Bruises & contusions • Natural home remedies

Bruises can occur just beneath the skin, or in underlying muscles, and even on bones. This entry deals with the bruising you can see on your skin. Bruising (or a contusion) occurs when blood vessels under the skin are ruptured.

Bruises - Image of arnica flowers

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Pain
  • Tenderness

MEDICAL FIRST AID

  • Applying a cold pack will constrict the blood vessels so that less blood seeps into the tissues to cause discoloration.  Apply an ice pack (wrapped in a towel) on the affected area for about 20 minutes. Wait 15 minutes to half an hour and re-apply.  Repeat during the first day.
  • If the bruise is on your leg or foot, elevate during the first 24 hours as much as possible.
  • After a couple days, you can use heat (a warm washcloth) applied to the bruise for several minutes 2-3 times per day.
  • Compression may prevent blood vessels from leaking so much; wrap an elastic bandage around the bruised area if possible.

SELF TREATMENT

The suggestions below are self-treatments that others have found helpful for this condition and are offered as information for your further research.

DIET

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Artificial food additives
  • Blueberries
  • Bone Broth
  • Citrus
  • Folate-rich foods
  • Gluten
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Pineapple or pineapple juice, orally
  • Salmon and other cold water fish
  • Trans fats
  • Vitamin B12-rich foods
  • Vitamin C-rich foods
  • Vitamin K-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • All inflammatory foods
  • Fried foods
  • Omega 6 fats
  • Processed sugars and other processed foods
  • Smoking

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Vinegar and warm water, applied topically
  • Arnica tea
  • Mullein

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Aloe Vera
  • Bilberry extract taken orally
  • Black tea bags
  • Comfrey–add to a compress (topical only; don’t drink)
  • Lavender oil (for a cold compress, add some drops of lavender oil to cold water and soak a cloth in it)
  • Mullein flowers
  • Sage tea bags soaked in warm water and placed on the bruise
  • St. Joh’s Wort

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath. In the case of a bruise, you can add a few drops to whatever liniment you are using.

  • Arnica
  • Chamomile
  • Cypress
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Helichrysum
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Apply fresh butter topically
  • Beta-carotene
  • Bioflavinoids
  • Bromelain
  • Bruise Juice
  • Chocolate for its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Copper
  • Ground black coffee applied topically and bandaged
  • Iron if you know you are deficient
  • Raw onion applied topically if the skin is unbroken
  • Shredded potato applied topically
  • Vanilla extract applied topically
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin K cream
  • Witch hazel
  • Zinc

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Apply softened cabbage leaves before bandaging
  • Arnica tablets, immediately
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Expose the bruise to the sun
  • If you bruise easily, supplement with Vitamin C and grape-seed extract.
  • Spread crushed parsley leaves to the area before bandaging

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Blood-thinning medications make one more likely to bruise easily.  Other drugs can inhibit clotting, as well.  Exercising may cause small tears in tissues followed by bruises.
  • If the pain is severe or you see signs of infection (pain, swelling, redness/streaking, fever), call a doctor.
  • If you have bruising that is unexplained by an injury, or you bruise easily and frequently, consult a doctor.
  • If you have vision changes after a blow to the eye or if there is blood in the iris, see a doctor.
  • If your bruise takes longer than 2-3 weeks to heal, see your doctor.
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