known as The Great Mender.   It can greatly speed recovery from injuries including surgery.  This can work wonders.  I have experienced its powerful effects via herbal clients and stories from friends.  I have heard of it healing a broken rib incredibly fast. 

PEACE
 
Michael Longfield
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Some important principles to understand from the Chinese medicine point of view...

All pain is due to a fundamental stagnation of qi and or blood.  Moving qi and blood relieves pain.  Injuries cause a stagnation of qi and or blood, which causes the pain.  So include herbs that move Qi and herbs that move Blood.

During injuries the blood gets damaged.  Repair the damaged blood by taking Blood tonics.

Acute injuries usually have an element of heat to them.  Signs of heat are inflammation, red skin, skin that is red to the touch.  So herbs that clear heat should be included.

The previously mentioned herb formula The Great Mender performs all of these function

Chronic injuries generally have an element of cold to them, so warming herbs should be used.  This would not be relevant for post surgery.  Unless the injury lingered and became chronic.  In which case you should use warming herbs.

Avoid using ice.  Ice stagnates qi and blood, slowing recovery.  It also pushes coldness into the injury, which can turn it into a chronic injury.  If you insist on using ice to relieve pain only use it for less than 20 minutes at a time, giving yourself breaks between sessions.  Also only use the ice on the smallest area possible.  Don't use ice on broad general areas.

there is an herb formula called The Three Yellows, its also known as Herbal Ice.  Its some really powerful cooling herbs that relieve inflammation clear heat and reduce pain (kind of like ice), but without the stagnation effect.  You get it in powder form and then add some liquid to it to make a paste similiar in consistancy to cake frosting.  You put it on your injury in a thick paste and then wrap in gauze.

Good Luck!
 
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Lots of intriguing info here... I'll add this veterinarian and herbalist... he's written a book, and presented at Marjory Wildcraft's web-thingie a few months ago.  Check out the stories of his 'veterinary' patients' recoveries... complete with pictures :)
http://homegrownherbalist.net/search?x=0&y=0&q=home
 
hellen ellis
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I think that ginger is the promising agent for you. Thanks to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is no surprise to see ginger included the list of home remedies for shoulder pain. Furthermore, it can help you improve the circulation of blood, thus promote the healing process.
You need to consume 2 – 3 cups of ginger tea every day. In order to prepare the tea, take a tablespoon of sliced ginger into some boiling water and have it simmered for about 10 minutes. Then have it strained, put in some honey and consume.
Alternatively, you might take the supplement of ginger but only after consulting the doctor.
https://authorityremedies.com/home-remedies-for-shoulder-pain/
 
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