At some point in our lives we’ve all experienced a nasty bruise and if you happen to have one now, these home remedies for bruises will help your body repair the damaged cells quickly and effectively. Bruises, no matter if they are minor or serious, can be uncomfortable and take several days or even weeks to heal. However, using home remedies for bruises will help to relieve you of the pain associated with the bruising as well as aid in healing the damaged area.


Typically, bruises or ‘contusions’ are caused from trauma to the area. Trauma can be caused by bumping into something, when something bumps into you, or a cut in the area. Once your body has experienced trauma, the injured cells will causes the capillaries or the small blood vessels, to burst. The bursting will cause blood to become trapped just underneath the surface of the skin. This is the cause of a bruise.

The severity of the bruising will depend on the force of the impact and the individual’s immune system. Bruising can occur at any age and on any region of the body. Some bruises will show up unnoticed and will be accompanied by little or no pain. It is important to realize the different types of bruising that can occur and whether or not you will need medical attention.

Bruises occur can occur in three main areas of the body and depending on the area, will signify the type of bruise. Types of bruises include:

  • Subcutaneous: bruises under the skin.

  • Intramuscular: bruising within the muscle tissue.

  • Periosteal: bruising on the bone.

Although bruising can happen to anyone, no matter their age, some individuals are more prone to bruising. People who are more susceptible to bruises include:

  • Those who exercise vigorously like athletes or weight lifters

  • Elderly people

  • Individuals who are taking blood thinners

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bruising will vary as this will depend on how severe the cause of the bruising was. You will first notice discoloration of the skin when you get a bruise. Typically bruises are blue or black yet there are a few other colors associated with bruising:

  • Purple

  • Brown

  • Red

  • Green

  • Yellow (usually seen when the bruise begins to heal)

In addition to the variety of discoloration, you will feel sensitivity and/or pain in the bruised area.

For the most part, many bruises are not severe, yet there are instances in which bruising can be severe and you should see a general practitioner should be experiencing any of the following:

  • Bruises appearing while taking blood thinners such as aspirin

  • Pain and swelling in the site of the bruise

  • Bruises showing up after a hard fall or impact

  • Bruises that happen alongside suspect broken or fractured bone

  • Bruises appearing for no apparent reason

  • Bruises that do not heal within one month

  • Painful bruises underneath the nails

  • Bruises that are accompanied by bleeding of the mouth or gums

  • Bruises alongside of bleeding of the eyes or blood in the stool and/or urine

  • Bruising that cannot be explained; especially if the bruises show up in continued patterns

  • Bruising that does not cause pain

  • Reappearing bruises in the same spot without having another injury

  • Black bruising on your legs

It is important to understand that blue bruising on the legs can result from varicose veins. However, bruises that are black can indicate a serious condition called ‘deep vein thrombosis’. This is a sign that you are developing a blood clot. This condition can be fatal.


There are several ways to treat a bruise through a variety of home remedies. Normally bruises will fade within ten to fourteen days, yet should you find yourself with a pesky bruise, you are bound to find a helpful remedy around your house that will help your bruise fade faster.

The following thirty home remedies for bruises will have you back to normal in no time.

Home Remedies for Bruises

    1. Direct Application of an Ice Pack


This is one of the easiest methods and should be used at the first sign of bruising. Ice packs will tighten the blood vessels and prevent the blood from spilling out into the skin further. Using an ice pack will reduce the size and redness of a bruise as well as reduce the swelling and numb the pain of the bruise.

Required Ingredients:

• Several Ice Cubes or Bag of Frozen Peas

• Small Plastic Bag

• Clean Towel


• Take a few ice cubes or bag of frozen peas from the freezer.

• Place the ice cubes or frozen peas in the small plastic bag. This will prevent the melted water from dripping on you.

• Wrap the small plastic bag in the clean towel.

• Take the towel and place on the bruised area for ten minutes.

• Repeat throughout the day every couple of hours as needed.

Note: It is important to not overuse this method as over chilling the skin can cause frostbite.

