SuB yarrow

Sometimes surgery is the best solution to a medical problem. We should always weigh up all the options first, because of course there are risks, but once the decision is made, there is plenty we can do to bring about a good outcome and swift healing.

Before surgery – if there's time and it's not an emergency – herbs can help to boost your circulation and ward off infections, as well as allaying anxiety. When you're actually in hospital, you'll usually put aside your herbs or other remedies, but as soon as you're home you can start a recovery program.

Be aware of how long anaesthetic can stay in your system

General anaesthetic can stay in your system for several days, and you may be on painkillers or other medications, so some gentle liver tonics like Milk Thistle or Dandelion can help support your metabolism. Your digestive system shuts down temporarily, so you may be prescribed bulk laxatives, but the liver herbs will help here too, with extra laxatives if necessary.

Many herbs can help with healing

To boost healing and keep your circulation going when you may be less active than usual, herbs like Yarrow, Limeflowers and Hawthorn may help. Continued immune support is useful too, and anti-inflammatories like Blackcurrant Bud, Liquorice or Devil's Claw can help prevent adverse reactions.

And as you begin to recover, you may well feel very irritable, fed up or depressed, so nervous system support is never a bad thing. This is especially true when, as so often happens, recovery takes longer than you expected. The herbs can help keep you on an even keel, and that is good news for those looking after you too.

Editor: Su is very happy to answer any questions you may have via email on her website.