Your body does a pretty darn good job of healing strains, bruises, cuts and other more serious injuries, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a helping hand.
These methods involve targeted application of natural or commercial remedies, as well as making some lifestyle changes to give your body a chance to bounce back more effectively. Let’s take a look at seven ways to lend yourself a healing hand…
1. Apply Honey
Prevention.com notes that honey may not only be delicious, but also effective in treating burns and cuts. It notes that “honey acts as an antibacterial agent, rapidly cleaning out and preventing further infection,” and it backs up its claim with some research.
The source cites an analysis of several studies by New Zealand researchers that show honey healed burns 4-days faster than burns that weren’t treated with honey. It notes to buy “locally farmed” honey rather than commercial varieties—apparently heat used to produce the latter product lessens the antibacterial strength.
2. Consume More Protein
Greatist.com suggests loading up on protein—your body’s essential building blocks. This method is suggested for reducing muscle and joint pain from physical exertion, rather than superficial injuries as in the case with honey.
The source recommends eating a protein-rich snack before bed, which will help your inactive muscles repair themselves overnight. Loading in some more protein for breakfast can continue the healing process and give your body the ingredients it needs to rebuild, while reducing food cravings throughout the day.
3. Get the Right Vitamins
Better blood blow to the skin can help erase cuts faster, according to AdvancedTissue.com. One way to do this is by consuming essential vitamins such as A, C and E, as well as other vital minerals like magnesium.
You can naturally add these vitamins and minerals (including omega-3 fatty acids and folate) to your diet by consuming meals that include salmon, citrus fruits (oranges in particular), carrots, walnuts, bell peppers and darker leafy veggies, adds the source.
4. Try Electromagnetic Field Therapy
This remedy is meant to be more than skin deep—it is apparently a method used by athletes to speed up healing of bone fractures, according to NaturalSociety.com. It mentions low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) as two specific treatments.
The source also cites a review of 8-studies that showed these treatments were effective in boosting tibial fracture (lower leg) recovery. One of these studies apparently found a 12-day decrease in healing time with LIPUS treatment among non-smokers (we’ll get to that one next).
5. Quit Smoking
Breaking the habit can help better heal breaks, according to Reader’s Digest. In fact, the magazine lists 15-ways that quitting smoking can promote faster natural healing (as if you needed another reason to quit smoking).
The source says that just 20-minutes after your last smoke, your circulation will improve to your hands and feet. After 2-hours, your blood pressure regulates, and after 8-hours you have more oxygen in your blood cells. These are all key ingredients in helping your body heal and fight off infections.
6. Apply Silver Ointment
Silver is a valuable resource, and it’s also apparently an effective anti-infection agent, according to WikiHow. A 0.5-percent to a 1-percent colloidal silver ointment is recommended by the source to encourage healing of surface wounds.
This over-the-counter ointment has natural antibacterial properties, and only a thin layer applied to the cut is required to be effective. Once the ointment is applied, it’s advised to cover it with a bandage. While the ointment may not directly heal cuts, it can “encourage your body to heal itself,” explains WikiHow.
7. Use Chamomile
That same chamomile that relaxes you in a cup of tea is also a good healing ally, according to MotherEarthNews.com. It cites “several studies” that show “chamomile is extremely effective in speeding the rate of healing”, even as effective as topical steroid creams.
Chamomile gives a “kick start” to your body’s natural healing processes and helps to regenerate tissue, according to the source. If you can’t find natural products that contain chamomile, then you can apply a chamomile tea bag directly to minor cuts, adds the source.