2. Consuming or Applying Bromelain


Pineapples contain high amounts of an ingredient called Bromelain. This digestive enzyme contains anti-inflammatory properties that play a role in healing bruising and swelling. Drinking pineapple juice is the easiest way to get your dose of Bromelain.

When used as a topical lotion applied directly over skin bruises, bromelain helps to reduce inflammation and pain, and break down the blood proteins that have coagulated or clotted to form the bruise. Bromelain also helps to fade the bruise quickly and prevent further blood clots from forming.

It is also recommended to take Bromelain supplements. According to a study done on boxers, bruises with black and blue marks disappeared within four days for 80% of the tested subjects who took Bromelain supplements daily.

Since you can purchase Bromelain supplements and lotion in health food stores, the following home remedy is for pineapple juice.

Required Ingredients:

• Fresh Pineapple

• ½ Cup of Distilled Water

• Blender


• Peel, core, and slice the pineapple into small pieces.

• Put the slices of pineapple into the blender, along with distilled water.

• Blend until smooth.

• Drink this mixture throughout the day.

• Repeat this process daily until the bruise has faded.

Note: Sometimes eating pineapple is not enough to get the sufficient amount of Bromelain needed to heal a bruise. This will depend on the severity of the bruise itself. You can use this method in addition to taking Bromelain supplements. If you decide to take Bromelain supplements you will need to take 250 to 400 mg, three times a day, until the bruise is healed.

3. Parsley Leaf Rub


Using fresh parsley is an easy and fast home remedy for curing bruises. Depending on the severity of the bruise, you will notice a difference overnight when you use a parsley leaf rub. The parsley leaf rub will decrease pain, calm irritation, and help to get rid of the black and blue marks on the skin.

Required Ingredients:

• Fresh Parsley

• Small kitchen knife

• Chopping Board

• Mortar and Pestle

• Elastic Bandage


• Take a large handful of the fresh parsley.

• Using the knife and chopping board, chop the parsley finely.

• Then, take the finely chopped parsley and place into the Mortar.

• Take the pestle and fully crush the parsley.

• Once the parsley has been crushed, place a small amount directly onto the bruised area.

• Wrap the area with an elastic bandage. Leave in place for several hours.

  • Repeat this treatment twice per day until the bruise has healed.

    4. Saint John’s Wort

Saint John’s Wort works as an anti-inflammatory and can be used in two different ways to heal a bruised area. In addition to having the anti-inflammatory properties, Saint John’s Wort works as a natural analgesic which helps to relieve pain.

If you choose to use Saint John’s Oil, simply apple a few drops to the bruise several times each day until it has faded completely.

Alternatively, you can drink a Saint John’s Wort mixture to help heal your bruise.

Required Ingredients:

  • Two tablespoons of dried Saint John’s Wort

  • 8 ounces of warm water

  • Reseal able beverage container


  • Steep the Saint John’s Wort in the warm water for ten to twenty minutes.

  • Place into the beverage container.

  • Take one sip of this mixture once per day until the bruise has faded.

    5. Application of Arnica


Arnica is an herb that can help to decrease inflammation, reduce pain, and increase circulation to the area around the bruise. This remedy is fast and effective with most seeing results overnight.

Required Ingredients:

  • Arnica Gel or Tincture

  • Teaspoon of water (if using the tincture)


  • Rub the gel or tincture mixed with water directly onto the affected area.

  • Leave uncovered.

  • Repeat this a few times per day until the bruise has completely healed.

Note: Do not apply Arnica (in any form) onto broken skin as it can cause further irritation.

    6. Apple Cider Vinegar Rub

    apple cider vinegar

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Apple Cider Vinegar is a widely used home remedy for a variety of ailments and bruises are no exception. The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar will help to heal your bruise within a few days.

Required Ingredients:

  • Small cloth or paper towel

  • Bowl

  • ½ Cup of Warm water

  • ½ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Combine the Apple Cider Vinegar and the warm water into the bowl.

  • Soak the small cloth or paper towel in the bowl for a few minutes to let the mixture fully absorb into the cloth or paper towel.

  • Remove the cloth or paper towel and wring out the excess mixture.

