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Hernia

General characteristics

General characteristics

A hernia is a projection of the intestines or other abdominal tissue which pushes through a weakened section in the abdominal muscle wall (which normally acts like a corset to hold abdominal organs in place) and forms a bulge that is often visible on the skin.

The most common sites are in the abdomen, around its weaker areas such as at the groin (inguinal or femoral hernia), navel (umbilical hernia), anywhere in the abdomen as a result of surgery (incisional hernia) and in the region above the navel between the 'six pack' muscles (epigastric hernia).

They can be present at birth or form over time as a result of straining on the toilet, heavy lifting, coughing, laughing, being overweight, old age, pregnancy and as a result of other disease processes. Often it is possible to gently push the hernia back into the abdominal cavity but some may not and can become 'strangulated'. This means that the blood supply to the protruding tissue is stopped and can lead to bowel obstructions as nothing can pass through the herniated bowel. Septic conditions will arise if it is not treated.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Keep the diet light and full of fresh wholefoods and freshly made juices of fruit or vegetables.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbal astringents can help tighten the herniated tissue and therefore shrink it back into place. Good astringents are tormentil, oak bark, lady's mantle, yarrow and raspberry leaf. Use equal parts of the dried herbs as a tea to drink 3 times a day and also soak the hernia in the liquid several times daily.

Make a mix of the dried herbs of nettle, oatstraw and raspberry leaf and drink a cup of this every day to ensure good muscle and tissue strength and reduce the likelihood of herniations recurring. Add a pinch of dried horsetail to the mix once a week or so to help heal and strengthen tissues even further.

Comfrey root poultices over the area of the hernia will help to strengthen the abdominal walls and can help the hernia back into position.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Exercise regularly to ensure good muscular tone throughout the abdomen and body. Don't strain too hard when exercising, little and often is better for general muscle conditioning.
Gentle and regular circular massage of the area can encourage the hernia back into place.

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