Bruises are a common form of injury that you are likely to encounter at one point or the other in everyday living.
Typically, bruises are the result of injury to the skin that causes the damage of blood capillaries beneath the skin. This causes the damaged blood vessels to release the blood into the nearby tissue, hence the blue-black coloration that is characteristic of bruises. The change in color of the bruises results from the breakdown of the blood as the days go by.
Bruises will usually resolve in about two weeks in the absence of any treatment. Despite the fact that bruises heal on their own, you would probably need to find treatment options that will accelerate healing and overall reduce the pain.
There are several options found in natural remedies available for you, all of which use different modes of action to heal the bruises. Some remedies speed up the process of bruise paling, others reduce swelling and yet a good number of these will combine preventive measures with the healing of the bruise.
1. Ice Pack For Fresh Bruises:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Five ice cubes, a clean towel. Other alternatives include a bag of frozen vegetables and a refrigerated tea bag.
The essence of using an ice pack to get rid of a fresh bruise is to enhance the constriction of blood vessels thanks to the low temperatures present. By tightening the blood capillaries when the injury is still fresh, you should be able to prevent the excessive seeping of blood into the surrounding tissue. In effect, an ice pack prevents the bruise from becoming severe, and certainly reduces the pain and inflammation by keeping the bruised area numb. While it may feel uncomfortable at the onset, using an ice pack has been shown to be one of the best and most distinguished natural remedies for bruises.
- Place the ice cubes in the clean towel and wrap to create a pack of sorts. The reason behind wrapping the ice cubes is to prevent a frost bite that results when ice comes into direct contact with the skin.
- Place the pack on the bruised area and rub gently.
- Keep at it until the ice starts to melt.
- Repeat this procedure two more times while the bruise is still fresh. The same procedure is to be used when the pack consists of frozen vegetables.
NOTE: once 24 hours have elapsed after the injury, it is advisable to steer clear of the cold therapy treatment as it then worsens the bruises’ appearance. After 24 hours, the choice remedy for a bruise is a warm compress as indicated in remedy number 2.
2. Warm Compress:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A clean towel, hot water. Alternatively, get a hot water bottle in place of the towel.
Difficulty: Medium (largely due to the use of very hot water).
A warm compress is a simple and effective home remedy for treating bruises, preferably 24 hours after the injury (and preferably after using the ice pack for the first 24 hours). The reason for this time difference is attributed to the varying modes of action of both the ice pack treatment and the warm compress. While the ice pack constricts the blood vessels at the site of injury, the warm compress enhances the circulation of pooled blood at the bruise. If the latter is used as a first line of treatment, you risk increasing the seeping of blood into the surrounding tissue, thus worsening the bruise. After 24 hours however, the use of the warm compress reduces the formation of blood clots, thus speeding the healing process of the bruise.
- Place the hot water in a bowl and soak the towel.
- Squeeze the excess amount carefully and transfer the hot towel to the bruised area.
- Allow the towel to stay on the bruised area until it cools down.
- Repeat this procedure for 20 minutes at a time, and use the remedy thrice daily for quick healing.
- The other alternative revolves around simply filling a bottle with hot water and placing it on the bruised area until the water cools. Take caution to avoid burns on the bruises.
Note that this remedy may not be ideal for very small kids owing to the risk of burns.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Arnica herb. You could also use this herb in oil form or gel form.
Arnica is a unique natural remedy for the treatment of bruises because it not only has anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce pain and inflammation, it also has the capacity to shrink the bruise and reduce its size. The advantage of using this herb is that there are different ways in which you can use the remedy to heal the bruise. Whether you would like to go with the fresh herb, the oil extracted from the herb, or simply use the gel form, the choice is yours.
- Rub the herb on the bruised skin for some 5 minutes to allow the absorption of the herb’s constituent compounds.
- If you opt to use arnica oil, place 3 drops of the oil on the palms of your hands and massage on the bruise.
- With the gel, simple squeeze a pea-sized amount of the gel and rub on the bruised area. With all three options, use arnica thrice daily for best results.
4. Fresh Parsley Leaves:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh parsley leaves and elastic bandage.
Fresh parsley makes for an excellent remedy in the natural treatment of bruises. Parsley has the capacity to regulate the process of blood clotting while reducing the pain in the inflamed region. If you can, refrigerate the parsley before using on the bruise. The advantage of these low temperatures is that they will soothe the bruised skin. The elastic bandage indicated is used solely for tying the parsley and keeping it in place.
