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A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

Convalescence

All individuals who have just suffered from some disease or a period of illness will require a period of convalescence-thus convalescence is a time to allow recovery in the body of the person, during this period of time, the body must restore its strength and recover its health. The body may still be very weak during this convalescence period as the recovery period will begin immediately as and when all symptoms of the disease have disappeared from the body-in all cases, however, the body will still be very weak and the person is likely to be physically tired during the period-the convalescence period will be at an end only when all energy levels in the body are restored to what they were before the illness. Severe illnesses will induce longer convalescence periods as they affect the person greatly and recovery may take a great deal of time. Muscles tend to be become very weak and flabby, if the period of bed rest during the disease was lengthy or protracted. In such cases, the person may be suffering from very poor or impaired circulation, this will cause a great deal of dizziness especially when the person rises up too rapidly from a sitting or prone position. While a patient recovers from the disease or illness, even simple physical exercises or any mental activity will greatly and easily tire the body and the mind. As it is the patient will suffer from poor concentration and the patient needs a lot of sleep to restore the body's health. There is also a deficiency in the assimilation of nutrients and the appetite is poor in general during a period of illness or disease-therefore, patients usually recover slowly and convalescence periods tend to be long for any disease or illness.

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The period of convalescence can be said to continue as long as the body requires rest and till such times as full restoration of health is achieved. The period of convalescence can be greatly lengthened if the time spent in resting is insufficient, if this is coupled with the lack of necessary or vital nutrients in daily diet is lacking necessary nutrients - in some cases, such factors will ensure that the body never fully recovers its full strength. Too much physical activity must be avoided during a period of convalescence and at the same time, too little activity is not good either - the period of activity daily when measured must be proportionate to the energy levels of the person, it is a good idea to undergo daily physical activity and the patient must be exposed to the fresh air - this is excellent remedy and helps to hasten the recovery process.

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During the period of infection, the patient is extremely susceptible to possible sources of infection and the chances of catching some disease is high as the body is often very weak. Thus any exposure of the patient to excessive dampness or the cold can directly result in infection-which will immediately prolong the time spent in recuperation from the disease. Recovery times can also be lengthened dramatically by the presence of any other emotional problems such as depression and persistent frustration about the illness, the patient needs to have a positive mental attitude because the optimism and constant high spirits will speed the path to health and aid in the recovery process. Due to the slower healing powers in the bodies of older individuals-the elderly may usually require more recovery time compared to a young patient. This increase in the recovery time from illnesses in old people is necessary for all chronic illnesses, such as metabolic disorders like diabetes, different heart ailments and all kinds of respiratory diseases-the elderly must spend more time recovering from a bout of illness. The presence of other underlying diseases must be considered especially if the time spent in recovery is evidently very slow-other possible disease such as anemia, a weakened immune system in the patient, the presence of disorders such as candidiasis, physical fatigue and problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome can all hinder the rate of recovery and lengthen the time spent in convalescence.

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Supplements and herbs

The loss of nutrients during the course of the illness can be restored by the use of supplements during the period of recovery and convalescence-an intense or long bout of illness can quickly deplete all nutrients and minerals in the body of the patient. These supplements can rapidly speed up the rate of recovery, though, they cannot be used as a replacement for the inclusion of wholesome foods, or in lieu of adequate rest and exposure to fresh air out of doors.

The immune system in the body is bolstered by many of the green food concentrates such as barley grass and the wheatgrass-these supplements will boost the performance of the immune system and enable it to deal with infection much better. Such green food supplements are rich in the compound chlorophyll, this chemical compound helps in building the blood and aids in the renewal of cells within the body. A similar action to those induced by the whole foods can be achieved by the bee pollen and royal jelly; these supplements are also very rich in many of the essential nutrients and the important trace elements which are required by the body to build up the constitution. These supplements will also raise the energy levels in the body to a very significant level and help in combating physical fatigue at the same time. The more potent supplement among the two is the compound known as royal jelly, this chemical substance is a secretion of all honey bees and is the food that the worker bees feed the queen bee-the diet of the patient must include this important supplement to bring effective recovery during the convalescence process. The long term use of these highly beneficial supplements is strongly suggested in the diet of the patient-some supplementation must be included in the daily diet of the patient.

