It’s holiday time again and trips to the park often result in falls and bruises. Hydrosols, vegetable and essential oils from your aromatherapy collection can be used in your home as part of your natural first aid kit…
This article is for the daily bumps and bruises we get in everyday life so if you bruise often, please speak with your medical advisor and nutritionist.
Bruises occur where tissue is injured and blood leaks from the damaged capillaries and pools beneath the skin resulting in discolouration, pain and swelling. They are most often caused by falls or blows by hard objects which injure the tissue. Factors that predispose one to bruising are weak capillaries, low blood platelets, anaemia, obesity, nutrient deficiency, leukaemia or excessive use of anti clotting drugs. One should immediately apply a cold compress or cold water to the area. Those who are prepared, reach for their arnica and lavender.
Essential oils for bruises
Aromatherapy oils such as helichrysum, fennel, hyssop, rosemary or spike lavender are effective if applied to the skin as soon as possible after bruising has occurred preferably in an ice cold compress. In the event of severe bruising for instance from an accident, choose oils that stimulate the spleen such as black pepper, chamomile and lavender.
Other essential oils to consider are: cajeput, caraway, geranium, melissa, parsley, rosemary and tea tree. These can be applied in a massage blend AROUND the bruise, not over it to improve circulation and drainage of the blood away from the area.
Herbal remedy for bruises
Consider these macerated/herbal oils: If the skin is unbroken, the classic arnica oil can be applied neat on the bruises; If the skin is grazed, choose calendula to soothe and heal; Comfrey can be applied daily; St Johns Wort has useful pain relieving properties.
Of course you may find it easier to use a ready-made calendula or jojoba cream (eg Proposal in Paris) and add in some drops of arnica oil to it to apply over your bruise. Apply one pump to your palm, add a few drops of arnica, mix with a clean finger then pat over your bruise. You could decant a small amount into a portable container and keep a bruise remedy handy in the car or kitchen.
Kurt Schnaubelt recommends using a mixture of helichrysum with Calophyllum and applying this 4-6 times daily. I use both Calophyllum and helichrysum in Empress Elixir
A cooling skin spray or compress can be made with helichrysum, chamomile, lavender, and witch hazel hydrosols.
A fresh comfrey compress can be made using either dried of fresh comfrey leaves and a piece of cotton gauze or muslin, or even a thin cotton sock. You will need to make an infusion as follows: Place the dried or fresh leaves into a bowl. Pour over a cupful of hot water and soak for 5-10 minutes. Do not boil! Remove the leaves and place them between the gauze or inside the sock. Dip this into the remaining infusion and squeeze slightly. Place this on top of your bruise and tape to the skin. You can leave this overnight. Do not apply comfrey direct to the skin without the gauze layer as it is prickly and could irritate the skin.
Vitamins for bruises
I have found that when I am low in vitamin C, I bruise easier. So you might want to stock up on some Vitamin C tablets – always useful for cold and flu season anyway so you won’t be wasting your money.
Skin needs vitamin C for healthy collagen. Some of the vitamin books I use as reference say that you can take between 3000 – 10 000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids taken in divided doses during the day .
You can also try adding herbs such as parsley to your meals, and eat dark green leafy vegetables like kale several times a week. Look for fruits rich in vitamin C (citrus, strawberries, kiwi fruits etc). Avoid aspirin.
And a super handy tip is to apply Glow Skincare’s Vitamin C serum directly to your bruises. The serum is used to protect collagen and brighten your complexion, but doubles up nicely to help with bruises.
When you reach perimenopause and menopause, you may notice you bruise easier – it may be due to a lack of Vitamin C. Order my No Nonsense booklet for lots more practical tips relating to menopause.
Homeopathy for bruises
Safe self help homeopathic remedies include Arnica 30c which you should keep handy in your purse, car and home, Calendula 30c, Ledum 30c if the injury feels cool to the touch and is black and blue and caused by a blow form an object; Hypericum 30c if the bruise feels warm and sensitive
Other questions about bruises to consider:
Are there any root causes to deal with? Who or what is getting under your skin or making your blood boil? If you can answer those questions, my recommended essential oils that help on the spiritual/emotional level are: Helichrysum for when we feel resentful and irritated. And Lavender assists in reducing stress. Another option to consider are the uber gentle Bach Flower remedies – they work well in conjunction with aromatherapy and other natural remedies in addressing the emotional aspect. Visit my handy list of Bach Flower remedies to pick the ones you need. You can use Bach remedies on children and pets too!
Remember, if you bruise frequently, seek medical advice.
I hope you found something useful here. If you’d like more PRACTICAL tips on looking after yourself and your family, then sign up for my wellness tips newsletter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe whenever you get the Marie Kondo spring clean urge, lol.
Doctor Mum’s Quick Reference Guide to Natural Healthcare at Home by Kathy Duerr.
Hydrosols The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia
Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt
Course Notes ITHMA, London 2003 (where I studied for my Aromatherapy Diploma)