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Typically, bruises or ‘contusions’ are caused from trauma to the area. Trauma can be caused by bumping into something, when something bumps into you, or a cut in the area. Once your body has experienced trauma, the injured cells will
The severity of the bruising will depend on the force of the impact and the individual’s immune system. Bruising can occur at any age and on any region of the body. Some bruises will show up unnoticed and will be accompanied by little or no pain. It is important to realize the different types of bruising that can occur and whether or not you will need medical attention.
Bruises occur can occur in three main areas of the body and depending on the
Subcutaneous: bruises under the skin.
Intramuscular: bruising within the muscle tissue.
Periosteal: bruising on the bone.
Although bruising can happen to anyone, no matter their age, some individuals are more prone to bruising. People who are more susceptible to bruises include:
Those who exercise vigorously like athletes or weight lifters
Individuals who are taking blood thinners
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of bruising will vary as this will depend on how severe the cause of the bruising was. You will first notice discoloration of the skin when you get a bruise. Typically bruises are blue or black yet there are a few other colors associated with bruising:
Yellow (usually seen when the bruise begins to heal)
In addition to the variety of discoloration, you will feel sensitivity and/or pain in the bruised area.
For the most part, many bruises are not severe, yet there are instances in which bruising can be severe and you should see a general practitioner should be experiencing any of the following:
Bruises appearing while taking blood thinners such as aspirin
Pain and swelling in the site of the bruise
Bruises showing up after a hard fall or impact
Bruises that happen alongside suspect broken or fractured bone
Bruises appearing for no apparent reason
Bruises that do not heal within one month
Painful bruises underneath the nails
Bruises that are accompanied by bleeding of the mouth or gums
Bruises alongside of bleeding of the eyes or blood in the stool and/or urine
Bruising that cannot be explained; especially if the bruises show up in continued patterns
Bruising that does not cause pain
Reappearing bruises in the same spot without having another injury
Black bruising on your legs
It is important to understand that blue bruising on the legs can result from varicose veins. However, bruises that are black can indicate a serious condition called ‘deep vein thrombosis’. This is a sign that you are developing a blood clot. This condition can be fatal.
There are several ways to treat a bruise through a variety of home remedies. Normally bruises will fade within ten to fourteen days, yet should you find yourself with a pesky bruise, you are bound to find a helpful remedy around your house that will help your bruise fade faster.
The following thirty home remedies for bruises will have you back to normal in no time.
1. Direct Application of an Ice Pack
This is one of the easiest methods and should be used at the first sign of bruising. Ice packs will tighten the blood vessels and prevent the blood from spilling out into the skin further. Using an ice pack will reduce the size and redness of a bruise as well as reduce the swelling and numb the pain of the bruise.
• Several Ice Cubes or Bag of Frozen Peas
• Small Plastic Bag
• Clean Towel
• Take a few ice cubes or bag of frozen peas from the freezer.
• Place the ice cubes or frozen peas in the small plastic bag. This will prevent the melted water from dripping on you.
• Wrap the small plastic bag in the clean towel.
• Take the towel and place on the bruised area for ten minutes.
• Repeat throughout the day every couple of hours as needed.
Note: It is important to not overuse this method as over chilling the skin can cause frostbite.
2. Consuming or Applying Bromelain
Pineapples contain high amounts of an ingredient called Bromelain. This digestive enzyme contains anti-inflammatory properties that play a role in healing bruising and swelling. Drinking pineapple juice is the easiest way to get your dose of Bromelain.
When used as a topical lotion applied directly over skin bruises, bromelain helps to reduce inflammation and
It is also recommended to take Bromelain supplements. According to a study done on boxers, bruises with black and blue marks disappeared within four days for 80% of the tested subjects who took Bromelain supplements daily.
Since you can purchase Bromelain supplements and lotion in health food stores, the following home remedy is for pineapple juice.
• Fresh Pineapple
• ½ Cup of Distilled Water
• Peel, core, and slice the pineapple into small pieces.
