Ask The Herb Lady

By Cathy Burkemper

Arnica & Vitamin C Before Surgery
…And…Aloe has many Health Benefits

Q: My wisdom teeth are impacted and I will be having surgery to have them extracted. Can you recommend anything that might help the procedure go more smoothly?

A: Oh my. I can sympathize with you because I had the same procedure when I was 22 years old. I only wish I had known about arnica. I would highly recommend that you get some Arnica Montana tablets or pellets and begin using them three to four times per day, two to three days prior to your surgery. Arnica is excellent for preventing bruising, swelling, muscle soreness and even stiffness. You don’t have to worry about side effects or interactions. You may continue using post-surgery also. Arnica also comes in a gel form which can be applied directly to your jaw line and cheeks. This will just add extra insurance that you will not bruise. Vitamin C is another good option to take before surgery as it helps with tissue repair. Good luck.

Q: Even though I can’t stand the taste of aloe vera juice, I drink it daily for my inflammatory bowel disease. Since I have been taking it, my blood sugar levels have normalized. Could this be helping?

A: Yes. Aloe has numerous health benefits, mainly anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) and lipid-reducing (reduces blood fats such as cholesterol). It also contains trace minerals that possess hypoglycemic properties and glucomannan, a water-soluble fiber that also has hypoglycemic effects.

I agree, aloe is not pleasant tasting. It is very bitter. It is not easy to disguise either with juices, etc. There is an alternative. “George’s” Aloe has been distilled, so the bitter taste has been removed. All of the benefits are still there and it tastes just like water, and you don’t have to refrigerate the aloe. You might want to try this one and then you won’t dread taking your aloe.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.