How to Heal a Bruise Naturally

Updated on December 27, 2017
ChristinS profile image

Christin is a natural health and wellness advocate with 20 years' of experience studying and working in the health and supplement industry.

natural and safe home and herbal remedies to treat bruises and make them fade faster.
natural and safe home and herbal remedies to treat bruises and make them fade faster. | Source

Bruises never seem to pick a good time to show up. If you're like me, you come from a long line of people who “bruise easily." As a child, I remember my mom's legs always being covered in bruises. She was always a bit self-conscious about wearing shorts and skirts in the summertime. Her bruises were caused by anemia, but there are a lot of reasons this happens. Frequent bruising is more common in women than men.

Bruising is a result of injury to tissues beneath the skin. The small capillaries rupture, and blood runs out and pools causing discoloration as it seeps through the skin's layers. Body parts can become bruised by simply hitting a hard object, or they may be the result of more serious injuries, blood clotting disorders, or even side effects of poor diet, anemia, and medications. There are many situations that cause bruising. Many are minor, but some may point to serious underlying health concerns.

What Causes Bruising?

  • People who are malnourished or don't get enough vital nutrients through their diet are more prone to bruising. Vitamin C deficiency and anemia (low iron in the blood) are common culprits. Other deficiencies that can lead to bruising are vitamin B12, K, and folic acid.

  • Blood clotting disorders can thin the walls of blood vessels making them very delicate and susceptible to rupture, leading to frequent bruising.

  • Heavy smoking damages the blood vessels and may also lead to frequent and easy bruising.

  • Bruising is often a symptom of more serious underlying health conditions including AIDS, cancer, lupus, and kidney or liver disorders. If you are bruising easily and frequently for no known reason, it may be time to seek medical attention.

  • Medication side effects from aspirin and blood thinners cause easy bruising.

  • Age. Both older people and small children tend to bruise easily because they have less fat beneath the skin to act as padding.

Herbal Remedies for Bruises

There are several herbs that are beneficial for the treatment of frequent bruising. Some can be taken in supplement form and others can be used to create poultices, ointments, or soaks.

  • Alfalfa supplies vital nutrients needed for healing. It can be eaten or taken in supplement form.

  • Arnica can be found in ointment form and applied topically. Arnica reduces inflammation and swelling. Rub arnica ointment onto the bruise directly twice a day. Do not ingest Arnica.

  • Cayenne pepper can be made into a healing salve by mixing 1 part powdered cayenne pepper to 5 parts healing oil like coconut oil. Vaseline can be used, but I am leery of using petroleum-derived products on the skin. I prefer natural. Apply the ointment every other day. Coconut oil is also excellent for skin health.

  • Dandelion is a great source of iron. The plants (leaves and roots) can be eaten, made into teas, or you can purchase dandelion in supplement form. This is good for bruises due to anemia or low blood iron.

  • Oil of oregano can be applied topically.

  • Fresh parsley leaves crushed and applied directly are said to ease discoloration and make the bruise go fade more quickly.


Create a flexible ice bag by adding one part rubbing alcohol to two parts water to a freezer bag. The alcohol prevents the water from freezing fully.

Home Remedies for Bruising

Try the following home remedies to help speed healing or prevent bruising.

  • Apply ice immediately after an injury to minimize bruising.
  • Soak a sterile cotton ball with witch hazel and apply to the affected area to stop swelling
  • White vinegar and water rubbed over the affected area will increase blood flow near the skin's surface and may help the pooled blood reabsorb or disperse more quickly.
  • Reduce discoloration by applying shredded raw potato directly to the injury or bruise for 1 hour.
  • Eat an abundance of vitamin C and K rich foods including dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, and fresh fruits.
  • Don't take aspirin or ibuprofen for the pain. They thin the blood and may make the discoloration more prominent.
  • Eat a diet abundant in raw foods. The phytonutrients in raw, fresh produce, fruit, nuts, and seeds can reduce frequent bruising and will improve your overall health. Raw foods provide the highest nutritional value.

When Bruising Is More Serious

There are several ways to heal bruises and minimize their appearance. It is important to note that bruises that don't heal within a week may be a sign of a more serious condition and should be checked by a doctor. Also, if you have multiple bruises appear suddenly and you are not prone to easy bruising, it could point to a more serious condition. Never ignore bruising, and pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Christin Sander


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      • ChristinS profile image

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Interesting remedy peach thanks for sharing :)

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        Normally i use hard boiled egg , wrap in a hanky and rub hard on the bruise, mommy old fashion method

      • ChristinS profile image

        Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you fivesenses

      • fivesenses profile image

        Leena 4 years ago from new delhi

        The home remedies are great for handling bruises....nice tips.

      • LoisRyan13903 profile image

        Lois Ryan 4 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

        Great Hub my husband is diabetic and briuses easily. He uses Arnica Gel. We will have to try the potato and parsley. He does eat a lot of salad and fruits.

      • CarlySullens profile image

        CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

        Very interesting hub. I too never thought you can heal your bruise quickly. I just thought once it is there you have deal with it.

      • ChristinS profile image

        Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

        Hi Angela,

        I've bruised easily throughout my life and my mother does too. We were both prone to bouts of anemia. As she's gotten older her bruises are definitely more pronounced, but they heal quickly and that's the biggest concern. If it gets to a point the bruises don't heal within a week, that's when you need to really be concerned that a more serious health condition could be lurking. Otherwise, some of us just seem to be prone to it :). Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Angela Blair profile image

        Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

        Great read and super info -- I've found that I bruise more easily as I age and my friends tell me they have the same experience. I'm sure that's true as ageing skin gets thinner and more prone to "accidents." Best/Sis

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

        Great article. I am one who bruises easily. I appreciate your helpful tips. Thank you...

      • Barbara Kay profile image

        Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

        The photo is a nasty bruise. Good article, I voted up and useful. I hope I don't have to use this information though.

      • Learning in Life profile image

        Megan Sisko 5 years ago from SW Florida

        I never would have thought to try to heal my bruises faster. I grew up thinking of them as badges of honor. lol Great hub.

      • ChristinS profile image

        Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Gordon, glad you found the hub informative :)

      • Gordon Hamilton profile image

        Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, Christin. I had no idea there were so many causes of nor suggested cures for bruising. The ice pack and witch hazel ones are the only ones I remember, from when I used to play sports (many years ago). I also didn't know that smoking could be a cause for bruising - yet another reason to quit... It's also more than worth noting that bruising can be a symptom of something more serious. Very worthwhile information and enjoyed the read.