Natural Remedies for Abdominal Adhesions

May 26, 2016

A problem for some after one or more surgeries are abdominal adhesions. These adhesions can cause pain and discomfort. The medical solution is surgery, which unfortunately, can cause more adhesions. However, there are several natural remedies for abdominal adhesions that are simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive. These remedies include the supplement serrapeptase, castor oil packs and certain herbs like comfrey and calendula.

What are Abdominal Adhesions?

Abdominal adhesions are a type of scar tissue that cause your internal organs to "stick" together instead of move freely as they are intended to. Adhesions can cause pain, discomfort and even bowel obstruction. Adhesions can also cause infertility.

What Causes Abdominal Adhesions?

Usually adhesions are a result of surgery. Abdominal and pelvic infections can also result in adhesions.

Are there Home Remedies for Abdominal Adhesions?

There are several natural remedies that can be used for abdominal adhesions. They are inexpensive and non-invasive, but they do take some persistence and diligence on your part to implement.

Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase is an enzyme produced by silkworms. Serrapeptase dissolves non-living tissue. It can be bought at health food stores and online. If you have any artificial parts, mesh, etc. in your body, you should NOT use serrapeptase. You do not want to inadvertently dissolve any materials in your body that are critical to your body function! However, there are more options for you, if this is the case.

Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are external poultices used on the abdomen. Castor oil packs reduce pain and inflammation. Used faithfully over time they can reduce scar tissue and adhesions.

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack for Adhesions

Soak a cotton flannel or wool cloth that is several layers thick with castor oil. (You don't want it dripping wet.) Place the cloth over your abdomen. You can choose a size that is appropriate for you. If you have had multiple surgeries and many adhesions, you may need a large cloth to cover a large area. If you know your adhesions are more focused in one area (if perhaps you have had your gall bladder out, or had gynecological surgery) then you can make a pack that suits that area of the body.

Cover the castor oil cloth with a piece of plastic. Plastic wrap from the kitchen is fine. Use an ace bandage or something similar to help secure the castor oil pack to your abdomen. Ladies will find that a spandex camisole and/or leggings will hold the pack in place nicely. (But know that your garments may end up stained with castor oil; use old garments.)

Next apply a heating pad or hot water bottle. The heat helps the castor oil to penetrate the skin.

Use the castor oil pack for 2 hours or overnight. (Do not use a heating pad overnight - turn it off when you are going to sleep; the heat will be retained for a while.) Do this 4 nights on, 3 nights off. Using this overnight may help you to sleep better! Women should not do this during their periods, though they may find that it relieves PMS menstrual cramping if used in the days leading up to menstruation.

You may want to sleep in old clothes and on old towels to make sure you don't get castor oil stains where you do not want them.

You do not need to make a new castor oil pack each day. You can add more castor oil to the pack as needed. If you use this treatment for several months, start with a fresh pack each month.

Herbs for Adhesions

Comfrey is an amazing herb known for its ability to heal tissue. Used regularly it has been known to heal even old scar tissue. Calendula is another strong herb useful for skin and scar issues.

Comfrey and calendula can be used individually or together to make a tea to take internally or an oil to use externally for adhesions.

Comfrey and Calendula Adhesion Tea

  • 1/2 tablespoon comfrey leaf
  • 1/2 tablespoon calendula flowers
  • 2 cups water
  • Boil the water and pour over the herbs. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain herbs. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink this tea daily.

Adhesion Oil Recipe

  • 1 cup comfrey leaf (dried)
  • 1 cup calendula flowers (dry - they should be bright orange/yellow)
  • Castor Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Put your herbs in a jar. Use equal parts of olive and castor oil to completely cover the herbs. Cover. Put a cloth in the bottom of a crock pot. Put your herb oil jar on the cloth. Add water to just below the top of the jar cover. Set your crock pot on the "Keep Warm" setting. Let the herbs steep for 5 days. You may need to add water daily. 
  • Use a piece of a clean t-shirt to strain out the flowers. 

Now you have a wonderful massage oil for your adhesions.

Twice a day, gently massage this oil onto your abdomen. The massage itself may be helpful in loosening and healing the adhesions.

These remedies are not "overnight" cures. You will need to use them regularly for weeks or months. But they are gentle and inexpensive.

Have you tried one of these remedies? Do you have another home treatment for abdominal adhesions? Please share it with us! Read on for more suggestions from Earth Clinic readers.



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Posted by Lillie (So Cal) on 05/02/2016
5 out of 5 stars

About three years ago I suffered a hip adhesion, the pain was severe that 1000mg ibuprophen plus a couple tylenol only took the edge off. I couldn't walk without limping (& worked retail full time). When I would get out of my car I couldn't help but scream "ouch"! I had only major medical insurance nothing more so a dr visit was out of the question. Fortunately a friend of mine is a chiropractor and I very much trust him - so I went in and right away I felt better, 20 minutes later the pain was back in full force.

After a few weeks of this I couldn't take it anymore - I was not living. In my research online I happened on a youtube video & I can't recall if it was a CMT or DC or what but the woman demonstrated myofascial releases. I would likely have done anything at that point, so I did it right away next to my bed. I raised my knee up (agony that first time) & while the muscle was curled up I took my fists and pushed as hard as I could but still in a massage therapy type manner (not punching - pushing, like kneading bread dough). I had to do this for a while but the pain actually resolved away. When I went to sleep & woke up in the morning I was pretty tight again but went to work on my hip right away and again found relief. I could go about my day - work, errands, w/e without pain medication. I did notice pain and stiffness with changes in weather for a while and even today when I stretch after spin class some of the stretches I have to assist my hip to achieve. But I guess the fact that I can actually do spin class at all lets you know how well it worked.

