Warm salt water really does reduce swelling!

This afternoon the kids were playing in the backyard and I had just opened the sliding glass door to plead with them to not take apart the travel cage for our rabbit that Candice bought this week. Eden (our 2 yr old daughter was near the door so I told her to watch out before I closed it. She stuck her fingers in just before it closed and they got smashed.

She started a constant panic crying at that point, so I brought her inside and gave her a couple homeopathic arnica pills (we call them “hurt pills”) but as soon as she had closed her mouth over them she continued her panic crying.

Her fingers were already swelling up, so I tried making a paste of turmeric and salt (recommended for swelling in the home remedies book – see link to the right) and she let me put a little bit on her fingers, but that didn’t seem to help (not right away, at least). Then I got a teacup, put a bunch of salt in the bottom, and filled it with almost hot water and told Eden to put her fingers in it. She did so willingly, and I could see a visible relief as she relaxed her shoulders and switched into normal crying mode.

After a few minutes, she began getting distracted and only cried when her awareness was brought back to her fingers since she had to stand in one place while soaking them (I would recommend using a mug rather than a teacup in this situation because the teacup kept falling over). After about 15 minutes she was playing in the water and it seemed like she forgot which hand got hurt. The swelling had already been reduced almost back to normal. So I told her to go wash her hands and get them dried off, and within an hour she was climbing and playing like nothing had happened!

Turmeric and Salt for a Strained ankle

One day last week I came downstairs and after skipping the last step with a toy on it I landed funny and strained my ankle. After a few minutes on my back I was able to get up and gingerly walk on it, so I made a mental note of appreciation for my MBT shoes (www.swissmasaius.com) that have strengthed my ankles for the past few years and went to bed. At about 3am I awoke in a great deal of pain and couldn’t sleep anymore. So I hobbled downstairs on my hands and one foot and got some ice. That was my first instinct because I was taught to put ice on all my injuries during my 16 years as a competitive gymnast. But after about 10 minutes I put the ice pack back in the freezer and decided to find out what else I could do, since the pain wasn’t much better.

I looked in my Ayurvedic home remedies book and read a recommendation about putting a healing paste (made by adding a little water to equal parts turmeric and salt) on sprains and strains. So I tried putting on a paste, and a few hours later I could walk on that ankle again gingerly. Then I tried another recommendation from the same book –

“To relieve swelling, soak the foot for 15 minutes in hot water with 2 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water.”

I did that around 6am, and my ankle was still yellow from the turmeric for awhile. But by noon I was walking normally with only slight sensitivity while carrying two of our children down the stairs. I was amazed at how effective these simple remedies were – my ankle is fine now.

Update (with another example): A few months later while my parents came to visit us, my dad twisted his ankle stepping down from their RV which was parked in our driveway. These remedies were fresh on my mind, so as he sat on the couch in pain I got a bucket of warm water with salt in it and gave it to him to soak his ankle (and foot) in. Then I made a paste of turmeric and salt, and after about 15 minutes I gave it to him to rub on his ankle. The next day he drove their RV a couple hours to a round dance event, and he was able to dance with only slight discomfort. By the following day he said he didn’t notice any pain in his ankle.

There are many other benefits of turmeric as well. Sometimes I even drink turmeric. 🙂