Also published in the Old Farmers Almanac Health Journal
We have all had a bruise at one time or another, and all too often it is at the most inconvenient time. Here are 10 home remedies to help you reduce the appearance of a bruise.
A bruise is caused when the tiny blood vessels under the skin are damaged or broken as a result of trauma. This trauma can be anything from bumping into the coffee table, getting hit with something forceful, or falling. Sometimes you might not even remember what caused it.
Remember these 10 home remedies next time you have a bruise.
Arnica can help reduce the pain of a bruise. At least two times a day, apply an arnica based topical lotion to the affected area until the bruise clears up. It can be handy to have an arnica product in the medicine cabinet so you can apply it right after an injury occurs, even before the bruise is noticeable.
Cabbage leaves possess vitamins as well as phytonutrients. Phytonutrients possess anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling. Cabbage also contains vitamin K and vitamin C, both of which are anti-bruising agents.
To use cabbage leaves to treat bruises, begin by cutting the hard stem out of the cabbage leaves. Next, soak the leaves in hot water to soften them. Once they have softened, use a rolling pin to knead the leaves into a paste. Apply the crushed cabbage leaves to the bruise and secure with gauze. Leave the cabbage on the bruise for 30 minutes.
Castor oil promotes lymph flow, boosts white blood cell production, and soothes the area. Plus, it can help minimize discoloration. To use for bruising, apply castor oil to a cotton pad or ball, place it on the bruise, and then wrap it with gauze. Allow it to sit at least 15 minutes, or until the pain subsides.
Both green and black tea bags contain tannins, which help to constrict blood vessels when applied to the skin. This constriction stops blood from flowing to the bruises and helps get rid of the discoloration that accompanies a bruise. Tea also contains bioflavonoids, which may help to reduce swelling and pain.
To use a tea bag, soak the tea bags in warm water for 3 minutes, then place on the affected area, and leave it on the bruise for several minutes. Repeat the application several times a day.
For generations, witch hazel has been used as a natural treatment for skin problems. It contains natural astringent properties which make it an excellent remedy for bruises. To apply, soak a thin cloth in witch hazel and apply it to the bruise for a few minutes at least twice a day. Repeat this process every day until the bruising disappears.
As long as the skin has not been cut, onion can help reduce bruises. They contain a compound called, Alicen, which can help to stimulate lymphatic flow and prevent excess blood from collecting below the skin. Here are 2 ways to use onions for your bruise.
Parsley may help bruises fade quickly because it contains high amounts of vitamin K. Fresh parsley is the most effective for bruises. Simply crush the parsley leaves, spread the crushed leaves over your bruise, and secure them with a bandage.
St John's Wort contains large amounts of tannins, which are astringents that can help with capillary bleeding. These properties can help to reduce the discoloration and the healing time. Apply St. John's Wort Oil to your bruise several times a day until the bruising has cleared up.
Ultraviolet rays are known to break down bilirubin, a byproduct of hemoglobin breakdown that causes bruises to turn a yellowish color as it fades. Exposing the bruise to sunlight for 10-15 minutes can help accelerate the breakdown of bilirubin.
Vinegar is known to increase blood flow near the skin's surface. This helps to dissipate the blood that has pooled in the bruised area. Simply mix vinegar with warm water and soak a thin cloth in the mixture. Apply the thin cloth to the bruised area for a few minutes several times a day.
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