  • Place the cloth or paper towel directly onto the bruised area for about ten minutes.

  • Repeat this treatment regime twice daily until the bruise has gone away.

Note: Do not use this remedy on broken skin.

    7. Applying a Live Leech


While this treatment is not very popular, due to many people loathing leeches, it is highly effective in removing bruises almost instantly. Many Chinese medicine practitioners will recommend applying a live leech to the affected area to see immediate results.

You can find a live leech in a well-stocked holistic store or a Chinese medicine store. When you purchase the leech, make sure to receive any information in regards to using leeches. When you do use the leech, you will not feel the leech biting you as the saliva acts as a mild painkiller.

Required Ingredients:

  • One live leech

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Petroleum jelly (optional)

  • Cotton Balls

  • Tweezers


  • Cleanse the affected area with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.

  • Carefully pick up the live leech and place it directly onto the bruise.

  • Leave the leech in place for several minutes. You will start to notice the bruise fading.

  • When you notice that the leech is starting to become full, it is time to remove the leech.

  • Take the tweezers and gently grab a hold of the leech. This will prevent the leech from falling to the floor when it lets go.

  • Take a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly and place it at the mouth of the leech.

  • The leech will naturally let go once it comes into contact with the rubbing alcohol or the petroleum jelly.

  • Dispose of or store the leech appropriately.

  • You can repeat this method as needed or as recommended by a holistic therapist.

Note: If you choose to use this method it is vital to only use leeches that are farm raised and free of disease.

    8. Direct Application of a Warm Compress



Applying heat to a bruise is a great way to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. When you are applying a warm compress, make sure to keep the area elevated. It is also important to use wet heat instead of a source of dry heat like an electric blanket. The wet heat will be better for the injury as opposed to the dry heat.

Required Ingredients:

  • Reusable heat pack

  • Warm water

  • Small towel


  • Take small towel and place into the warm water.

  • Place directly onto the bruised area for 10-15 minutes.

  • Alternatively, wrap the reusable heat pack in the wet towel and place onto the bruised area for the same amount of time.

Note: This remedy should only be used after a cold compress has been done. Try using this method if the ice pack hurts too much or if it makes your skin ache.

    9. Elevation


Although this is quite a simple remedy, it is very important to do to aid in the healing process. If you lift the heart above the injured area this will prevent the blood from pooling in the affected area and reduce discoloration.

Required Ingredients:

  • A soft pillow

  • Place to lie comfortably, such as a couch or bed.


  • Place the pillow on the couch or bed and place the injured area (arm or leg) onto the pillow.

  • Make sure the injured area is at heart level or above.

  • Rest in this position for at least twenty minutes.

  • Repeat twice per day for at least two days.

Note: If you find that the bruise is in your torso, you will need to try another home remedy treatment.

    10. Herbal Tea Compress

herbal tea

A cold compress made from herbal teas can be used in place of a plain cold compress, or in addition to one. The herbs in the tea can help to soothe the affected area and reduce the swelling.

Required Ingredients:

  • One teaspoon of dried Chamomile flowers

  • One teaspoon of dried lavender flowers

  • Strainer

  • One cup of hot water

  • Bowl or large cup to hold the tea

  • Small cloth


  • Add the chamomile and lavender flowers to the hot water.

  • Cover and let this tea steep for fifteen minutes.

  • Strain the tea and refrigerate.

  • Dip the small cloth into the mixture once it has cooled.

  • Place the cloth on the affected area for ten minutes.

  • Repeat a few times per day for the first 24 hours.

    11. Epsom Salt Soak

    epsom salts

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Epsom salt is used to relax the muscles and it is also useful for reducing swelling and pain in the bruised area. An Epsom Salt soak can also reduce the bruises appearance.

Required Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Epsom Salt

  • Warmed Water

  • Bath or large bowl to place the bruised area in


  • Add the Epsom salt to the warmed water

  • Soak the affected area until the water has cooled down

  • Rinse off the area with clean water

Note: Epsom salt may cause irritation in some individuals because when it begins to dry, it can leave magnesium crystals on the surface of the skin. Rinsing after a soak in Epsom Salt will prevent this from happening.

