Bruises: How to Treat Them — and the Effectiveness of Solomon’s Seal


leg bruiseBruises are usually caused by bumping into, or being hit by something. The result is a release of blood from the tiny capillaries under the skin. The characteristic bluish-black mark on the skin lightens in color and eventually fades as the blood is absorbed by the tissues and carried away. The ability to heal quickly from a bruise is dependent upon both a person’s general health and diet, and the form of therapeutic intervention. These subjects are explored in this article, with special emphasis given to the effectiveness of using Solomon’s Seal in some form — tincture, salve or liniment — and formulated with other helpful herbs.

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO BRUISING

Bruising usually occurs as a result of an injury. Athletes, outdoor recreational enthusiasts, and people in vocations that use the body a lot commonly receive bruises. An ankle sprain is often accompanied by bruising. Bruising can also occur spontaneously and is an indication of an allergic reaction, or more serious disease. Some people even bruise more easily than others — an indication of fragile capillaries, poor health or an inability to create collagen.

Research suggests that the leading cause of frequent bruising, or the body’s inability to heal a bruise in a timely manner, is a deficiency in one or more nutrients. The elderly, for example, may be susceptible to bruising because of a generally poor diet. Dieters who have lost a substantial amount of weight are also at risk of developing bruises. The reason is that they have many capillaries that were needed to supply blood to their larger body mass, and now a lesser body mass leaves the extra capillaries exposed.

The remedy to be healthy enough to heal a bruise, or to prevent a serious one is simple: Maintain a diet that supplies certain nutrients, primarily vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, bioflavonoids, and zinc. A daily supplement can do the trick, but it is always better to ingest these nutrients in their raw state in a healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables and nuts.

THE VALUE OF VITAMINS C, E, K, BIOFLAVONOIDS & ZINC

Vitamin C (U.S. RDA: 60mg) helps protect against bruising by strengthening capillary walls. As an antioxidant, it is depleted when the body is trying to rid itself of pollutants, allergens or drugs. A vitamin C deficiency may be caused by several factors:

  • Eating too few fruits and vegetables
  • Taking drugs which destroys this vitamin
  • Long-time stress from illness, frustration or depression
  • Smoking (one cigarette can deplete the body of 25 mg of vitamin C)
  • Frequent emotional outbursts such as anger
  • Exposure to pollutants, allergens or heavy metals

Bioflavonoids that naturally occur in vitamin C (Hesperidin, Citrin, Rutin, Flavones, Flavonals, Calechin and Quercetin) are essential in correcting the tendency toward bruising. In particular, a deficiency in the bioflavonoid Hesperidin (sometimes called vitamin P) has been linked with abnormal capillary weakness.

Foods to take for vitamin C (non-meat, unprocessed): Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, green vegetables (lettuce, peppers, etc.), potatoes.

Vitamin E (U.S. RDA: 30IU) works synergistically with vitamin C to repair tissues.

Foods to take for vitamin E (non-meat, unprocessed): Green vegetables, legumes.

Vitamin K (U.S. RDA: 70-140mg) is made in the intestines, but can be depleted by antibiotics that kill the friendly bacteria that synthesize it. Supplementing your diet with leafy, green vegetables is a good way to add this vitamin to your system. It helps the capillaries heal themselves by sealing the blood leakage. Vitamin K also supports the body’s ability to reabsorb the blood in surrounding tissues, thereby helping fade the bruise and restoring the skin to normal color.

Foods to take for vitamin K (non-meat, unprocessed): Kale, mixed leafy lettuce, spinach, cabbage.

Zinc (U.S. RDA, older children to adults: 8-12mg) is helpful in maintaining healthy connective tissue, and a deficiency can lead to bruising.

Foods to take for Zinc (non-meat, unprocessed): lima beans, chickpeas, split peas, green peas, cashews, pecans, almonds, poached egg.

THE VALUE OF HEALING HERBS

There are several plants that are especially effective in treating bruises. Their therapeutic value has been known and used for thousands of years. As herbalists and wellness practitioners, we have regularly integrated the following herbs into our tinctures, salves and liniment, as discussed later in this article.

