Whole Living Daily

Natural Cures for Summer Badge of Honor: Bruises

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I have a dear friend who says that the more bruises kids have on their legs, the more fun they’ve had. I have to say that I agree, once we’re past the tears that are inevitably part of the bruise-making experience. I always give our daughter Clara the homeopathic remedy arnica if she’s fallen or bruised herself. And so after a particularly bad fall, which resulted in a bruise that was taking forever to go away, I saw some arnica oil at the store and picked it up, figuring we could give her a massage and tackle the bruise at the same time. Then when I started to do a little digging, I found that arnica oil can actually increase inflammation because it causes more blood to flow to the affected area. So I started doing some more “it takes a village” research, asking friends and searching the good old Internet, and found an unexpected range of bruise remedies. I think they’ll make for interesting reading, if not cocktail party conversation--and who knows, maybe they even work!

  • Our friend in England says she and her friends use witch hazel on cotton and apply it to the bumps.
  • Our Aussie neighbor uses an ice pack for 10 minutes and then a combo of vinegar and warm water, which apparently speeds up the healing process, as vinegar increases the circulation near the surface of the skin and helps clear away the pooled blood.
  • Another friend swears by this: Keep a steel spoon in the fridge. The skin goes numb when you apply it, and it removes blood clots.
  • My local health food store confidante likes this remedy: Refrigerate moistened tea bags and apply them to the bruise.

From a site that has a great list of home remedies:

  • Crushed parsley leaves to remove the black and blue.
  • Use a raw onion if there is no broken skin.
  • Apply mullein oil to the bruise.
  • Take an uncooked egg and rub it on the bruise in a circular motion to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Make a compress out of cabbage leaves.
  • The Chinese use one part cayenne to five parts Vaseline, one time a day.

The only one we’ve tried has been the ice pack and vinegar Aussie combo, and it seemed to work pretty well. Next up we’ll try the crushed parsley, primarily because we have too much of it in the garden, and my daughter will take any opportunity she can to make a ‘concoction’.

If you have any favorite remedies, I’d love to hear what works for you.

Yolanda Edwards has worked at Elle, W, and Conde Nast Traveler, and was the founding travel and lifestyle editor of Cookie. Today she is a consultant and author of the family travel blog Travels With Clara.

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Comments (2)

  • We are not a big fan of arnica because our parents who are in their sixties with heart and blood pressure problems can't use it for similar reasons you posted above. We do like Bruise Relief and it works on our sons Ross (6) and Jack (4). And they abide by the badge of honor, constantly... There are two products, and some stores in Marietta,GA, sell both or just the gel. I know both are avail online at bruiserelief.com.

  • I have had some luck with tea bag remedies for bruises, as noted in the article. However, what I have found to be most effective, is the use of tea tree oil. Massaging the oil gently into the skin helps to speed the healing. I hope this proves successful for others as well. Dr. KGH

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