    12. Cabbage Leaf Paste

    cabbage leaf

An old remedy for bruising is using a cabbage leaf paste. Red and green cabbages are full of vitamins and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, cabbages also have high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K, both of which are ideal for anti-bruising.

Required Ingredients:

  • Fresh Cabbage (red or green)

  • Knife

  • Chopping Board

  • Bowl

  • Mortar and Pestle

  • Gauze


  • Cut off the hard stems of cabbage and slice the leaves thinly

  • Make the leaves softer by soaking them in a bowl of hot water

  • With a mortar and pestle, crush the leaves into a paste

  • Put the paste on the bruised area and cover with gauze.

  • Leave this application for at least half an hour

  • You can repeat this treatment several times every day until the bruise is healed.

    13. Combination of Vaseline and Cayenne Pepper

    cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper possesses powerful healing agents that are used to cure bruises naturally. Ground cayenne pepper is mixed with Vaseline as this will increase the effectiveness of the treatment. The Vaseline will cover the sting from the cayenne pepper when it makes contact with the skin.

Required Ingredients:

  • One tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper

  • Five tablespoons of melted Vaseline

  • Small bowl


  • Combine the Vaseline and cayenne pepper in a bowl

  • Once it is cooled, directly apply to the affected area

  • Apply the mixture once a day until the bruising subsides, This will usually be about 4 or 5 days

Note: It is important to test your skin in a small area for an allergy to cayenne pepper before using this remedy.

    14. Direct Application of Onions


Just as long as you do not have any cuts in the area, using onions can be highly effectively for naturally curing bruising. Onions have a potent ingredient called allicin. This is the same agent which makes you tear up upon cutting into an onion. When onions are applied to the bruise, the allicin will stimulate the lymphatic flow. This will push away any excess blood as well as prevent blood pooling under the skin.

Required Ingredients:

  • One medium sized onion of any type

  • Knife

  • Chopping Board

  • Medical Tape


  • Peel and slice the entire onion

  • Take a few slices and place on the bruise. The size of the bruise will determine how much onion will be needed.

  • Put the onions directly onto the bruised area.

  • Keep them in place with medical tape

  • Leave for at least 10 to 15 minutes

    15. Combination of Toothpaste and Lotion


Toothpaste can be used in combination with unscented lotion to help heal swelling and discoloration fast. In addition, toothpaste will help to soothe any inflammation on the site of the bruise.

Using this remedy will show results within two days depending on the severity of the bruise.

Required Ingredients:

  • Unscented lotion

  • Any brand of toothpaste

  • Small bowl

  • Bandages


  • Combine the lotion and the toothpaste; you will need equal parts of each one.

  • Gently rub this mixture on your bruise just before going to bed

  • Use a bandage to cover up the bruise so you do not stain your bedding

  • After leaving on throughout the night, remove the bandage and wash the area with warm water

  • Repeat this treatment for two or three nights for fast acting results.

    16. Mullein Flower Compress


A cool compress made from mullein flowers is a great home remedy that relieves bruises and irritations. Using this cold compress will reduce swelling and aid in the healing of the bruised area.

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of Mullein Flowers

  • 1 Cup of hot water

  • Strainer

  • Small cloth

  • Plastic Wrap

  • Medical Tape


  • Combine the mullein flowers with the boiled water

  • Let the flowers steep for about three minutes

  • Allow the tea to cool and then strain

  • Take your small cloth and let it soak in the cooled tea.

  • Wring out any excess water

  • Place the compress directly on the bruise

  • Use a piece of plastic wrap along with a few pieces of medical tape to keep the compress in place

  • Change the compress two times each day until the bruise has gone

    17. Direct Application of Vanilla Extract

vanilla oil

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Natural vanilla extract contains large amounts of antibacterial properties as well as antioxidants. These powerful agents will help to heal the bruise faster and promote the regeneration of cells. This method of treatment is an old remedy for bruising.

