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.