If I had a dollar for every time I needed to use one of my home remedies for bruises, I’d have a lot of dollars. I’m not exactly what you could call graceful when I’m out hiking in the summer or doing yard work, and I tend to drop things, trip over my own feet, and otherwise end up with bruises that somehow look as if I’ve just emerged from battle. But at least when I do get a scary looking bruise, I know what to do to fix it right up in a day or two.
Ice Packs as Home Remedies for Bruises
My first line of defense against developing a bad bruise is to get out my trusty ice pack. My ice pack and I spend a lot of time together on the days where I come down with a migraine headache (which is a whole other can of worms). You can’t make it any easier when it comes to home remedies for bruises – an ice pack applied to the affected area as soon as possible is one of the best ways to prevent a bruise from forming, or to prevent it from worsening.
An ice pack is also one of my favorite go-to home remedies for sunburns when I’ve been outdoors all day and forget my sunscreen (which is often).
If I don’t have access to my ice pack, I can look to my kitchen for a few other easy home remedies for bruises.
Using Potatoes as Home Remedies for Bruises
When my husband and I set out to learn how to grow potatoes in our gardens, I really didn’t know that they were so good for treating bruises – I just wanted fresh hash browns for breakfast every morning. But it turns out that a raw potato can reduce inflammation and help a bruise heal quickly. Just take a large slice of a raw, unpeeled potato and hold it up against the bruised area until the potato warms up. You can discard the potato (feed it to the chickens, in our case) and repeat as often as necessary throughout the day.
I’ve heard from a few friends that they prefer to shred their raw potatoes and apply the shredded potatoes along with any potato juice to the bruise. The juice from the raw potato will also soothe your skin and reduce the inflammation around the bruise, and it works great for adults. But in the case of trying to hold a handful of raw, shredded potato up against a wiggly 8-year-old, I’ll stick with the potato slice.
I’ve never tried it personally, but I’ve been told that raw potatoes also work for mild sunburns, particularly on the face in the area of the cheeks, chin, and forehead. Who knew that my yummy spuds could be so useful in my first aid kit of home remedies?
Tamarind Paste and Turmeric as Home Remedies for Bruises
Turmeric tea is one of my favorite natural cold remedies. Powdered turmeric also makes a great paste along with tamarind for treating a bad bruise. Tamarind paste is a favorite ingredient of mine for cooking, so when I whip up a batch, I usually make a little extra to keep around in case I need it for a bruise.
To make your own tamarind paste at home, you’ll need:
- About 8 oz. of tamarind pulp
- 2 cups boiling water
In a ceramic or non-reactive bowl, pour the boiling water over the tamarind pulp. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, covered or uncovered. Pour the contents of the bowl into a container fitted with a fine-mesh sieve, and press the soaked and boiled tamarind pulp through the sieve until you have a thick paste, discarding any fibers left behind.
To use a tamarind paste for a bruise, put a little bit on a piece of clean, dry cloth, and sprinkle it with a few pinches of turmeric powder. Apply this cloth to your bruise and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before removing. You can gently wipe off any tamarind paste that gets left behind after you remove the cloth.
Using Castor Oil as Home Remedies for Bruises
It seems as though the more I learn about castor oil, the more I start to think that this substance is pretty close to magic. While you have to be cautious about taking castor oil by mouth, it can be used for a whole range of home remedies when used topically. Castor oil is one of the great “old time” home remedies for bruises that I’ve found to work really well when it comes to large, painful bruises.
If you have a raw potato handy, you can coat the slice of potato with a thin layer of castor oil before applying it to your bruise. For bruises that aren’t painful or have an open wound, you can gently apply a layer of castor oil directly to the bruised area and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before removing it. Repeat the castor oil application as often as you need to throughout the day.
For a more serious or painful bruise, coat a clean piece of cotton fabric with castor oil and apply it to the bruised area. Again, make sure that there aren’t any open wounds or cut skin before applying the castor oil to the bruised area.
Do you have any favorite home remedies for bruises using potatoes, ingredients from your kitchen, or castor oil? I’d love to learn more — share them with us here!