Bruising results from the rupture of small blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin. The subsequent bleeding is seen as a blue or black bruise. Easy bruising is predominantly due to fragile capillaries, often secondary to nutritional deficiencies (mainly vitamin C and bioflavonoids). Persistent unusual bruising may sometimes be caused by rarer conditions such as haemophilia, liver disease, low platelets or leukaemia, or the use of anticoagulant drugs like warfarin. If in doubt, see your doctor.
Treatment and general recommendations
- Immediate application of an ice pack to a bruise, and some firm pressure, will minimise its extent.
- Apply a cream containing the herbs witchhazel and arnica which are wonderful for reducing swelling and bruising.
- Avoid taking aspirin unless absolutely essential.
- Include often – foods high in vitamin C like green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits especially citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppers (capsicum); bioflavonoids act synergistically with vitamin C to strengthen capillaries and are abundant in the white pith of citrus fruits.
- Add buckwheat to homemade breakfast cereals – this is high in rutin, which is a bioflavonoid.
Raw juicing with citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables to supply vitamin K is important. Include some white pith from the citrus fruits in the juice. For examples of raw juicing recipes, see Raw Juices Can Save Your Life book.
Orthodox medical treatment
If bruising becomes excessive see your doctor to exclude serious causes. Heparinoid ointment or cream can be obtained from the chemist and applied to bruises to hasten their resolution.
Recommended supplements for bruising
- MSM Plus Vitamin C
Take 1/2 teaspoon twice daily in water or juice – MSM promotes collagen synthesis. Collagen is essential in maintaining and improving skin appearance and strength, and softening scar tissue.
- Vitamin C
Additional vitamin C may be required if your diet does not provide sufficient levels. Take 2 tablets daily.