A bruise is an injury to the skin that does not have a break in the skin or bleed. It usually results in discolouration because there is capillary damage and clotted blood is below the skin’s surface. Bruises are very common and are not normally dangerous. Sometimes bruises can be serious, leading to other more life threatening forms of hematoma, or can be associated with serious injuries, including fractures and internal bleeding.
Bruise Harm Score
Bruises can be scored on a scale from 0-5 to determine the severity of the injury.
0 - Light bruise - No damage
1 - Less than Moderate bruise - Little damage
2 - Moderate bruise - Some damage
3 - Serious bruise - Dangerous
4 - Extremely serious bruise - Dangerous
5 - Critical bruise - Risk of death
Bruises may be seen in patients with platelet or coagulation disorders. Unexplained bruising can be a warning sign of serious medical problems such as leukemia and meningoccocal infection, internal bleeding or certain types of cancer. Bruising found around the belly button accompanied by severe abdominal pain can indicate acute pancreatitis.
For non-serious bruises, there are a few things that can help to ease the discomfort and appearance of bruises.
Compresses can be applied to the area to aid pain as well as the healing process of the bruise. Compresses of Daisy, Marigold, Witch Hazel, Arnica or Yarrow are wonderful for bruising. Arnica is the most effective producing great improvement quickly.
Compress Preparation : make an infusion of the indicated herb. 1 tsp. dry herb or 3 tsps. fresh herb per cup of water. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the herb. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Soak a cloth in the tea and apply to the affected area.
These could also be used in the form of a lotion or ointment.
Vitamin C should be increased. This is best done with herbs and foods. Bee Pollen is a superfood and contains many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C.
Foods high in Vitamin C include: Oranges, broccoli, tomato, papaya, mango, red, orange and yellow peppers, potatoes and kiwi.
Herbs high in Vitamin C include: Rosehips, Raspberry, Burdock root, Catnip, Chickweed, Damiana, Horsetail, Nettle, Oregon Grape root, and Red Clover.
Herbs such as Horsechestnut and Yarrow are good to strengthen the blood vessel walls which can help to heal bruises.
A cool compress with a few drops of Calendula, Cypress, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram or Peppermint diluted with a tbsp. of carrier oil can be placed on the affected area.
Camphor and Clary Sage are warming and increase circulation; Geranium, Calendula and Marjoram are cooling; Lavender and Cypress have anti-inflammatory properties. These are all good choices for bruises.
The most commonly used Homeopathic remedy for bruises is Arnica. This is a remedy everyone should have on hand for injuries. Injuries from falls, blows, contusions, etc., can benefit from the use of Arnica. The limbs and body ache as if they have been beaten. Joints feel as they have been sprained. It is used for injuries with bruising as well as those that feel bruised. Arnica 6C or 30C can be used for bruising as needed. Arnica ointment or cream that is prepared Homeopathically is also great to apply to bruises.
Another remedy that is wonderful for bruising is Hamamelis. This remedy is used for bruised soreness of the affected part. It acts on the coats of the veins, aiding them to relax. Muscles and joints feel sore. Skin is bluish and sore. Hamamelis 6C or 30C can be used for bruising.
- Rubbing sugar vigorously around and in the bruise can reduce the marking of the bruise area.
- Applying banana skin on the bruise can help heal the bruise as well as reduce pain.
- Barbara Clost, Aromatherapy: The A-Z Guide to Healing with Essential Oils The Essential Healing Arts Series, Dell (December 1, 1997).
- Gerard Pacaud, Encyclopedia of Homeopathy, Hachette Illustrated UK (September 2003).
Jennifer Pottruff B.Ht, B.Sh, RH, HD
Doctor of Natural and Homeopathic Medicine, Registered Herbalist
Jennifer has graduated with a diploma as a Pharmaceutical Assistant and gained Certification as a Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (USA). She completed a Bachelor Degree in Holistic Therapies and a Bachelor Degree in Spiritual Healing.
She graduated from a 3 year, 2300 hour Master Herbalist (MH) program (Heart of Herbs School) which included extensive Clinical work and a 3 year 2400 hour program, The Art and Science of Herbalism with Rosemary Gladstar.
She is a graduate of the 4 year, 4200 hour Homeopathic Practitioner (DI Hom) program, also requiring extensive Clinical work, with the British Institute of Homeopathy (one of the largest and most respected centers for homeopathy), as well graduated from a Nutritional Sciences program.
She is a Doctor of Homeopathic Medicine (HD(RHom)) (NUPATH), a Registered Herbalist (RH) (OHA), a Clinical Nutritionist, and Reiki Practitioner.
She has also completed a course in Ear Candling. She is currently completing a Traditional Naturopathic Doctorate with Avicenna Institute of Natural Healing.
In private practice, she is able to provide a holistic health plan to help others achieve their optimum health. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her 3 beautiful little girls and Celtic dancing.