• Put the slices of pineapple into the blender, along with distilled water.
• Blend until smooth.
• Drink this mixture throughout the day.
• Repeat this process daily until the bruise has faded.
Note: Sometimes eating pineapple is not enough to get the sufficient amount of Bromelain needed to heal a bruise. This will depend on the severity of the bruise itself. You can use this method in addition to taking Bromelain supplements. If you decide to take Bromelain supplements you will need to take 250 to 400 mg, three times a day, until the bruise is healed.
3. Parsley Leaf Rub
Using fresh parsley is an easy and fast home remedy for curing bruises. Depending on the severity of the bruise, you will notice a difference overnight when you use a parsley leaf rub. The parsley leaf rub will decrease pain, calm irritation, and help to get rid of the black and blue marks on the skin.
• Fresh Parsley
• Small kitchen knife
• Chopping Board
• Mortar and Pestle
• Elastic Bandage
• Take a large handful of the fresh parsley.
• Using the knife and chopping board, chop the parsley finely.
• Then, take the finely chopped parsley and place into the Mortar.
• Take the pestle and fully crush the parsley.
• Once the parsley has been crushed, place a small amount directly onto the bruised area.
• Wrap the area with an elastic bandage. Leave in place for several hours.
Repeat this treatment twice per day until the bruise has healed.
4. Saint John’s Wort
Saint John’s Wort works as an anti-inflammatory and can be used in two different ways to heal a bruised area. In addition to having the anti-inflammatory properties, Saint John’s Wort works as a natural analgesic which helps to relieve pain.
If you choose to use Saint John’s Oil,
Alternatively, you can drink a Saint John’s Wort mixture to help heal your bruise.
Two tablespoons of dried Saint John’s Wort
8 ounces of warm water
Reseal able beverage container
Steep the Saint John’s Wort in the warm water for ten to twenty minutes.
Place into the beverage container.
Take one sip of this mixture once per day until the bruise has faded.
5. Application of Arnica
Arnica Gel or Tincture
Teaspoon of water (if using the tincture)
Rub the gel or tincture mixed with water directly onto the affected area.
Repeat this a few times per day until the bruise has completely healed.
Note: Do not apply Arnica (in any form) onto broken skin as it can cause further irritation.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar Rub
Apple Cider Vinegar is a widely used home remedy for a variety of ailments and bruises are no exception. The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar will help to heal your bruise within a few days.
Small cloth or paper towel
½ Cup of Warm water
½ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine the Apple Cider Vinegar and the warm water into the bowl.
Soak the small cloth or paper towel in the bowl for a few minutes to let the mixture fully absorb into the cloth or paper towel.
Remove the cloth or paper towel and wring out the excess mixture.
Place the cloth or paper towel directly onto the bruised area for about ten minutes.
Repeat this treatment regime twice daily until the bruise has gone away.
Note: Do not use this remedy on broken skin.
7. Applying a Live Leech
While this treatment is not very popular, due to many people loathing leeches, it is highly effective in removing bruises almost instantly. Many Chinese medicine practitioners will recommend applying a live leech to the affected area to see immediate results.
You can find a live leech in a well-stocked holistic store or a Chinese medicine store. When you purchase the leech, make sure to receive any information in regards to using leeches. When you do use the leech, you will not feel the leech biting you as the saliva acts as a mild painkiller.
One live leech
Petroleum jelly (optional)
Cleanse the affected area with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.
Carefully pick up the live leech and place it directly onto the bruise.
Leave the leech in place for several minutes. You will start to notice the bruise fading.
When you notice that the leech is starting to become full, it is time to remove the leech.
Take the tweezers and gently grab a hold of the leech. This will prevent the leech from falling to the floor when it lets go.
Take a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly and place it at the mouth of the leech.
The leech will naturally let go once it comes into contact with the rubbing alcohol or the petroleum jelly.
Dispose of or store the leech appropriately.
You can repeat this method as needed or as recommended by a holistic therapist.