St. Johns Wort
The early Greek herbalists considered St. Johns Wort an effective herb for healing wounds. It was used to dress sword cuts in the Middle Ages. Modern analysis of the plant has shown the plant to have antibacterial and astringent properties, both qualities useful in the speedy healing of cuts and wounds. It is very effective in a salve or liniment.

Comfrey
Comfrey is among the oldest herbal remedies for skin problems, used to promote the healing of tissue and bone and reduce swelling, effectively speeding up the healing process. Comfrey’s healing powers have been attributed to its high content of allantoin, a substance that promotes the growth of tissue, bone and cartilage, both externally and internally. It is very useful in a salve or liniment.

Arnica
Long valued as a folk remedy for bruises and sprains, Arnica has great pain-relieving, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Although widely used in forms of pills (as a homeopathic) and tinctures, it is best reserved for use on the skin, as in a salve, cream or liniment.

Calendula
As an anti-inflammatory and vulnerary, it is excellent for bruises, strains, skin inflammations, burns, sunburn, and external wounds that are tender, red, and swollen. Calendula works well in a salve or liniment.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is an all-purpose anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and is soothing and cooling. It is an excellent natural herbal carrier for the other herbal ingredients.

Solomon’s Seal (polygonatum biflorum): Works to harmonize, feed, lubricate, and tighten or loosen (as needed) tendons, ligaments, muscles, attachments, and joints. It is a valuable connective tissue anti-inflammatory, and is known to help moderate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, repetitive use injuries, connective tissue damage, and bruising. This “workhorse” herb is excellent in a tincture, salve or liniment.

The 3-Step Method:
Combining a Liniment, Salve & Tincture for Healing of Bruises

When using herbal interventions or products such as a tincture, salve or liniment, we believe that a 3-Step Method is an effective way to address treat bruising and accompanying tissue inflammations, muscle tenderness, or possible joint discomfort. We address this method below, demonstrating the use of our Cortesia Solomon’s Seal tincture, salve and liniment.

STEP 1

Apply Cortesia Quick Relief Linimenttopically several times daily, as needed, in area(s) where pain or discomfort is occurring. Apply morning, afternoon, and evening OR before and after periods of activity and again before bed. This will provide short-term relief so that certain activities are less painful or so that you can get to sleep. It is important to firmly rub the liniment for several minutes to stimulate blood circulation in the effected tissue or joint area. This works very well for arthritic conditions or joint issues to increase flexibility. Of course, use lighter pressure for a sprain, bruise, very sore muscle, or painful area.

Cortesia Quick Relief Liniment ingredients (organic): Witch Hazel, Isopropyl Alcohol, Solomon’s Seal, Comfrey, Calendula, St. John’s Wort, Rosemary, Arnica, Cayenne, Horsetail, Menthol

STEP 2

sssalve

Apply Cortesia Acute & Chronic Injury Salve (or Cortesia Healing Salve) externally to injured area twice daily, morning and evening (apply after the liniment). Wrap or bandage as needed to protect clothing. This is an important long-term method of healing for bruises, strains, sprains, aches, symptoms of arthritis, damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc. It perfectly compliments the liniment.

Cortesia Acute & Chronic Injury Salve ingredients: Solomon’s Seal, Arnica, Calendula, Comfrey, St. John’s Wort, Mullein, Horsetail

Cortesia Healing Salve ingredients: Solomon’s Seal, Bloodroot, Calendula, Chickweed, Prunella, St. John’s Wort, Yarrow, Comfrey, Lemon Balm, Oregon Grape, Plantain, Usnea/Oak Moss

Note: After applying a liniment or salve, it is very useful to simply lay your hand(s) lightly over the affected area for a few minutes. This form of “touch healing therapy” is therapeutic (see our Blog article Solomon’s Seal and the Healing Effects of Touch to understand more). You can feel the warm or cooling sensation of your injury; you can also mentally visualize healing currents.

STEP 3:

Solomon's Seal tincture

Consider taking Cortesia Solomon’s Seal Tincture internally several times daily. Solomon’s Seal works to harmonize, feed, lubricate, and tighten or loosen (as needed) tendons, ligaments, muscles, attachments, and joints. It is a valuable connective tissue anti-inflammatory, and is known to help moderate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, repetitive use injuries, and connective tissue damage.

