Home remedies for bruises, such as aloe vera gel, arnica ointment or witch hazel dressing, for example, have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, healing and anticoagulant action. These help to relieve pain and discomfort from the the bruise and also stimulate blood circulation in the skin to help visibly reduce it.
These home remedies should only be used on the skin and should not be ingested. It is important to perform a skin test by rubbing a little of the home remedy on the back of your hand to find out if you are allergic. If the skin becomes red or irritated, using the home remedy is not recommended.Also recommended: Bruising Easily: 8 Causes, What to Do & Bruising in Babies
Home remedies are a great natural option for bruises, and although they should not replace medical treatment. They can be used instead to complement medical treatment and to relieve symptoms more quickly. Check out other tips for getting rid of bruises.
Top home remedies
Some home remedy options for bruises include:
1. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is a medicinal plant that contains substances such as aloin and aloesin. These have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, healing and moisturizing properties for the skin, which also help to lighten the bruise.
Learn more about the health benefits of aloe vera.
- 2 aloe leaves.
Wash the aloe leaves, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the gel from the leaf, placing it in a clean, dry container. Then, moisten a clean towel or gauze with the gel and apply it to the bruised areas of the skin about 3 times a day. Massage it into the skin with gentle, circular movements.
When preparing this home remedy, it is important not to use the stalk or other innards of the aloe leaf, which have toxic effects. Be sure only to use the transparent gel inside the leaf.
2. Arnica ointment
Arnica ointment is a great home remedy for bruises caused by trauma or direct blows. It is rich in lactones, helenalin and hexuronic acid, which contain anticoagulant, analgesic, healing and anti-inflammatory action. This helps to reduce the darkening of the skin, as well as pain at the site of the injury.
- 5 g of beeswax
- 45 mL of olive oil or sweet almond oil
- 4 tablespoons of chopped dried arnica leaves and flowers
Place the ingredients in a pot over a bain-marie and let it boil over low heat for a few minutes. Then, remove from heat and leave the ingredients in the bowl for a few hours to release its active substances. After it has cooled, strain and store the liquid part in a clean, dry glass container with a lid.
Keep this container in a dry, dark and ventilated place. This ointment is safe for use for up to 1 year and can be applied to the skin 2 to 3 times a day.
Arnica should not be used by people allergic to this plant, nor by people with with liver disease, children under 12 years of age, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. Furthermore, it should also not be used on skin with open or bleeding wounds, or on the eyes. It should never be ingested due to its toxic effects.
3. Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense has strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which help to relieve pain and discomfort of bruises. It helps to heal the bruise more quickly, and can therefore be a great home remedy for skin bruises.
- 1 to 3 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 5 mL of coconut oil
Mix the ingredients and apply to the bruised skin, once a day, massaging it into the skin gently. Wash your hands afterwards and avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
Frankincense essential oil should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. This essential oil should also not be ingested orally, nor used on mucous membranes, such as eyes, inside the nostrils, ears or in the intimate area.
4. Witch hazel dressing
Witch hazel dressings has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, which can help relieve pain from bruises caused by blows or direct trauma, and also help to speed-up recovery.
- 2 to 4 teaspoons of witch hazel bark or 2 to 6 tablespoons of witch hazel leaves
- 250 mL of water
Place the witch hazel leaves or bark and the water in a pot and boil. Then remove from heat, let it infuse for about 15 minutes, strain and wait for it to cool. Apply the soaked leaves directly on the bruised skin, with the help of gauze or a cotton ball, 2 to 3 times a day.
Another way to use witch hazel is as an ointment, applied to the bruise. Witch hazel should not be used by. pregnant or breastfeeding women.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid in its composition, which can help to lighten bruised skin. It promotes optimal blood circulation in the area, making it a great home remedy for bruises.
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar;
- 1 glass of water.
Add apple cider vinegar to the glass of water and stir. Soak a cotton ball or gauze in this solution and apply to the bruised skin , gently massaging the skin for about 2 to 3 minutes. You can do this up to 2 times a day. Be sure to then rinse the skin with water and pat dry.
Apple cider vinegar can be made at home with natural ingredients or purchased in supermarkets.
6. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil contains antioxidant properties that can reduce skin damage and improve the appearance of bruises on the skin. It also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that reduce pain and discomfort from bruising.
- 1 to 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of mineral, sweet almond or coconut oil
Mix the rosemary essential oil with the other oil until completely combined. Wash the bruised skin to be treated with water and neutral soap, then dry with a clean towel.
Apply a small amount of this mixture to the bruised skin, massaging gently with circular movements. Be sure to wipe off excess oil with a cloth dampened with warm water.
Rosemary essential oil should not be ingested or used by children, or pregnant or breastfeeding women. Furthermore, it should not be used in any areas close to the eyes or ears, nor on sensitive areas of the skin.
7. Elderberry bath
An elderberry bath, made with the medicinal plant Sambucus nigra, is a great option for treating bruises at home. It can help to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. Learn more about the health benefits of elderberry and how it can be used.
- 80 g of elderberry leaves
- 1 liter of water
Place the ingredients in a pot to boil for about 5 minutes. Then let it cool, strain and soak the bruised areas in this bath, twice a day.
Elderberry should not be used by children, or pregnant or breastfeeding women. Furthermore, it should not be ingested orally, as it can cause poisoning, due to the presence of lectin and cyanide in its composition.