Can Turmeric & Arnica Tablets Help in the Recovery Process? (photo)

I'm trying to be as prepared as possible. Can arnica tablets & the turmeric herb help in bruising & swelling? Also I was going to use coconut oil on my scar is there anything that you'd recommend instead? Lastly is it true that the tighter the skin is pulled may result in less swelling?

Doctor Answers 8

Arnica tablets?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! The recommendations for the use of these homeopathic medications are surgeon preference. I typically suggest use Arnica to decrease swelling and bruising. It is an herbal medication that is propagated from the seeds of an herb. I, as well as my patients, have seen some benefit with the treatment in the postoperative period. Although there is little evidence to its effectiveness, I believe there is some benefit, but no harm. I recommend 4-5 tablets under the tongue 4x/day for 3-5 days prior and 5-7 days after the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Arnica for surgery

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I recommend Arnica Montana and Bromelain Before and After Surgery
Bromelain is a botanical extract with natural anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties. It can help decrease inflammation, swelling and pain that often accompany a surgical procedure.
Arnica Montana has been touted as causing decreased bruising, swelling and pain associated with surgery or soft tissue injury. with our homeopathic Arnica Montana.
For a thorough explanation of the beneficial effects of Bromelain, see the below link to an article I wrote on the subject
The optimal dosage is not known. I would recommend purchasing it from a company that specializes in pre-surgical medicines such as Vitamedica. You can contact my office if you are not able to find it elsewhere.

Bruisestick prescription for bruising

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Our office prescribes Bruisestick ointment for application on the skin. The product contains both Arnica and Bromelain.

Arnica and other dietary supplements have no positive effect on bruising.

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The benefits of dietary supplements are questionable at best. There some evidence to suggest that article might actually increase bruising. Don't take anything that's not approved by your surgeon.

Turmeric and arnica

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I have never heard of using turmeric and I doubt it's of any use.  Many surgeon, including myself, recommend arnica to reduce bruising, but there are no actual studies on whether of no it works.  Pulling skin tighter is not a tactic see to reduce swelling.  The skill should be pulled just the right amount.  Too tight can cause its own problems.

Alternative Therapies

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Arnica has a spotty track record, and is considered slightly better than placebo at best in reducing bruising.  Turmeric is unproven.  Coconut oil is unproven.  If you want the finest scar possible, consider post operative tape therapy to mechanically reduce the forces of tension that are the leading cause of thickened scars.  Although something as simple as paper tape works, more elastic, perforated tapes like 'Hypofix' have greater efficacy in my practice.  A new product called 'Embrace' combines the scar whitening/softening effects of silicone sheeting with the mechanical force reduction of elastic tape.  It should also be an effective, proactive product, based on the already proven qualities it possesses. 

Best of luck!


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Hi Realfitmom. You look fit and should get a good result. I have all my patients take Arnica. Whether it helps? Who knows. The tighter the skin is pulled the better the result. The problem is if you pull too tight, the incision could then fall apart. Swelling is not dependent on tightness.

Can Turmeric & Arnica Tablets Help in the Recovery Process?

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        Arnica is probably OK.  Healthy people at ideal weight should have the best overall recovery, but some of this will depend upon the surgical technique and adherence to postoperative protocols.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.