A black eye is a term that is used to refer to an injury on one’s face or head. It results from the accumulation of blood and fluid in the space that surrounds the eye, and is often characterized by the swelling of the injured tissue.
This is often accompanied by a visible discoloration of the injury, hence the use of the term ‘black eye’. It is interesting, however, to note, that while the term references the eye, the injury itself does not directly affect the eye, and is instead found on the skin surrounding the eye(s). If you have gotten a black eye before, then you can relate to it as a bruise that is found around the eye
Most black eye injuries are minimal and will usually clear on their own. When this does not happen, you can help speed up recovery with the use of a handful of natural remedies. In cases where the black eye does not recede after a few days, you are advised to seek the opinion of a medical practitioner as this could signify a more serious injury to the head. More importantly, the site of injury determines whether one eye or both are affected.
Other causes of a black eye may be the result of allergic reactions, infection of the skin around the eye as well as severe infections within the oral cavity. Listed below are some of the most popular natural remedies for treating your black eye at home. Most procedures are rather easy, so make the most of these ingredients.
1. Ice Pack:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Ice cubes, a clean cotton towel / piece of cloth. In place of an ice pack, you can resort to using a bag of frozen peas/vegetables.
An ice pack is the fastest way to deal with a black eye, and is most effective when used immediately after the injury. Ice is an amazing home remedy for a black eye because it helps deal with the swelling and inflammation, while reducing blood flow to the site. This helps prevent the redness that accompanies a black eye. The latter is also important because it reduces the rate of bleeding internally. Overall, an ice pack helps hasten the healing process of the black eye.
- Wrap the ice cubes in the towel before holding it on the black eye. The purpose of doing this, rather than using ice cubes directly is to prevent the risk of frost bite that occurs when the skin is exposed to ice.
- Place the ice pack over the black eye and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Avoid rubbing the ice pack on the black eye as this can easily cause the irritation of the skin.
- Repeat this procedure a couple of times, especially in the first 24 hours after the injury. If you do not have access to ice cubes, you can always substitute the cubes with a bag of frozen peas/vegetables which work just as excellently.
2. Warm Compress in Place of Ice Pack:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: Warm water and a clean towel.
In sharp contrast with the first remedy, a warm compress is yet another effective home remedy for the natural treatment of a black eye. Note, however, that this remedy is best used after the first 24 hours – once you have already used the ice pack. This is attributed to the fact that the mode of action of the two remedies is very different. While ice helps constrict the blood vessels to prevent further bleeding within the first 24 hours, the warm compress helps improve blood circulation after the bleeding has ceased.
For the first 24 hours, blood seeps from the damaged blood vessels within the site of injury. After 24 hours, this ceases, and it becomes important to improve circulation of fresh blood around the site of injury. This in turn makes the healing process faster. Avoid using the warm compress in the first 24 hours of getting the black eye. Do not, under any circumstances, wash your black eye with hot water as this poses the risk of skin damage and further injury.
- Dip the clean towel in a bowl containing the warm water and allow to soak.
- Squeeze off the excess water so that the towel contains just enough water, but is not dripping.
- Place the warm compress on the skin and let it sit for about 10 minutes or until the towel has cooled down.
- Allow the skin to breathe for about 10 minutes before repeating the procedure again. Repeat this procedure every couple of hours for best results.
3. Foods Rich in Vitamin C:
Time Required: Depends on the specific type of food
What You Need: Foods rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, pepper, greens such as kale and broccoli.
The essence of introducing foods rich in Vitamin C to your diet when nursing a black eye is that this vitamin enhances the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the most important constituent proteins required for the regeneration of skin cells. Since a black eye causes damage to the collagen, a higher intake of foods rich in Vitamin C goes a long way in speeding up the healing process. Additional benefits of increased Vitamin C in the body is that it helps boost your immunity while strengthening your blood vessel walls, making them less prone to rupture and damage.
- The directions for this particular remedy will vary from one food to another.
- For instance, if taking citrus fruits, you need to clean them well and eat them on a regular basis for best results.
- For greens such as kale and broccoli, wash well before cooking for a few minutes. Avoid overcooking greens as this causes the loss of nutrients to the process.
4. Calendula (Also Known as Marigold):
Time Required: 60 Min
What You Need: Fresh petals from the marigold flower, hot water in a bowl, clean washcloth, and warm water for rinsing.
