by Gillie Whitewolf
tendency to bruise can be related to the blood's
ability to clot, or may suggest that small blood
vessels are thin and easily damaged. People who
have a tendency to bruise easily may have a kidney
disorder and should seek professional medical diagnosis
and treatment. On a lighter note the majority of
bruises are more than likely a result of a Mr Bump
kind of day, and is simply a healthy body walking
into the million and one objects which seem to litter
modern-day life. If you're prone to the occasional
bumped elbow, stubbed toe or bruised shin you might
want to read on and discover how plants can help
kiss that black and blue feeling away.
first thing to reach for when treating a potential
bruise is the ice pack or a cold cloth compress,
which will soothe the pain and reduce swelling quite
rapidly. Ice cold Witch-Hazel is another favourite for that immediate relief,
swab it on liberally or soak a cloth in Witch-Hazel
and use as a compress.
Lavender has pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties,
it also stimulates the spleen - useful for treating
bruises resulting from an accident. If you have
some to hand add a few drops of Lavender essential
oil to ice cold water, soak a cloth in the water
and use as a cooling compress. Other useful essential
oils include Chamomile and Black Pepper.
Both of these oils are good for treating severe
bruising, or bruises resulting from an accident
- Black Pepper should only be used well diluted,
and with care, as over-use can damage the kidneys.
Rosemary oil is most
useful in the latter stages of a bruise [once the
bruise has turned a green or yellowish colour],
helping to disperse the bruising by stimulating
local circulation, draining away the old blood that
was released into the surrounding tissues by the
"Arnica montana" has been widely
used in folk medicine, and is probably best known
as an ointment for bruises and sprains. Arnica has
anti-inflammatory properties, improves local blood
supply and accelerates healing.
infusion of Comfrey can
be cooled and used a compress, resoaking and applying
the cloth as it warms up. I personally find this one of the most effective remedies. As
well as having an anti-inflammatory action Comfrey
contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that helps
repair damaged tissue. Infused oil of Comfrey is
highly effective in treating sprains and reducing
bruising, as is Comfrey Ointment. Comfrey
should not be used on dirty wounds, nor should it
be used during pregnancy or if breast-feeding.
Catnip can be used in
a similar way to Comfrey - as an ointment, compress
or poultice for bruises and minor wounds. Culpeper
noted that "the juice drunk in wine is good
for bruises." Infused Mullein oil is another useful oil for bruises and inflammations.
long-held folk remedy status of Turmeric "Curcuma
longa" has now been supported by clinical trials.
Turmeric has been shown to have a 'cortisone-like'
action, and studies have suggested that the plant
extracts are possibly more effective than many of
the orthodox drugs used to treat arthritis, and
without the side-effects. In India Turmeric is mixed
with honey and used as an external remedy for sprains,
bruises and arthritic pains.
rather curious folk remedy for bruises is to rub
the affected area with a thick slice of Raw Onion
- which reduces the swelling and soothes the pain.
The humble Onion boasts a long list of medicinal
actions, being antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic,
expectorant, antirheumatic, diuretic, and beneficial
to the circulation. It even has a long-standing
reputation as an aphrodisiac!
A traditional country remedy was to treat the bruised
area with ointments or creams made from Daisies
or Elder leaves.
Herb Robert "Geranium robertianum"
is another traditional remedy for bruises - the
fresh leaves being pounded to make a poultice.
who have a tendency to bruise easily, often
with no obvious external cause, should seek professional
medical diagnosis and treatment.
The herbal remedies mentioned in this article are
not intended to replace professional advice. Any
medication you are on should also be taken into
consideration - always check with your healthcare
professional if you are on prescription drugs before
taking herbal remedies.