(NaturalNews) Virtually all of us have the occasional bumps and knocks which lead to bruises, and some of us are more prone to bruising than others. Bruises, sometimes referred to as contusions, are a type of relatively minor tissue hematoma where ruptures of tiny capillaries under the skin leave a darkened area on or just below the skin surface. Bruise prone or not, there are several natural ways to prevent, relieve and help heal bruises.
Dieters who have lost a great deal of weight are among those who have a higher risk of developing bruises; this is due to having many exposed capillaries that were once needed to supply blood to a larger body, which is no longer there. Due to a generally poor diet, the elderly are also more susceptible to having bruises.
Research has shown that the leading cause of frequent bruising is a deficiency in one or more nutrients. The main nutritional deficiencies which can lead to increased bruising are deficiencies in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, bioflavonoids and zinc. In addition, a deficiency in the bioflavonoid hesperidin (sometimes called vitamin P) has been linked with abnormal capillary weakness.
In addition to the above nutrient items, bioflavanoids including citrin, rutin, flavones, flavonoids, catechin and quercetin have all been found to be extremely valuable in correcting a tendency toward bruising. Thus, a good way to decrease the tendency to bruise easily is to consume foods which are rich in the above nutrients as well as supplementation when needed.
When you get a bruise, in addition to applying a cold compress (like an icepack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel) to the area for about 20 minutes to reduce the swelling, you can also use natural remedies to help speed up the healing.
One excellent item to use is bromelain, a natural compound found in the pineapple plant. Bromelain has been proven to help bruises heal in a fraction of the normal time.
Another top item is the homeopathic favorite arnica. Many experts say that the popular homeopathic muscle soreness remedy arnica is a best bet for minimizing bruises and healing them fast. As soon as a bump occurs or you notice a swelling or discoloration, gently rub a bit or arnica cream on it. Flushing away the stagnant blood that causes skin discoloration, arnica shrinks inflammation and increases circulation.
Raw or roasted onions cut in half can also be effective against bruises. For even more effectiveness, dip the onion in apple cider vinegar before rubbing the onion on the bruised area.
Vitamin K cream has long been a popular remedy for bruises. Rub a cream with vitamin K on the bruise twice a day. Vitamin K will aid your body in breaking down blood and reabsorbing it and the act of rubbing helps speed the process.
Many other items have also been used topically as creams, ointments and liquid solutions to relieve and heal bruises. Such items include:
*Aloe Vera *Apple Cider Vinegar *Black pepper *Butter (not margarine!) *Cabbage dipped into hot water *Calendula *Fenugreek *Garden thyme *Mustard seeds *Onions (raw or roasted) *St. John's Wort *Witch hazel
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".