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Supplements of a good multivitamin tablet are also suggested as this will ensure that all vitamins and minerals required by the body are present in adequate amounts during the convalescence process. In addition to this multivitamin tablets, the diet of the patient must also include supplements of the vitamin C along with the essential mineral zinc in good amounts-the immune system is provided extra support by these supplements this additional support is very important for the patient during the recovery process. The functioning of the adrenal glands is supported by supplements of the B vitamins; these are also excellent to increase flagging energy levels in the body of the patient. If the patient has undergone supplementation using antibiotics, it is suggested that supplementation be carried out using the friendly bacteria known as the Lactobacillus acidophilus in a combination supplemental regimen especially when the initial use of antibiotics has created many digestive upsets or imbalances in the patient. Iron should also be included in the daily supplemental regimen if the person is also suffering from anemia, at the same time.

The use of the following herbs and herbal remedies along with a proper nutritional regimen, and with adequate rest will lead to the stimulation of the appetite in the patient and the building up of strength-both factors will speed the rate of convalescence and ease the recovery process undergone by the patient.

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All patients should be given sufficient doses of the appetite-stimulating herbs, which include herbs such as the gentian, the calamus, the centaury herb, the wormwood or the angelica in adequate amounts. Dosage of these herbs should be in the form of an herbal tea, half a cup of the combination herbal tea, taken an hour and a half to one hour before mealtime every day during the period of convalescence. The herbal calendula remedy can aid the cells in buffering the effects of the anesthetic gases; these gases can induce a lot of muscle pain and physical fatigue in the patient up to two years following a major operation or surgical procedure. The herbal remedy must be taken in the form of a liquid herbal preparation, about twenty drops taken thrice every day during the recovery period is sufficient to promote health. The detoxification process in the body is aided by the herbal Echinacea and goldenseal preparations, these herbs will aid in the detoxification of blood following anesthesia use and at the same time these will help in preventing infection of the area which has a wound. It is also advised that patients use twenty drops of herbal tincture in a cup of water, two times every day for a period of three days following the surgical procedure. The appetite is stimulated by the herbal dong quai root preparations, this herbal remedy also helps in clearing the stagnation of bile and other metabolites in the liver-the herbal remedy can be used as a general tonic following an operation or to treat physical weakness following the birth of a child for a couple of months during the convalescence process, take one to two cups of the herb every day for two week periods on and off as long term treatment. Topical herbal remedies can also ease the process of recovery from disease and rubbing in herbs such as the comfrey, the horsetail and the St. John's wort oil or the aloe vera gel on the surgical wounds will help in the prevention of scarring and scar tissue formation. Post-operative pains are relieved by the applications of the St. John's wort-incidences of neuralgias are also relieved by the topical use of this herbal preparation. Dosage of this herb can be one to two tbsp. of the herbal juice taken thrice every day or three cups of the herbal tea every day.

Additional things you may do

It is very important for patients in convalescence to get sufficient sleep every day-since, adequate periods of sleep will strengthen the functioning of the immune system, it also gives the body time to rebuilds the nerves and speeds the rate of healing from injuries. You must go to bed early every day as sleeping before midnight is most beneficial for health and does not disturb the biological rhythms. It is suggested that a person in convalescence should get at least ten or twelve hours of sleep every day to boost the chances of recovery, on the other hand even a normal healthy person should sleep at least eight hours every day-adequate sleep is a very big factor in the health of an individual. The renewal of the cells is going on during sleep, as the body gets rests, it can concentrate on recovery and restoration of the tissues. Another important factor is the maintenance of proper hygiene on a daily basis. Sleep is hindered by having a sweaty and unwashed-sleeping in this way is likely to be very uncomfortable. People who experience cold feet must avoid going to bed immediately before addressing the coldness in the feet. To prevent the feet from getting too cold, resort to a warm shower or the use of alternating hot and cold foot baths before sleeping. Excellent insulation is provided by blankets made using pure wool, particularly if the wool used is from camels and angoras, the blankets will create an electromagnetic field and help in bringing relief from pain and act in stimulating the healing process during the convalescence period. The healing of bones and wounds is speeded up by the use of appropriate electromagnetic field therapy-the time spent in healing is cut down to at least to half the regular time it takes if no treatment is given. Skin pores must function properly during the recovery process and make sure that you frequently change or air the natural-fiber bed linens to help skin pores function-the use of cotton fabrics is suggested for bedding and other personal items. Sleep in a bedroom which is well ventilated or is aired at least before bedtime every day. The sleep cycle can be disrupted by stale air within a room and this chance must not be taken at any cost.

Usual dosage

  • Vitamin B complex, 100 mg.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids , 1,000 mg two times a day.
  • Multivitamin (as recommended on the label).
  • Zinc, 15 mg, with 3 mg of copper.
  • Bee pollen, one tsp. or one tsp. of royal jelly.
  • Green foods, supplements, one tbsp.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus, 3 capsules or one tsp.

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