Broken bones. Many of us have had them. And the causes are frequently as simple as slipping while walking to get the mail on a winter morning or carrying laundry down some stairs.
Once a bone breaks, it often must be set in proper alignment and held there in order to heal properly. This process of setting a bone is called "reduction." Setting a bone without surgery is "closed reduction” and most fractures, especially in children, are treated in this fashion. Serious or complex fractures may require open reduction -- repositioning using surgery. And then once a fracture is “set”, the broken part is often immobilized for a period of time to allow the bone to heal through a process called callous formation and then “remodeling” (a process the body uses to return a broken bone to its original shape). The whole process typically takes 6-12 weeks.
How can one help this process with homeopathy?
For close to 200 years, homeopaths have used homeopathic remedies to aid patients with pain, swelling and discoloration from bone breaks, as well as speed healing and bone repair time. Recent medical research[i] has begun to confirm these benefits and health systems at places like the University of Michigan have published recommendations on which remedies to employ.
So how can you use homeopathy the next time a loved one has a bone breaking event? Here are a few remedies to have on hand:
- Arnica: Broken bones typically come with a degree of blunt trauma to soft tissues – which in turn leads to swelling, pain and discoloration. The homeopathic remedy Arnica can be taken immediately following an accident to bring relief on all three fronts – pain, swelling and discoloration.
- Eupatorium perfoliatum: This homeopathic remedy is well-known for its use in flu and fever when the patient feels pains in the bones (“as if broken”) and can be useful to relieve the deep or aching pain of actual broken bones.
- Hypericum: This homeopathic remedy is very useful for crushing injuries to body areas that are well-supplied with nerves like fingers and toes. If these areas suffer a crushing injury (with or without a break), Hypericum can bring welcome pain relief.
- Ruta graveolens: This homeopathic remedy is known for its effect on bone-bruises and on injuries to the periosteum (the covering of the bones); both of these types of trauma are involved when a fracture of a bone occurs. Ruta is also indicated when the pain around a fracture is extreme, and the person feels lame or weak. This remedy is also helpful in many cases when pain persists after treatment with Arnica, or after the cast is removed.
- Symphytum officinale: As new research is showing - this homeopathic remedy is often a great help in accelerating callous formation (bone repair) after a break and it can also help relieve the pain of a break. It should be in every homeopathic first aid kit.
How to dose:
First – take just one remedy at a time**; often I start with Arnica for a few days – 2-3x a day - as I would in any injury situation. Then, choose the remedy that best matches your condition and situation. When dosing, take a couple of pellets of the chosen remedy in either a 30 C or 200C, dissolve them in a half glass of water and stir vigorously 30 times before taking a teaspoon dose in the mouth. Cover the glass and repeat the vigorous stirring of the remedy before each additional dose. Take the remedy as needed – stopping when improvement commences – and redosing only when a relapse occurs. In a pinch – dry pellet doses may also be employed.
**One caveat – one may alternate Symphytum with one of the other remedies. It is the pre-eminient “bone-knit” remedy and is famous as a topical compress for just that. I advise patients to take Symphytum in a 200 potency once a week for 6 weeks to encourage speedy bone repair.
As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your injury or the progress of your recovery.
About Dr. Lisa Samet
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. She is perhaps best known as a guest expert on homeopathy used by Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D. on the popular TV program - the Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as long distance using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet. You can follow her on Facebook as well.
[i] Sharma S. et. al. Accelerating the healing of bone fracture using homeopathy: a prospective, randomized double-blind controlled study. Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12(Suppl 1):O61