SUMMARY

Bruises occur as a matter of life — they are unpreventable. However, we can increase our body’s ability to heal from a bruise by insuring that we have a nutrient-rich diet that supplies us with vitamins C, E, K, bioflavonoids, and Zinc. These nutrients are optimally used by the body if they occur in fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts.

A cold compress upon a bruise is especially soothing. However, the easiest medical intervention is with the use of a therapeutic herb that is often administered as a topical salve/cream, liniment, or tincture. The best salves and liniments have a mixture of herbs that work together synergistically for optimal therapeutic intervention — they penetrate dermal layers for deeper tissue healing, are anti-inflammatory, stimulate healthy blood circulation, and are cooling to sensitive tissues. Although they can be taken alone, when administered together, a liniment, salve, and tincture hasten the healing process.

For further information about our line of Solomon’s Seal products, including tinctures, salves, liniment and tea, please visit: www.onesanctuary.com.

Good Blog Articles to Read About the Effectiveness of Liniment

Using an Herbal Liniment: Key Part of a 3-Step Healing Strategy

Cortesia Quick Relief Liniment (with Solomon’s Seal): Its Use and Effectiveness

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This entry was posted in Health Issues/Conditions and tagged , , , , , by C. Forrest McDowell, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

About C. Forrest McDowell, PhD

I am blessed to be a co-steward of the beautiful 22-acre Cortesia Sanctuary outside Eugene, Oregon, with my partner, Tricia Clark-McDowell. My lifelong interests in wellness care, nature and gardening, music composition & performance, photography, writing, and meditation fuel my celebration for life. These passions, coupled with Tricia's, have allowed us to share our knowledge and expertise in various products, publications and supportive websites. Integrity and heartfelt generosity are qualities I strive for in all my vocational and avocational interests. My form of service is founded upon the elemental practice of kindness and reverence for life.

2 thoughts on “Bruises: How to Treat Them — and the Effectiveness of Solomon’s Seal

  1. I started taking the Solomon’s seal tincture for a hernia that I have had for several months. After 2-3 days of use I start to feel like I have bruises in certain areas of my body 10-30 cm from where the hernia is located. I stop taking the herb for 2-3 days and the pain goes away. However the pain that I have had associated with the hernia has considerably subsided. Should I continue using the tincture?

    • Unique to each individual, sometimes a medication (be it prescription or herbal) causes a bodily response such as a rash or discomfort near the place of injury. In plant-based intervention, a tincture may elicit such a response, which is called “the healing response.”

      The “bruising” sensation is not uncommon with hernias. I know this for a fact because I have been living with an Ilingual hernia for almost a year now just so that I can experience first hand necessary lifestyle consequences and strategies (yes, I plan to have an operation, but first determine the effects of core conditioning, yoga, exercise, support, tinctures, and especially dietary changes or refinements). The bruising sensation comes and goes, invariably.

      That being said, the effects of the tincture may be seen in the submission of hernia pain, as you describe. Pain always involves inflammation, for which the herbs are immediately helping by stimulating blood cell response in the region. The body is waking up and beginning to assimilate the herbs.

      The beauty of herbs is that each uniquely “wakes up” the healing body in its way. Our focus for years has been on only a handful of herbs as we research and record their effects on people and compare the information to historical use and results. The diverse healing capability of herbs like Solomon’s Seal, Horsetail, Boneset, Teasel root, etc. always provides us with a “teacher” for health and wellness. Herbs are very benign to the body, and especially if used under proper guidance, knowledge or intuition. It is not uncommon to experience results of herbs in parts of the body or beneficial ways not expected (like a clicking joint stopping, better heart rate or blood pressure, flexibility, ceasing of pain, better sleep, etc). So, keep aware of the obvious and subtle changes.

      The safety of the herbs allows you to experiment with dosage and use. You intuitively did this by stopping the herb for a few days, and then trying again. Your question about continued use is a fantastic question that many people desire an answer.

      Ceasing a tincture is always a first step. Deciding to try again is the second step. Strategies are: 1) reduce dosage to one-third to one-half for a few days to a week then gradually increase dosage to full strength over the next 2 weeks or less, 2) take less drops fewer times a day, 3) take fewer times a day, 4) water dosage down by putting drops in a glass of water and sipping for a while, and more depending how you would like to experiment. Most certainly, continue the tincture but adjust dosage/use.

      I wish you the best of healing and life.

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