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Ask the Herbalist--Swelling

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  I have a little lump on the side of my neck, near my ear lobe, under the skin. It feels kind of muscular and hard and it seems to vary its sizing slightly a little from time to time. It does not pertrude my skin at all, nor does it hurt. Do you think this is a type of cyst and what kind of herbs can I take to make it shrink and/ or go away. I really do not wish to have this surgically removed.( Also,in case you are curious; I have no cancer history in my family)
ANSWER: Never, never take chances with any type of lump. Have it looked at to determine what it is by a medical professional. Then you'll be able to look at options. Without knowing, no way to address it.

 My wife was diagnosed as having an acoustic neuroma two years' ago. The size was very small at that time, however Gamma-Knife Surgery was performed. Still, the neuroma has grown, as have her symptoms increased (vision problems, significant hearing loss, constant 'buzzing' in her right ear, severe pain in her right ear/jaw area, dizziness, and nausea). The neuro surgeon wants to wait yet another six months and have her get another MRI even though growth was indicated in the MRI she just had. I understand that there are Chinese herbal mixtures that may help shrink this tumor and/or help with her symptoms. What do you recommend? Thank you in advance for your help.

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I'm not well versed in Chinese Medicine, so can't offer any advice on that end. Chaparral is a good herb for tumor reduction in some cases, and you may want to try it. I'd suggest you find a Chinese herbalist or acupuncturist who can assist you with the Chinese path.

On my left shoulder blade I have a kind of getting larger lypoma.  I really DO NOT want to have surgery but I would like to find an herbal formula that will shrink lypomas.

ANSWER: How do you KNOW it is lypoma? Has it been diagnosed by a medical practitioner? You would need to have it verified. Luckily, Lypoma is a benign tumor. As to how you would shrink it, I would suggest chaparral Tea. It has high anti-tumor effects. There are several case studies of tumor shrinkage with chaparral. I can make a custom tea for you if you're interested. E-mail me with the word ORDER in your subject line and let me know you are interested in a tumor shrinking tea.

  What are your favorite herbal remedies for healing skin bruising, black and blue marks and swelling of skin after injury?

ANSWER:  Here are a few herbs that have been used in the past.

Tien Chi Ginseng or Tien Qi Ginseng
Witch Hazel the herb, not the stuff in the bottle from the pharmacy that has little or no witch hazel in it, but is mostly alcohol.
Processed Aconite
Balm of Gilead
Blue Vervain
Prickly Ash
Dang Qui
He Shou Wu
Teasle Root
Comfrey (probably the most common treatment)
Arnica (close behind Comfrey)

I will be 61 this month. Over the last few years whenever I bump or scrap my shins the wounds get pretty bad and take along time to heal. Now I am experiencing ankle and foot swelling. I noticed it this past mothers day at a picnic when a got hit in the shin by a baseball. The swelling and bruising were pretty bad. The inside of my right foot turned black and blue. Now both feet and ankles are swelling. I have been working a lot outside siding my house. A lot on the ladder and a lot of walking. Help please. Anything I can take to help this?

ANSWER: Have you been tested for high blood sugar levels, congested heart failure, weak heart, poor circulation? You should find out what the problem is. Long-term problems associated with any of these issues can lead to poor peripheral circulation and poor wound healing, and edema. Without intervention they will lead to many other issues, please see someone in your area for medical treatment.

Without knowing all the facts, I would suggest some Heart and circulation herbs to get the blood to the right places, and a diuretic herb to reduce the swelling.

Hawthorn berries - good for the heart, strengthens the beat, improve vascular integrity
Ginkgo leaf - good for improving peripheral circulation getting the blood to your extremities.

Dandelion leaf - a diuretic as effective a Lasix, will lower swelling and edema.

Externally for bruising you can use a poultice of Comfrey, smash and juice leaves and apply to effected area, hold in place with a cloth, or large bandage. Do not use Comfrey for deep wounds.

Also for the edema elevate your feet and legs, whenever possible.

Please consult with your physician to determine the cause, I cannot tell from where I am with the limited information you have provided what is causing this.