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Nutrients for Healing


It is important to understand the commonly accepted classification of the inflammatory response. It is divided into 3 phases. Phase I- acute inflammatory phase- lasts up to 72 hours. Phase II- repair phase- lasts from 48 hours to 6 weeks. Phase III- remodeling phase- lasts from 3 weeks to 12 months or more.

General dietary guidelines:

Keep to a relatively low calorie diet free from saturated fats, sugar, white flour, caffeine and alcohol. Avoid preservatives and food colorings. There is some research that the category of foods called nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and paprika) can trigger an inflammatory response in certain individuals. If you are allergic to any foods, stay away from them such as corn, wheat, milk, red meat, MSG, red wine (sulfites), barley and rye. Most importantly, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day!


  1. Vitamin C: 3-4 grams/day
    The inflammatory process causes the increased excretion of vitamin C, hence the need for supplementation. Vitamin C provides an antihistamine effect and stabilizes cell membranes.
  2. Bioflavinoids: 1 gram/day citrus, 1 gram/day quercetin
    Bioflavinoids act as a synergist to vitamin C.
  3. Proteolytic enzymes: Bromelain, Pancreatin, Chymotrypsin, Papain
    Bromelain: 2-3 grams/day - acts as the first defense in the inflammatory process and helps decrease edema.
    Pancreatin: 2 grams/day - helps with lymphatic drainage
    Chymotrypsin: 1 gram/day - helps with lymphatic drainage
    Papain: 400mg/day
  4. Zinc: 50 mg/day
    Zinc combats the deleterious effects of inflammation by inhibiting histamine and leukotriene and helps the white blood cells do their job.
  5. Vitamin E: 600 I.U./day in the d-alpha tocopherol or mixed tocopherol form.
    This is more effective than the dl-alpha tocopherol form which is the synthetic version of vitamin E. Vitamin E provides an antihistamine effect.
  6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 3 grams/day.
    These fatty acids found in salmon inhibit prostaglandin formation. Another way to get these fatty acids is by taking 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds each day.
  7. Curcumin: 1.5 grams/day.
    Curcumin is an herb that helps inhibit platelet aggregation and promotes scar healing.
  8. Ginger: 5 grams/day
    Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Another way to take ginger is to buy the fresh root and make a tea or ground up about a 1 inch slice.
  9. Boswellia: 600 mg/day.
  10. Tumeric


  1. Vitamin C: 2-4 grams/day
    Vitamin C helps form collagen which is the basic component of soft tissue.
  2. Bioflavinoids: 1 gram/day citrus, 1 gram/day quercetin
  3. OPC: 250 - 500 mg/day
    OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins which are extremely powerful anti-oxidents. They strengthen collagen and support capillaries and veins.
  4. Pantothenic Acid: 2 grams/day
    Pantothenic acid is one of the B vitamins and helps form scar tissue.
  5. Vitamin B1: 1 gram/day
    Vitamin B1 helps with wound healing.
  6. Vitamin A: 5000 I.U. - 10,000 I.U./day
    Vitamin A helps strengthen scar tissue so it will not tear while healing.
  7. Zinc: 15 mg/day.
    Zinc helps form collagen which is the basic component of soft tissue.
  8. The amino acids Phenylalanine and Argenine
  9. Gotu Kola
  10. Aloe Vera used topically helps stimulate epidermal (skin) growth.
  11. Tea tree oil used topically has antiseptic properties.


  1. Glucosamine Sulfate: 1500 - 2000 mg/day
    Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to be effective as a mild anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Most importantly, it aids the ability of the body to heal by forming new cartilage and preventing the breakdown of cartilage.
  2. Chondroitin Sulfate: 1200 - 1600 mg/day
    Chondroitin sulfate is a molecular cement that holds together cartilage, allowing collagen proteins to form actual tissue. It both prevents damage from arthritis and stimulates repair.
  3. Botanicals that can help long term health include: Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum) 1.4 grams/day, Boswellia 600 mg/day, and Ginger (Zingiber) 5 grams/day.

Null, Gary. The Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing. New York: Kensington Books, 1998.

Simon, J. Rehabilitative Nutrition Journal of Sports Chiropractic and Rehabilitation 13(4):145-149, 1999.