Required Ingredients:

  • Concentrated Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Essential Oils


  • Apply a few drops of the concentrated vanilla extract or the essential oils directly onto the bruise

  • Repeat this several times per day until the bruise is gone.

Note: Do not use imitation vanilla extract.

    18. Aloe Vera Rub

    aloe vera

Using Aloe Vera is a popular home remedy to assist bruises. The Aloe Vera gel has natural enzymes that will hasten the healing process of bruising as well as small cuts or burns. The Aloe Vera gel will also seal the bruise which will prevent any bacteria getting inside.

Required Ingredients:

  • Fresh Aloe Vera plant or bottled Aloe Vera


  • Break the Aloe Vera at the tip of the leaf to access the Aloe Vera gel

  • Alternatively, use bottled Aloe Vera

  • Place either the fresh or bottled Aloe Vera directly onto the bruise

  • Rub into the bruised area

  • Repeat this process several times per day until the bruise has faded.

    19. Witch Hazel Compress

    witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that has been long used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The natural properties of witch hazel make it an excellent home remedy for bruising on the skin. Applying a few drops of witch hazel directly onto the bruise can also aid in fading of the discoloration as well as hasten the entire healing process.

Required Ingredients:

  • Bottle or Tincture of Witch Hazel

  • Small cloth or cotton ball


  • Take a few drops of the Witch Hazel onto the small cloth or cotton ball

  • Place the cotton ball or small cloth directly onto the bruise.

  • Keep this in place for about three minutes

  • Repeat the process twice each day until you see that the bruise is healed.

    20. Lavender Compress


The essential oils of lavender are commonly used to treat conditions of the skin. Lavender oil helps to soothe and clean cuts as well as bruises and other types of skin irritations. Lavender contains antiseptic and antibiotic properties that enable it to assist bruising by promoting the healing process as well as reducing scars.

Required Ingredients:

  • Essential oil lavender

  • Bowl

  • 1 Cup of cold water

  • Small cloth


  • Combine the cold water with several drops of the lavender essential oil in the bowl

  • Soak the small cloth in the mixture for several minutes.

  • Remove the cloth and wring out any excess

  • Place the cold compress onto the bruise for ten minutes

  • Repeat this treatment twice per day until the bruising subsides.

    21. Exposure to Direct Sunlight


Ultraviolet light from the sun will enable your body to break down the bilirubin in the bruise. Bilirubin is what causes the yellow discoloration of a bruise. Bilirubin is caused by a hemoglobin breakdown.

To help heal your discolored bruises you should expose the bruised area to direct sunshine if possible. Make sure you take in safe amounts of sun so that you don't get sunburn. The sunlight will help to speed up the process of isomerization which will remove any bilirubin remaining in the bruised area.

Required Ingredients:

  • Access to direct Sunlight


  • Let the bruised area sit in the direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes.

  • This should allow for enough time for the ultraviolet light to access the bruised area without getting sunburn.

    22. Massage


A gentle massage on the edges just outside the bruised area will stimulate what is known as a lymphatic system. This will initiate the healing of the bruise by breaking it down. This will also prevent the risk of infection as well as speed the healing process. A massage will also act as a natural pain reliever and can stimulate the blood flow within the damaged area.

Required Ingredients:

  • Optional use of lotion or massage oil to make the massage flow easier


  • Apply a small amount of the lotion or massage oil to your hands and rub in

  • Gentle massage the affected area for 10-15 minutes

Note: Be careful to avoid massaging your bruise in it’s center. Stop the massage if it is causing you pain.

    23. Consuming Vitamin K


If you begin to notice that you are frequently bruising, this can be a signifying problem with the way your body handles blood clotting. If you have a severe Vitamin K deficiency, this may cause you to experience symptoms such as bruising easily. Increasing your daily consumption of vitamin K by eating greens will not only be an easy home remedy, but it is also noted to be the best.

Required Ingredients:

  • Broccoli

  • Kale

  • Other varieties of vegetables that are leafy and green


  • Prepare the vegetables by steaming or simply consume raw

  • Add these greens to your daily diet

  • Try to consume at least two cups of the greens each day.

