Herbal fracture healing aids
Throughout history, and even today in much of the world, traditional herbal medicine has been the mainstay of medical practice. This long tradition of herbal wisdom has employed various herbs to speed fracture healing. Among these is cultivated (European) comfrey (Symphytum uplandics x.), which
should not be confused with a potentially toxic wild variety (Symphytum officinale), nor with a native herb that is also called “wild comfrey” (Cynoglossum virginianum) that is native to the US.
Herbalist Susun Weed recommends cultivated comfrey be used in the form of a strong tea (infusion) as an aid in fracture healing. Details of her recommendation are available at www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/June08/wisewoman.htm). She also reports great success applying
a hot, fresh burdock leaf poultice to reduce the swelling induced by a fracture.28
Arnica (Arnica montana) is reportedly another helpful herb, as detailed by herbal researcher Alma Hutchens, but it must be used with caution as large amounts are poisonous. She reports that five drops or fewer of Arnica tincture given every 3 to 4 hours after the initial trauma is said to help recovery from the trauma of fracture.29
Horsetailgrass is an herb high in silicon, which can be boiled and made into a tea valuablein the early stages of fracture healing.30
In all cases, however, herbal medicine should be used under the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
25 Jamdar, S, Rao, B, Netke, S, Roomi, MW, Ivanov, V, Niedzwiecki, A, and Rath, M. 2004. Reduction in tibial shaft fracture healing time with essential nutrient supplementation containing ascorbic acid, lysine, and proline, Letter to the Editor, J Alter and Comp Med, 10(6), 915-916.
26 Frassetto, L, et al. 2001. Diet, evolution and aging, Eur J Nutr 40:200-213.
27 Sheweita, SA and Khoshhal, KI. 2007. Calcium metabolism and oxidative stress in bone fractures: Role of antioxidants, Current Drug Metabolism, 8:519-525.
28 Weed, Susun. Wise Women Herbal: Healing Wise, 1989, p102. Ash Tree Publishing, Woodstock, NY.
29 Hutchens, A, et al., Indian Herbalogy of North American, Merco, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, p 15-16.
30 Tierra, M. 1980.The Way of Herbs, Orenda/Unity Press, Santa Cruz, Ca.