I hadn't heard about the serrapeptase but wouldn't have been able to use it as I have implants and do not want any trouble with them. Though I will try the comfrey and calendula as it'd be great to not have to assist my stretches anymore.


Posted by Broehe (Seattle, Wa) on 04/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

In response to Carl's post:

Hi. I had major abdominal surgery a few months ago, and since then I have had two small bowel obstructions due to adhesions. When I take Serrapaptase, (which is supposed to dissolve fibrin) the capsule comes out the other end intact.

Is there a kind of systemic enzyme that will work on adhesions, and dissolves easily? Is there something I can do or take to make the Serrapeptase I have on hand now break down in my intestines so it can get into my body? Any other ideas for getting rid of these damned adhesions would also be very warmly received.

Bowel obstructions really hurt.

Adhesions, as you know, are the body's way of stitching you up after major surgery. Its a survival response, not a long-term response. Ultimately, there's a healthy plan there. We just want you to move toward long-term total recovery.

Adhesions are Connective Tissue, or Scar Tissue; made up of the same kind of cells. Connective tissue is laid down, like disorganized bandaid. As scar tissue, you've experienced it can become problematic.

The bad news is that you're having pain and digestive obstruction. Sorry to hear that.

The good news is that its a tissue issue. Connective tissue responds to wonderfully to abdominal and visceral massage or manual therapy.

A Massage Therapist with a Visceral Bodywork specialty, or Mayan Abdominal Massage or even Myofascial work will be able to loosen up those tissues. These kinds of bodywork were developed to treat these kinds of problems. And they work.

I hope you get a chance to try especially Visceral or Abdominal bodywork.

And, you yourself, with a gentle touch, can also loosen the tissues. Hold a tender or painful spot with a pressure that does not add pain. Hold and breathe into that spot. Gently, breathing calmly like you would as you held a newborn, gently explore the area around the painful spot. Breathe abundantly into the entire area; you are increasing local circulation too. That will help. Stay with it for 10-15 minutes. You may find that it changes. The tissue will be changed, for the better, as long as the pressure is right for you.

I wish you the best in your recovery.


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Posted by Carl (Seattle, Washington State) on 04/12/2016
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Hi. I had major abdominal surgery a few months ago, and since then I have had two small bowel obstructions due to adhesions.

When I take Serrapaptase, (which is supposed to dissolve fibrin) the capsule comes out the other end intact. Is there a kind of systemic enzyme that will work on adhesions, and dissolves easily? Is there something I can do or take to make the Serrapeptase I have on hand now break down in my intestines so it can get into my body?

Any other ideas for getting rid of these damned adhesions would also be very warmly received.

Bowel obstructions really hurt. I am Not a fan. Thanks, Carl

Replied by Ben
Bremerton, Wa
04/28/2016

If you are having pain and a possible intestinal obstruction and / or adhesions there are several causes such as an over growth of bad bacteria such as klebsiela that can cause trouble in a hurry. An intestinal blockage can come on very quickly as bad bacteria can proliferate very fast at times. Especially when aided by a prebiotic called inulin. This prebiotic is unwisely added to many probiotic formulas. Many foods such as breads and cereals have inulin added to them just like it was a good thing. Is inulin natural? yes definitely. But is it a good thing? No, not always. Often it helps the growth of faster growing organisms such as the harmful ones like klebsiella. The inflammation brought on by a klebsiella overgrowth can feel very painful similar to pain such as from food poisoning.

Intestinal dysbiosis is a very common thing but it is easily treatable once the correct strains of beneficial microorganisms are reintroduced to the intestinal tract.

About intestinal adhesions, this can be a common occurrence in those with crohn's disease . the intestinal trauma caused by crohn's causes bloody lesions which often grow together in appropriate manners developing adhesions in the intestinal walls to other sections of intestines. Sometimes this causes fistulas to form where the intestines are re-routed with one section growing into another section.

Crohn's is an extreme case of intestinal dysbiosis with certain harmful strains such as mycobacterium avium paratuburculosis turning the intestines into a bloody mess as the intestines attempt to heal adhesions and fistulas form.

Protect yourself from the effects of crohn's with correct probiotics from soil based organisms and intestinal troubles including dysbiosis and adhesions will be kept to a minimum.

Replied by Brenda
Seattle, Wa
05/26/2016

I truly feel for you! I have had 13 abdominal surgeries. To make a long story short, the only "bowel obstruction, " that had me in ER for 14 hours screaming in pain, before being admitted for 9 days of "bowel rest;" was mesh breaking. I had absolutely no knowledge of any mesh. It was 4 1/2 years and at least $1.5 Million in medical bills, given 20% of survival, with or without a small bowel transplant before I learned that I didn't have an obstruction; in that sense.

I encourage people to get a copy of their surgical report and a copy of any product device insertion, associated with that surgery. I have short bowel syndrome as a result.

Food comes out undigested if I don't take digestive enzymes. I also take Organic Wheat Germ Oil, Olive Oil, Flax Seed Oil and so many other nutrients. I will try the Calendula mixture, because I hear a surging noise at times.

I only go to Chiropractor and ND, for 1 1/2 years and I hope I never have another surgery of any type. Best wishes to you.