Before my surgery, I went to see my naturopathic doctor and she prescribed a number of homeopathic remedies and supplements.
Homeopathic remedies operate on the principle that like cures like. So, if something in great amounts causes a headache, then the theory is that a very, very, very small amount of the same thing will cure a headache. Homeopathic remedies dilute those substances to microscopic levels and then use them to treat that ailment.
There is a constant debate going on as to whether or not it really works. In my experience, it has. But everyone is different. The way I see it is there's no harm in trying. If it works, it works. If not, the remedies are relatively inexpensive (I paid $7 per vial, Canadian Dollars, for mine), so you're really not losing anything.
My arsenal of non-drug remedies.
This is what my naturopath recommended for me (please consult your doctor/surgeon/homeopathic practitioner before taking any supplements):
- Arnica Montana, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to reduce bruising and swelling.
- Hypericum Perforatum, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to reduce nerve pain.
- Calendula, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to heal wounds post-surgery.
- Thiosinaminum, 6CH pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to break down scar tissue.
- Wobenzym N., enteric coated tablets. One tablet three times a day, taken away from food, to break down inflammation. (Note: Wobenzym contains Bromelain, a digestive enzyme made out of pineapple. I know of a lot of jaw surgery patients who just take Bromelain, which would have the same sort of result if you're unable to find Wobenzym.)
- Traumeel, oral drops. This is a complex homeopathic with a variety of compounds in it. Five drops, three times daily, taken away from food, to reduce swelling, bruising and inflammation.
- Mediclear, protein and vitamin powder. One scoop in rice milk in the morning with breakfast. Provides protein essential for healing and liver support post-anesthesia.
If I had to do it again, there were some changes I would have made.
Firstly, I would have found as many of the homeopathic remedies in tinctures/oral drops to make them easier to take when I was wired shut. I used a method for taking the pellets called "pulsing" where you put a very tiny amount of water in a glass and dissolve the pellets in it before swallowing. It worked fine, but the usual method is to dissolve the pellets under your tongue. Drops would have been much more convenient.
Secondly, I would have started taking the Arnica and the Traumeel several days before surgery. You get a much better result that way. I took the Arnica just one day before, and I didn't start on the Traumeel until three weeks after the surgery. It turned out well for me, but it would have been even better to start earlier.
Otherwise, it's been going very well. I wasn't able to take the Wobenzym while I was wired shut, but I am taking it now. While I was wired, I focused more on taking the Arnica and Calendula as much as possible. Now that the swelling is mostly gone, I'm concentrating more on the Hypericum and the Thiosinaminum as well as making sure I'm taking my Mediclear every day. I added the Traumeel because I noticed there was just a tiny bit of swelling left that wasn't going down as much as I would have liked and I figured it would help.
The really nice thing about homeopathic medicine is that it is so diluted that it's impossible to take too much of it and it is not going to interact with any drugs, or so I'm told. It's kind of idiot-proof, which serves me quite well.