To allow your child's gastrointestinal tract to readjust to food, gradually work up to a full diet. Prepare whole, well-cooked foods that are full of the many vitamins and minerals your child's body needs to heal and regain energy.
Homemade applesauce and soups are excellent "starter" foods for a child who has undergone surgery. Foods high in beta-carotene, such as squash and cooked greens, are also important.
Try to avoid giving your child any gas-producing foods, such as nuts and legumes, for the
first two weeks after surgery.
For age-appropriate dosages of some nutritional supplements, see page 81.
Beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, helps to soothe injured mucous. membranes and heal tissue. Give your child one dose of beta-carotene each day for one month.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus are both very good for restoring bowel health after the trauma of surgery and potent antibiotics. Follow the dosage directions on the product label and
give your child one dose, twice a day, for one month. Then give your child one dose, once a day, for the second month.
The B vitamins help to restore strength. Give your child a liquid or capsule B-complex supplement, once a day, for one month.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids aid in tissue repair and in decreasing inflammation. Give your child one dose of each, one to two times a day, for one month.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant nutrient and is a mild but effective natural anti-inflammatory. Give your child one dose, twice a day, for one month.
Zinc hastens wound and tissue healing and supports the immune system. Give your child a total of one dose of zinc each day for one month.
Note: Excessive amounts of zinc can result in nausea and vomiting. Be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage. Zinc is easiest on the stomach when taken at the beginning of a meal.
Herbal treatment for appendicitis is directed at supporting recovery from surgery. It is not meant to be a substitute for surgical treatment. If you suspect appendicitis, seek medical treatment for your child immediately. For age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies, see page 81.
Once the crisis is over, follow the regimen below to help your child recover.
Days 1-3: Give your child an echinacea and goldenseal combination formula to help detoxify the chemicals remaining in his blood after anesthesia. Echinacea and goldenseal also support the immune system and can help prevent a possible infection in a surgical wound. Give your child one dose, two to three times daily.
Days 4-7: Give your child one dose of astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous), three times daily. With its rich concentration of trace minerals and micronutrients, astragalus helps to strengthen the immune system. Do not give this herb to a child with a fever, however. If there is fever, continue giving your child echinacea and goldenseal until the fever is gone (but not for more than ten days in a row, or it will lose its effectiveness).
Days 8-14: Give your child one dose of American ginseng, three times daily. This is another excellent source of trace minerals and micronutrients, and will help strengthen your child's internal defences.
Note: This herb should not be given if fever or any other signs of infection are present.
Days 15-21: Give your child two to three doses of nettle and/or gotu kola daily. These herbs contain many trace minerals, are very useful for healing wounds, and are good general tonics.
Note: Neither gotu kola nor nettle should be given to a child under four years of age. Also, some children experience stomach upset as a result of taking nettle. If this happens, discontinue use of the herb.
Days 21-35: Give your child one dose of minor bupleurum formula, twice daily. This is a Chinese herbal combination that is a good tonic and will help to restore strength.
Note: Minor bupleurum should not be given to a child with a fever or any other sign of an acute infection.