Recovery after surgery

‘How long will it take?’ is one of those difficult questions. Leaving aside the reason for the operation, there is the trauma of surgery – your body knows it has been cut into even if you have no memory of it – and the after-effects of anaesthetics. People vary enormously in their reactions to both, but what I do know is that it often takes a great deal longer than the surgeon will tell you.
Anaesthetics that are strong enough to render you unconscious will take a few days to be metabolised, but the after-effects can be lingering. Sometimes a medical problem, like digestive trouble or depression, can follow surgery, and if it is not dealt with it can become chronic. Herbs are invaluable here, both to help dispel the drugs from your system, and also to enable your liver to return to normal after its hard work. Milk Thistle is particularly useful, together with herbs like Yarrow and Marigold, that boost circulation and help tissues to heal. Gentle laxatives like Linseed or Yellow Dock will persuade your bowel to get to work again, and nervous system supporters like Vervain or Scullcap will help recovery from shock.
You may well have to take painkillers for some time, and these in themselves can have a slowing down and even depressing effect, so the nervous system herbs will have a dual role to play. And you may be less mobile than usual, so herbs that improve your circulation and tone your digestive system will help to counteract the sluggishness that can come with convalescence – and, typically, the irritability and impatience too. Don’t underestimate the time you’ll need for recovery, and don’t blame yourself if it seems to be taking longer than you think it should. And even years after the operation, a course of liver-supporting herbs can be very beneficial.