- Sort the parsley leaves and clean well.
- Chop the leaves and refrigerate for a few minutes.
- Take the chopped leaves and place on the bruised skin before tying with the elastic bandage.
- Let the parsley remain on the bruised skin for 15 minutes before discarding the used leaves. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the bruise heals.
5. St. John’s Wort:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Dried St. John’s Wort, a cup of water, and strainer. Alternatively, you can also use St. John’s wort oil.
St. John’s Wort is a powerful herb whose benefits make it ideal for bruise treatment. With its natural anti-inflammatory properties, the herb not only relieves pain and inflammation in the bruised skin, it also hastens the process of healing. The high concentration of tannins in this herb makes St. John’s Wort an astringent compound which simply means that when applied on the bruise, the herb causes the tissues to tighten thus regulating the amount of bleeding. You can either use the dried form of the herb, or settle for the oil extracted from the herb.
Procedure for using the dried herb:
- Place the dried herb in a pan and add enough water to cover the herb.
- Bring the mixture to boil and turn off the heat.
- Strain the mixture and discard the used herb.
- Allow the strained solution to cool and drink it. Repeat this once daily until the bruises are completely healed.
Procedure for using St. Jonhn’s Wort Oil:
- Place two drops of the oil on the bruised area and massage to allow the skin absorb the oil’s constituent compounds. Repeat this once daily until the bruised skin heals.
6. Comfrey Leaves:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Comfrey leaves (You may choose to use either the dried or fresh leaves), water in a pan, strainer, and cotton wool.
Comfrey leaves take on a herbal approach in the treatment of bruises. These leaves are preferred for their ability to heal wounds, thanks to the high concentration of Vitamin C which is known to speed up the healing process. Additionally, Comfrey also contains allantoin whose anti-inflammatory properties reduce the pain and inflammation that is associated with bruising. Note that with the use of this remedy, it is advisable to avoid internal consumption as the ingestion of Comfrey leaves has been associated with liver damage. As such, these leaves are used in the treatment of bruises externally.
- Boil the water in the pan.
- Add the leaves, fresh of dry, to the boiling water and allow the leaves to steep in the water.
- Let the leaves boil for 10 more minutes before turning the heat off.
- Strain the mixture and discard the leaves.
- Allow the mixture to cool before using on the bruised skin.
- Soak the cotton wool in the cooled solution and dab it on the bruised skin.
- Let the solution remain on the skin for about 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure daily for best results.
7. Castor Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Castor oil
Castor oil is an excellent remedy for bruises because it not only hastens the healing process, it also works for your good once the bruise has healed. When applied on the bruised skin, the oil prevents the peeling of skin after the bruise has healed. Castor oil also helps reduce the size of the bruise and certainly makes it less obvious.
- Simply place two drops of castor oil on the bruise and rub gently. Repeat this procedure twice daily.
8. Onion Slices:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: One fresh onion, juicer, cotton wool, and lemon wedges (optional).
Onions have excellent anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for the treatment of bruised and damaged skin. In addition to reducing the pain and inflammation of the bruise, juice extracted from the onions and applied topically on the skin works to disintegrate clotted blood below the surface. For this reason, onion juice is best used 24 hours after the bruise as this is the time period when the leaked blood starts to clot.
Note: If you are concerned about the characteristic smell of onions after using this remedy, you could simply use lemon wedges to get rid of the smell.
- Peel the onion to reveal its fleshy part which is what you need.
- Wash the onion and chop into fine pieces.
- Transfer the onion pieces to the juicer and extract the juice.
- Collect the juice in a bowl and soak some cotton wool in it.
- Dab the soaked cotton wool on the bruise and let your skin absorb the juice.
- Rub the lemon wedges on your hands to get rid of the onion smell. Repeat this procedure twice daily.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh pineapple slices and warm water.
Pineapple fruit is used to treat bruises because it contains bromelain. Bromelain is a compound which reduces aggravation on the bruised skin, thus speeding up the healing process. In addition to this, bromelain has also been shown to disintegrate blood clots and act on the affected tissues enzymatically. The latter action helps the tissue produce new cells which in turn resolves the bruise.
- Rub the fresh pineapple slice on the bruised skin for 5 minutes.
- Allow the juice to dry before rinsing using warm water. Repeat this procedure one daily.
Other natural remedies that you can use to treat bruised skin include cabbage which is rich in Vitamins C and K, cayenne pepper mixed with petroleum jelly as well aloe vera. As a general guide, start your treatment as soon as the bruise occurs for best results.