Note: If you choose to use this method it is vital to only use leeches that are farm raised and free of disease.
8. Direct Application of a Warm Compress
Applying heat to a bruise is a great way to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. When you are applying a warm compress, make sure to keep the area elevated. It is also important to use wet heat instead of a source of dry heat like an electric blanket. The wet heat will be better for the injury as opposed to the dry heat.
Reusable heat pack
Take small towel and place into the warm water.
Place directly onto the bruised area for 10-15 minutes.
Alternatively, wrap the reusable heat pack in the wet towel and place onto the bruised area for the same amount of time.
Note: This remedy should only be used after a cold compress has been done. Try using this method if the ice pack hurts too much or if it makes your skin ache.
Although this is quite a simple remedy, it is very important to do to aid in the healing process. If you lift the heart above the injured area this will prevent the blood from pooling in the affected area and reduce discoloration.
A soft pillow
Place to lie comfortably, such as a couch or bed.
Place the pillow on the couch or bed and place the injured area (arm or leg) onto the pillow.
Make sure the injured area is at heart level or above.
Rest in this position for at least twenty minutes.
Repeat twice per day for at least two days.
Note: If you find that the bruise is in your torso, you will need to try another home remedy treatment.
10. Herbal Tea Compress
A cold compress made from herbal teas can be used in place of a plain cold compress, or in addition to one. The herbs in the tea can help to soothe the affected area and reduce the swelling.
One teaspoon of dried Chamomile flowers
One teaspoon of dried lavender flowers
One cup of hot water
Bowl or large cup to hold the tea
Add the chamomile and lavender flowers to the hot water.
Cover and let this tea steep for fifteen minutes.
Strain the tea and refrigerate.
Dip the small cloth into the mixture once it has cooled.
Place the cloth on the affected area for ten minutes.
Repeat a few times per day for the first 24 hours.
11. Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom salt is used to relax the muscles and it is also useful for reducing swelling and pain in the bruised area. An Epsom Salt soak can also reduce the bruises appearance.
2 cups of Epsom Salt
Bath or large bowl to place the bruised area in
Add the Epsom salt to the warmed water
Soak the affected area until the water has cooled down
Rinse off the area with clean water
Note: Epsom salt may cause irritation in some individuals because when it begins to dry, it can leave magnesium crystals on the surface of the skin. Rinsing after a soak in Epsom Salt will prevent this from happening.
12. Cabbage Leaf Paste
An old remedy for bruising is using a cabbage leaf paste. Red and green cabbages are full of vitamins and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, cabbages also have high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K, both of which are ideal for anti-bruising.
Fresh Cabbage (red or green)
Mortar and Pestle
Cut off the hard stems of cabbage and slice the leaves thinly
Make the leaves softer by soaking them in a bowl of hot water
With a mortar and pestle, crush the leaves into a paste
Put the paste on the bruised area and cover with gauze.
Leave this application for at least half an hour
You can repeat this treatment several times every day until the bruise is healed.
13. Combination of Vaseline and Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper possesses powerful healing agents that are used to cure bruises naturally. Ground cayenne pepper is mixed with Vaseline as this will increase the effectiveness of the treatment. The Vaseline will cover the sting from the cayenne pepper when it makes contact with the skin.
One tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper
Five tablespoons of melted Vaseline
Combine the Vaseline and cayenne pepper in a bowl
Once it is cooled, directly apply to the affected area
Apply the mixture once a day until the bruising subsides, This will usually be about 4 or 5 days
Note: It is important to test your skin in a small area for an allergy to cayenne pepper before using this remedy.
14. Direct Application of Onions
Just as long as you do not have any cuts in the area, using onions can be highly effectively for naturally curing bruising. Onions have a potent ingredient called allicin. This is the same agent which makes you tear up upon cutting into an onion. When onions are applied to the bruise, the allicin will stimulate the lymphatic flow. This will push away any excess blood as well as prevent blood pooling under the skin.
One medium sized onion of any type
Peel and slice the entire onion
Take a few slices and place on the bruise. The size of the bruise will determine how much onion will be needed.
