What are BRUISES | Soothing Lotions and Poultices for BRUISES | Herbal Remedy for BRUISES
When we were children and had bruised ourselves the first thing that any well-meaning adult would do was to thrust the injured limb under cold water ‘to bring out the bruise’. I am sure that this was intended to create such exquisite agony that we forgot the original injury. Icy cold water does have the effect of immediately, if temporarily, freezing the affected area and of relieving tension, pain and shock. It also reduces the swelling. However, a kinder method of treating bruising is to stimulate the circulation and prevent further discoloration.
Warm poultices also stimulate the circulation whilst they heal and soothe and are most frequently used on those horrendously painful bony parts of the body such as the shin which would, at one time, have been rubbed with a penny or wrapped in oak leaves.
Another part of the body which is particularly vulnerable to bruising is the eye and anyone who has sported a spectacularly disastrous black eye will know that the remedies suggested vary from the awful application of extract of lead, which is not to be recommended, to the laying on of expensive raw steaks, slices of cucumber and ice bags.
People who bruise easily or excessively are often found to be deficient in vitamin C or to suffer from poor circulation in which case a change of diet might be advisable. Blows or bruising to the head may cause concussion.
Tincture of arnica: A few drops of tincture in a bowl of cold water is extremely effective. However, care should be taken as it can cause a rash on sensitive skin. Arnica must not be used undiluted or on broken skin.
Witch hazel: Cool and sweet smelling, this is a great favourite with children and can be used undiluted but as it is astringent it can cause a mild rash on sensitive skins.
Thyme or lavender vinegar: Both of these herbs are antiseptic and vinegar helps bruising to fade quickly.
Comfrey tea: Used either warm or cold on a compress comfrey has a great reputation as a healer of external injuries and is gentle enough to use on the eye.
Hyssop infusion: Known to be very beneficial in the healing of black eyes, both fresh juice and the infusion of hyssop will reduce bruising quickly.
Onion juice: Half an onion rubbed on a bruised area is quick, cheap, effective – and antisocial.
Soothing Lotions and Poultices for BRUISES
Marjoram and honey: Four springs of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram, pounded with a little vinegar then mixed to a thick paste with honey is an easy poultice to use on bruising and one that children will love.
Parsley butter: This cook’s remedy is surprisingly effective.
Comfrey, feverfew or hyssop: A standard poultice made with 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 300ml(½ pint) of boiling water applied warm to the affected area and bandaged, if possible, heals bruising and eases pain. The fresh crushed leaves of any one of these magical herbs can be used with equally good results.
Marigold heads: A standard poultice made with dried marigold petals and applied warm between two layers of gauze is a soothing poultice for black eyes.
Oatmeal or oats: Mixed to a thick paste with boiling water, this is a stable boy’s remedy for bruised shins. Apply on a cloth and bandage in place.
Lavender, hyssop or marjoram oils: Use 2 drops of the essential oil of any one of these antiseptic and healing oils to 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and rub gently into the painful area.
Vitamin E oil: A little of this oil rubbed into a bruise will help it clear quickly.
Marigold oil: Gentle and unperfumed marigold oil rapidly dissipates bruises and blemishes on the face and around the eyes.