Calendula is a bright yellow flower whose health benefits have been harnessed since ancient civilizations. The plant’s ability to decrease inflammation at the site of injury, as well as to reduce the rate of swelling makes it an ideal home remedy to deal with a black eye. when the flower petals are introduced to the black eye, they speed up the process of healing. This simple remedy is one that you can use as many times as possible if you have easy access to marigold flowers.
- Collect a handful of fresh marigold flower petals, and place in a bowl of hot water. This is done to allow the active ingredients from the flower to seep into the hot water.
- Allow the petals to steep in the hot water for about 15 minutes.
- You will then refrigerate the petals solution for another 30 minutes.
- Take the solution and dip your clean washcloth in it so as to allow for soaking.
- Place the wet washcloth on the black eye and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water, and repeat this procedure thrice daily for best results.
5. Pawpaw or Pineapple:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh pawpaw/pineapple, pestle and mortar (or blender), and warm water to rinse.
Pawpaw and pineapple have great similarities, and this is what makes them ideal for the home treatment of a black eye. They are not only delicious fruits, they are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are integral to the healing of the skin as they help get rid of free radicals that further damage the bruised area on the black eye. In addition to this, the two fruits contain bromelain. This is an enzyme that helps slough off dead cells from the skin, thus softening the skin and enhancing the healing process. Lastly, the two fruits are also rich in Vitamin C whose benefits have been mentioned above.
There are two ways in which you can enjoy the benefits of these two fruits. The first involves the application of the fruit pulp directly on the eye, while the second involves increased intake of the fruits.
Using the pulp for topical application on the black eye:
- Wash the fruits well before peeling to reveal the fleshy part.
- Pound the fleshy part of the respective fruits to create a pulp-like substance.
- Scoop some of the pulp and apply it to the bruised area on and around the black eye. Let the pulp sit on the skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Pat the skin dry and apply a gentle skin moisturizer.
Ingesting the fruits:
- The fruits as you normally would, peel, slice and enjoy your daily dose of Vitamin C.
6. Hard Boiled Egg:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Egg and water to boil.
The use of hard boiled eggs to treat black eyes is an ancient Chinese remedy that has been passed down generations. The boiled egg reduces swelling on the black eye, and offers great relief for these injuries. Note the for this remedy to be effective, the egg needs to be hard boiled and not soft boiled. So, the next time you get a black eye, perhaps it is time you altered your breakfast routine and tapped the advantages of boiled eggs in dealing with your injuries.
- Place the egg in a pan containing water and boil until it becomes hard boiled.
- Drain the water and peel the egg. Discard the egg shells.
- Take the hot boiled egg and use it to massage the black eye, rolling it in gentle motions. The effect of the warmth will help dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation to the injured area under the skin.
- When the eggs cools down, reboil it and repeat step number 3. Do this until the egg turns black. You may use this remedy twice daily or until the black eye has healed.
7. Potato Remedy:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Medium sized potatoes, muslin cloth, grater, knife, and warm water to rinse.
Potatoes are an excellent remedy for the home remedy of a black eye. The potato contains starch and specific enzymes which hasten the healing process of this injury. This also facilitates the dispersal of accumulated blood that is responsible for the blackening of the injury. Regular use of potato slices goes a long way in providing relief from the bruised skin. There are two ways you get to enjoy the benefits of this remedy: either extract the potato juice, or refrigerate potato slices and place them on the black eye.
Extracting potato juice:
- Clean the potato before peeling it well.
- Grate it to get small-sized gratings.
- Transfer these gratings to a clean muslin cloth and squeeze hard to collect the thick juice in a bowl.
- Soak a piece of cotton wool in the potato juice and dab it on the black eye.
- Let the juice sit on the skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Using cold potato slices:
- Clean the potato before peeling it well.
- Chop the potato into thick slices and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Place the cold potato slices on the black eye and allow to remain in place until the potato becomes warm. Repeat this procedure severally for best results.
Other natural remedies that can be used to heal a black eye quickly include arnica, a popular herb that helps decrease swelling and inflammation associated with the injury, cayenne pepper whose main active ingredient, capsaicin has excellent anti-inflammatory properties as well as witch hazel whose soothing properties are an excellent way to deal with a black eye. An oil massage on the affected skin also enhances blood circulation in the skin around the black eye, thus promoting quick healing. when the use of these natural remedies does not yield results, or the black eye is accompanied by dizziness and intense headaches, it is important to see a medical doctor immediately.