Put the onions directly onto the bruised area.
Keep them in place with medical tape
Leave for at least 10 to 15 minutes
15. Combination of Toothpaste and Lotion
Toothpaste can be used in combination with unscented lotion to help heal swelling and discoloration fast. In addition, toothpaste will help to soothe any inflammation on the site of the bruise.
Using this remedy will show results within two days depending on the severity of the bruise.
Any brand of toothpaste
Combine the lotion and the toothpaste; you will need equal parts of each one.
Gently rub this mixture on your bruise just before going to bed
Use a bandage to cover up the bruise so you do not stain your bedding
After leaving on throughout the night, remove the bandage and wash the area with warm water
Repeat this treatment for two or three nights for fast acting results.
16. Mullein Flower Compress
A cool compress made from mullein flowers is a great home remedy that relieves bruises and irritations. Using this cold compress will reduce swelling and aid in the healing of the bruised area.
1 tablespoon of Mullein Flowers
1 Cup of hot water
Combine the mullein flowers with the boiled water
Let the flowers steep for about three minutes
Allow the tea to cool and then strain
Take your small cloth and let it soak in the cooled tea.
Wring out any excess water
Place the compress directly on the bruise
Use a piece of plastic wrap along with a few pieces of medical tape to keep the compress in place
Change the compress two times each day until the bruise has gone
17. Direct Application of Vanilla Extract
Concentrated Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Essential Oils
Apply a few drops of the concentrated vanilla extract or the essential oils directly onto the bruise
Repeat this several times per day until the bruise is gone.
Note: Do not use imitation vanilla extract.
18. Aloe Vera Rub
Using Aloe Vera is a popular home remedy to assist bruises. The Aloe Vera gel has natural enzymes that will hasten the healing process of bruising as well as small cuts or burns. The Aloe Vera gel will also seal the bruise which will prevent any bacteria getting inside.
Fresh Aloe Vera plant or bottled Aloe Vera
Break the Aloe Vera at the tip of the leaf to access the Aloe Vera gel
Alternatively, use bottled Aloe Vera
Place either the fresh or bottled Aloe Vera directly onto the bruise
Rub into the bruised area
Repeat this process several times per day until the bruise has faded.
19. Witch Hazel Compress
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that has been long used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The natural properties of witch hazel make it an excellent home remedy for bruising on the skin. Applying a few drops of witch hazel directly onto the bruise can also aid in fading of the discoloration as well as hasten the entire healing process.
Bottle or Tincture of Witch Hazel
Small cloth or cotton ball
Take a few drops of the Witch Hazel onto the small cloth or cotton ball
Place the cotton ball or small cloth directly onto the bruise.
Keep this in place for about three minutes
Repeat the process twice each day until you see that the bruise is healed.
20. Lavender Compress
The essential oils of lavender are commonly used to treat conditions of the skin. Lavender oil helps to soothe and clean cuts as well as bruises and other types of skin irritations. Lavender contains antiseptic and antibiotic properties that enable it to assist bruising by promoting the healing process as well as reducing scars.
Essential oil lavender
1 Cup of cold water
Combine the cold water with several drops of the lavender essential oil in the bowl
Soak the small cloth in the mixture for several minutes.
Remove the cloth and wring out any excess
Place the cold compress onto the bruise for ten minutes
Repeat this treatment twice per day until the bruising subsides.
21. Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Ultraviolet light from the sun will enable your body to break down the bilirubin in the bruise. Bilirubin is what causes the yellow discoloration of a bruise. Bilirubin is caused by a hemoglobin breakdown.
To help heal your discolored bruises you should expose the bruised area to direct
Access to direct Sunlight
Let the bruised area sit in the direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes.
This should allow for enough time for the ultraviolet light to access the bruised area without getting sunburn.
A gentle massage on the edges just outside the bruised area will stimulate what is known as a lymphatic system. This will initiate the healing of the bruise by breaking it down. This will also prevent the risk of infection as well as speed the healing process. A massage will also act as a natural pain reliever and can stimulate the blood flow within the damaged area.
