Natural Remedies for Unsightly and Painful Bruises

How many times have you bumped a part of your body? Sometimes we remember the incident and other times we just see an ugly bruise. Bruises come in all shapes, sizes and colors – from blue to purple to red to green finishing with yellow. Injuries to the soft tissues of your skin and muscles are what cause most bruises. Under the skin surface there are tiny blood vessels, fragile capillaries that spill blood into the surrounding area when you bump yourself. This fluid seeps into the deeper layers of the skin staying there and creating a painful bruise.

If you feel that you bruise too easily or you find bruises on your body with an unexplained reason, seek an evaluation with your doctor. Sometimes, excessive bruising stems from a platelet disorder or nutritional deficiency. As people get older they sometimes develop capillary fragility. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help keep blood vessels strong and less likely to leak. You can either take a vitamin C supplement that contains bioflavonoids or consume foods high in vitamin C such as peppers, parsley, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruits, guavas and strawberries. Here are some other natural sources of healing.

Cold Compress

The most simple, old-fashioned, and effective cure for bruising is to apply a cold compress right after an injury to help reduce swelling and bruising. Cold temperatures encourage blood vessels to narrow, limiting their flow and minimizing swelling. Always cover your skin with a thin cloth before applying an ice pack, ice cubes or frozen bag of vegetables. If possible, elevate the injured part of the body and keep it cold for 15 minutes at a time. Repeat this procedure several times for the first day of the injury.

Arnica (Arnica Montana)

Arnica helps to relieve pain and inflammation of bruises. Some people say it helps speed up the recovery. There are a number of preparations in cream or ointment form that contain arnica. Do not use products containing arnica on an open wound.

Use Tea as a Home Remedy for Bruises

Teas, both black and green, contain tannins, a substance that helps shrink swollen tissue. An easy remedy is to grab a teabag, wet it with water and place it on the bruise. It’s wise to always keep teabags at home to prevent bruises from bumps and even mishaps like a black eye.

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne peppers contain a substance called capsaicin that helps reduce pain. This substance also helps to speed the healing. If you have a bruise that aches, try rubbing in a cream or ointment that contains cayenne. You will feel a warming sensation. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after applying this cream because if cayenne gets into the eye or nose, it will cause an excruciating burn.

Bromelain Can Help Bruises to Heal

Bromelain is the protein enzyme from pineapples. It is used to reduce swelling, pain and tenderness in people who have suffered a blunt trauma. Bromelain can be taken in capsule form several times a day between meals. It should be taken as soon as possible after the injury and for several days forward. Eating fresh pineapple is also another good way to obtain bromelain. Canned or dry pineapple will not provide this enzyme.

Kitchen Healers

Two common kitchen items have been known to help heal bruises. Parsley leaves can be crushed and applied to a bruise. This remedy may help speed the disappearance of black and blue marks. An old-fashioned remedy is placing slices of raw and cool potatoes on a bruise. The potato method has been used for years on black eyes.

The Bottom Line

Bumps and bruises have been a source of pain and discolorations for as long as I can remember. Children get into situations where they bump or fall causing lumps and bruises. Adults and seniors can sometimes bruise without even knowing how it happened. The main thing to remember is there are simple remedies to use in aiding the healing of bruises. If for any reason these remedies do not work or the bruise is getting worse than seek help from your physician.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and obtain my information from research and personal experience.


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  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Isabel

      This is very informative. I like the potato method coz there’s almost always a potato somewhere in the kitchen or in the backyard that could be dug… or at the neighbor’s field 😉 One other thing I learned from a housemate before was using the hair too. That is if the bruise is something that can be reached by the hair. My housemate explained that rubbing the bruise on the hair helps spread the blood and removes the clotting. Meaning, it heals fast and easy. Same thing if you get a burn.

    2. Profile photo of
      Jacky Hughes

      Having fallen from top to bottom of wooden stairs and bruised myself more black than blue all down my right side I wish I had had your suggestions in May this year! I am saving it for future reference while hoping not to repeat the experience and off to find teabags to put on the remaining bruises!

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