Home First-Aid Kit: Part OneJun 26, 2023
Welcome to the Home First-Aid Kit, Part 1: Trauma & Bruising.
The goal of this series is to create a home-health first aid kit to prepare you for whatever comes your way this summer, or truly any time. My strongest encouragement would be to keep an actual bag or box with all these remedies in them, as it is better to have them and not need them than vice versa! Acute illness and injury also rarely occur at convenient times. Preparation for adversity demonstrates the best of human thinking as homeostatic balance in the now requires allostatic awareness of how to return balance when life provides challenges to your growth and evolution.
- For all the acute traumas that don’t require stitches or evaluation for suspected broken bones and thus emergency department/ urgent care visits, the following is for you. It can also help after those visits for superior pain control and reduction of swelling.
A brief caveat for all those with acute broken bones whether or not casting or surgery have been required. Make sure you are at the very least taking a K2/D3 combo as outlined in our Basic Nutritional Protocol. Also take a good multimineral like those for osteoporosis, I recommend Rebuild from Metabolic Maintenance 3 caps twice daily (stop after the break has healed, unless you actually have osteoporosis). I have repeatedly seen non-healing fractures respond to adding these two supplements, and they have led to cancellations of surgeries to correct the non-union of broken bone segments.
- For dealing with acute sprains, strains, and bruises please start with the acronym RICE - Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation. Icing acute injuries, even 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first couple of days can dramatically reduce the timeline for a full recovery.
- Apply Inflamyar (Pekana) every 2 hours to any acute injury without an open wound. Topical arnica formulations work best when synergized with complementary compounds. As with all homeopathic formulas, the energetics provide the benefits, which is where this arnica formula excels. Please use the drops orally for postoperative and post- dental procedure care, as well as for deeper injuries like low back and hip, where you combine the oral remedy with the topical, the usual dosage is ½ tsp (2.5cc) three times daily. This works for treating traumas with or without bruising.
When I start acutely, sometimes within minutes of an injury that I know takes weeks to heal, Inflamyar combined with RICE and Vitalzym XE (discussed next) works dramatically fast and well! An injury that I know historically takes weeks to recover from instead heals in days. The earlier you start treatment, the better. Here is one of a myriad of references about arnica found in Medicines October 2021 “Clinical Trials, Potential Mechanisms, and Adverse Effects of Arnica as an Adjunct Medication for Pain Management” PMID: 34677487 .
- The use of “systemic enzymes”, enzyme combinations that one takes on an empty stomach so that they are absorbed into your system, for treating acute inflammation, has a storied history. Also used in treating cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic infections, almost every Functional Medicine MD has a favorite systemic enzyme.
My choice for acute inflammation has been the synergistic proteolytic enzyme combination featuring serrapeptase (also known as serratiopeptidase, derived from bacteria originally found in silkworms). This combination with enteric coating for improved absorption with double the potency of Vitalzym Extra Strength, is Vitalzym Xe. Far safer than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and more effective, Vitalzym Xe is the true “must-have” in any home first aid kit.
If one wishes to minimize pain and swelling from an acute injury, start Vitalzym Xe at 3 caps (they are small!), three to four times per day on an empty stomach (classically defined as one hour before or two hours after a meal) ASAP. You will probably only need a few days of treatment, let your pain levels guide your taper off.
I am making these articles brief, so if you want to explore mechanisms of action I recommend from Biomolecules, October 2022, “Serratiopeptidase: An integrated View of Multifaceted Therapeutic Enzyme” PMID: 36291677. I also recommend from Rheumatology and Therapy, October 2022 “Combination of Enzymes and Rutin to Manage Osteoarthritis Symptoms: Lessons from a Narrative Review of the Literature”. PMID: 35881306. This second article presents a good case that any of you out there treating arthritis with NSAIDs that there is a better and safer option out there. Usually just 3 caps once or twice per day can work.
Inflamyar and Vitalzym Xe are absolutely tremendous additions to your home first aid kit that I hope you will find help you as much as they have helped me and my patients. All above referenced products are available at the Middle Path Medicine Supplement Shop, which can be reached at [email protected] or 805-481-3442.
Gary E Foresman MD
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