Optional use of lotion or massage oil to make the massage flow easier
Apply a small amount of the lotion or massage oil to your hands and rub in
Gentle massage the affected area for 10-15 minutes
Note: Be careful to avoid massaging your bruise in
23. Consuming Vitamin K
If you begin to notice that you are frequently bruising, this can be a signifying problem with the way your body handles blood clotting. If you have a severe Vitamin K deficiency, this may cause you to experience symptoms such as bruising easily. Increasing your daily consumption of vitamin K by eating greens will not only be an easy home remedy, but it is also noted to be the best.
Other varieties of vegetables that are leafy and green
Prepare the vegetables by steaming or simply consume raw
Add these greens to your daily diet
Try to consume at least two cups of the greens each day.
Note: If the bruises are caused by something else besides a Vitamin K deficiency, supplementing your diet with more Vitamin K will not help.
24. Comfrey Leaf Compress
Comfrey leaves are an age old home remedy that are used for bruises, sprains, and wounds. The best way to use the comfrey leaves is to make a tea, followed by a cold compress. At first you will use a cold comfrey leaf compress. After a few
1 tablespoon dried comfrey leaf herb
1 ¼ cup of simmered water
Combine the Comfrey herb in the bowl with the hot water
Allow to steep at least 15 minutes
Allow to cool if you are using it for a cold compress
Apply to the bruise and hold in place for 10-15 minutes
Repeat this process twice a day, each day until the bruise is gone.
25. Egg Rolling
Boiled eggs placed onto the bruise will help to reduce the swelling and aid in healing the bruise.
Pot with boiling water
Add the egg to the boiled water
Allow to fully cook the egg
Remove after about 5 minutes and let cool
Break the shell and peel the egg
Take the boiled egg and roll across the bruise for several minutes.
Repeat this once per day until the bruise has faded.
26. Consuming Garlic
Garlic is known for containing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming raw garlic will help to heal your bruise fast as well as reduce swelling and discoloration.
Two peeled cloves of fresh, raw, garlic
Eat the cloves of garlic once per day
Continue with this regiment until your bruising has subsided.
27. Lard Rub
Using lard will help prevent the bruise from getting darker or developing more discoloration.
1 tablespoon of lard
½ tablespoon of salt
Combine the lard and salt in the bowl and mix well
Apply this mixture to the bruise and rub in gently
Cover with a bandage
Follow this treatment twice per day until the bruising is no longer present.
28. Essential Oils Massage
As mentioned earlier, massage can help to aid the healing process. Combining massage with essential oils will double the healing
The essential oils will help to reduce pain and swelling. Many essential oils can be found at holistic or health food stores.
Geranium: 30 drops
Lavender: 15 drops
Cypress: 10 drops
Lemon grass: 10 drops
Helichrysum: 5 drops
Frankincense: 5 drops
Fennel, Myrrh, Rosemary: 5 drops each
Combine all of these essential oils in a bowl and mix well.
Apply directly to the affected area and massage gently.
Store in an airtight container.
This treatment can be used multiple times per day throughout the duration of the bruise.
29. Direct Application of Butter
Appling butter or margarine directly to the bruise will reduce swelling and inflammation.
One teaspoon of cold butter or margarine
Apply the butter or margarine directly onto to bruise.
Gently rub into the bruised area
Apply a bandage
Follow this regime twice per day until the bruise has faded.
30. Direct Application of Lemon
Lemon juice will aid in the healing of the discoloration of the bruise as well as provide high amounts of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C is required at the time of wound healing for thickening of the blood vessels and treating internal hemorrhaging.
One fresh lemon
Slice the lemon into wedges
Place one of the lemon wedges directly onto the bruised area
Leave the lemon wedge in place for several minutes
Repeat this treatment several times per day until the bruise has completely healed.
Regardless of the severity of your bruise, using any of the above home remedies for bruises will be sure to assist in