Having young, extremely clumsy children means that bruising is a regular issue in the household. I am also a bit of a klutz and rarely do a few months go by before I develop a new bruise. Bruising is caused following a bump to the body sufficiently hard to damage the tiny vessels beneath the skin.
Blood leaks from your capillaries then seeps into the tissue leaving you with unsightly purplish marks. By and large, bruising does not represent a big problem and even without any type of treatment, they should fade away within a fortnight at the very most.
However, they can be painful and unsightly and you may want to do something to ease the pain and speed up the fading process. Fortunately, there are a number of effective and cheap home remedies to treat your bruising ranging from heat therapy to herbal remedies so if you would like to know how to minimize your inevitable bruising, please read on.
One of the best ways to ensure that your bruises heal fast is to apply ice immediately. Cooling the capillaries surrounding the bruising prevents more blood from leaking into the affected tissue. During my rugby playing days, I always kept an ice pack in my freezer to help treat the inevitable injuries and having an ice pack on hand is a prudent measure to take.
In the absence of an ice pack however, it is easy enough to make your own equally effective ice treatment. You could simply use a pack of frozen veggies wrapped inside a towel and apply it to the bruised area for ten minutes. Alternatively, soak a towel or cloth in ice water, ring out any excess and apply that for the same amount of time. Don’t use the ice pack for more than ten minutes at a time but feel free to reapply it after 20 or so minutes.
Experts recommend that after a 24 hour cooling period, you should begin to apply heat to the area. Heat helps promote circulation to your tissue and clears up any pooled blood. If you have an electrical heating pad, then apply it for 20 or so minutes.
As an alternative to a heating pad, you could make your own warm compress and apply it to the bruising. Most people have a hot water bottle but if you do not, then use a towel dipped in hot water.
3. Comfrey compress
Applying a warm comfrey compress is another effective way to ease your bruising. Comfrey has compounds that help reduce swelling while promoting the speedy growth of brand new cells.
- Pour a few cups of very hot water onto 60 or so grams of fresh comfrey leaves or 30 grams of the dried variety.
- Allow your mixture to steep for ten minutes or so and then strain out the leaves.
- Soak a cloth or piece of gauze into the solution and apply to your bruise for at least an hour.
4. Herb tea compress
Herbal teas can be used in a warm compress with similar effects. Chamomile or lavender flowers help ease the swelling and soothe the pain. Follow the same instructions as those provided above for comfrey.
5. Reduce blood flow with pressure
Bruising to your limbs can be eased by quickly applying a bandage tightly to the affected area. The pressure that you create will prevent the capillaries from leaking further and the resulting bruise will be less severe.
6. Reduce blood flow by elevation
Another method of reducing the flow of blood to your bruise is to raise the affected area above the level of your heart. If you have hurt your leg, then simply lay down comfortably and prop it up on a pillow.
Among the most popular remedies for bruising is vinegar and water. Simply mix a few teaspoons of vinegar into a glass of warm water and apply it to the affected area several times a day. Vinegar works by increasing the flow of blood near the surface of the skin while dissipating pooled blood in the bruised region.
This is a well tried and tested herbal remedy for bruising. Arnica contains anti-inflammatory compounds that ease swelling and lessen the severity of your bruise. Arnica is available in gel or ointment forms and can be safely applied on a daily basis until your bruising has disappeared.
Fresh parsley leaves are a wonderful soothing antidote for your bruise. Pick up a handful of fresh leaves and crush them fine. Apply the fresh leaves to the bruised are and cover with a tight fitting bandage. Parsley works by relieving inflammation and pain and it may also help speed up the fading process.
10. St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is probably best-known as a mild emotional stimulant but it also has its uses for wound healing. Because it is a rich source of antioxidant tannins and has astringent qualities, it can be applied topically to your bruises to expedite the healing process. In order to reap the best benefits, apply the oil as soon as possible after your injury and repeat the process three times daily.
Vitamin K cream can help your body with the blood clotting process. If you can find some vitamin K cream, then apply it to the bruised area twice daily to prevent any further blood from leaking. Food rich in vitamin C such as broccoli, oranges, carrots and mango can help your body to combat swelling.
Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and packs a powerful natural anti-inflammatory punch. To apply turmeric to your bruise, simply create a paste by adding water to a few teaspoons of turmeric powder. Apply the paste twice a day for best results.
13. Essential oils
There are a number of essential oils that can effectively relieve the pain and discoloration associated with bruising. Lavender, cypress, helichrysum and geranium are all possessed of anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that can help speed up the healing process.
There are several ways to use these oils on your bruising. You can add a few drops to a compress or apply them directly to the skin but make sure that you dilute them first with a base oil. If you are new to essential oils, applying them undiluted can result in irritation to your skin but used properly, they are a godsend.
For a detailed look at the best essential oils for bruising see here: https://healthyfocus.org/5-essential-oils-for-bruises/
Believe it or not, pineapples make a great natural treatment for your bruises. They work because they contain an enzyme known a bromelain which helps to digest the proteins responsible for the pain and inflammation. You are unlikely to get enough bromelain from pineapples alone but taking around 500 mgs of supplements daily will help reduce your bruising.
What not to do
If you have a new bruise, resist the temptation to reach for the aspirin. Aspirin will thin your blood meaning that it can gather easily beneath the skin which actually makes the bruise worse. Ibuprofen has similar effects so if you really need to take a pain killer, it is far better to use Tylenol.