Note: If the bruises are caused by something else besides a Vitamin K deficiency, supplementing your diet with more Vitamin K will not help.

    24. Comfrey Leaf Compress

comfrey leafs

Comfrey leaves are an age old home remedy that are used for bruises, sprains, and wounds. The best way to use the comfrey leaves is to make a tea, followed by a cold compress. At first you will use a cold comfrey leaf compress. After a few days you can then switch to using a warm compress.

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dried comfrey leaf herb

  • 1 ¼ cup of simmered water

  • Small bowl

  • Small cloth


  • Combine the Comfrey herb in the bowl with the hot water

  • Allow to steep at least 15 minutes

  • Strain

  • Allow to cool if you are using it for a cold compress

  • Apply to the bruise and hold in place for 10-15 minutes

  • Repeat this process twice a day, each day until the bruise is gone.

    25. Egg Rolling


Boiled eggs placed onto the bruise will help to reduce the swelling and aid in healing the bruise.

Required Ingredients:

  • One Egg

  • Pot with boiling water


  • Add the egg to the boiled water

  • Allow to fully cook the egg

  • Remove after about 5 minutes and let cool

  • Break the shell and peel the egg

  • Take the boiled egg and roll across the bruise for several minutes.

  • Repeat this once per day until the bruise has faded.

    26. Consuming Garlic


Garlic is known for containing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming raw garlic will help to heal your bruise fast as well as reduce swelling and discoloration.

Required Ingredients:

  • Two peeled cloves of fresh, raw, garlic


  • Eat the cloves of garlic once per day

  • Continue with this regiment until your bruising has subsided.

    27. Lard Rub


    Photo Credit:

Using lard will help prevent the bruise from getting darker or developing more discoloration.

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of lard

  • ½ tablespoon of salt

  • Bowl

  • Bandages


  • Combine the lard and salt in the bowl and mix well

  • Apply this mixture to the bruise and rub in gently

  • Cover with a bandage

  • Follow this treatment twice per day until the bruising is no longer present.

    28. Essential Oils Massage

essential oils

As mentioned earlier, massage can help to aid the healing process. Combining massage with essential oils will double the healing affects and result in faster treatment time. Many notice relieve of bruising overnight when using this treatment.

The essential oils will help to reduce pain and swelling. Many essential oils can be found at holistic or health food stores.

Required Ingredients:

  • Geranium: 30 drops

  • Lavender: 15 drops

  • Cypress: 10 drops

  • Lemon grass: 10 drops

  • Helichrysum: 5 drops

  • Frankincense: 5 drops

  • Fennel, Myrrh, Rosemary: 5 drops each

  • Bowl

  • Storage container


  • Combine all of these essential oils in a bowl and mix well.

  • Apply directly to the affected area and massage gently.

  • Store in an airtight container.

  • This treatment can be used multiple times per day throughout the duration of the bruise.

    29. Direct Application of Butter


Appling butter or margarine directly to the bruise will reduce swelling and inflammation.

Required Ingredients:

  • One teaspoon of cold butter or margarine

  • Bandage


  • Apply the butter or margarine directly onto to bruise.

  • Gently rub into the bruised area

  • Apply a bandage

  • Follow this regime twice per day until the bruise has faded.

    30. Direct Application of Lemon

    Lemon Juice

Lemon juice will aid in the healing of the discoloration of the bruise as well as provide high amounts of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C is required at the time of wound healing for thickening of the blood vessels and treating internal hemorrhaging.

Required Ingredients:

  • One fresh lemon

  • Knife

  • Chopping Board


  • Slice the lemon into wedges

  • Place one of the lemon wedges directly onto the bruised area

  • Leave the lemon wedge in place for several minutes

  • Repeat this treatment several times per day until the bruise has completely healed.

Regardless of the severity of your bruise, using any of the above home remedies for bruises will be sure to assist in healing process as well as relieve you of your symptoms. Please remember that each of these home remedies for bruises offer unique treatment and treatment time will vary depending on the severity and location of the bruise.

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2022)

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email: [email protected]