At some point in your life it’s likely you have had a bruise. One of the most common injuries, bruises occur due to bleeding under the skin. While most bruises are minor, not causing any lasting harm, they are often unsightly and can be painful. Recently, people are beginning to turn more and more to natural methods of healing. For this reason, there has been an increase in people looking for the best essential oil for bruises and swelling.
Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy, and if diluted correctly they can also be used topically. Today we are going to take a look at bruises. We will discuss how they form, what treatments are best, and of course what we consider to be the best essential oils for bruises. We are going to give you a list of five oils we believe may promote faster healing and teach you how best to use them. Let’s start off with learning a little more about bruising, and how it happens.
All About Bruises: Causes, Healing, and Treatment
A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a type of bleeding in our tissues. When bruising initially occurs, it's because the skin hasn’t been broken but the tiny blood vessels under the skin have. Because the bleeding is often close to the surface of the skin, it results in the discoloration that we refer to as a bruise. Bruising most often occurs through blunt trauma, such as falls or accidents. It will remain visible until tissues either absorb the blood or it is otherwise dealt with by the immune system.
How the Body Heals Bruising
When bruised, the skin may go through a variety of different discolorations, including red, black, purple, blue, and green. While the bruise may initially be red, it will start to turn darker as the body sends platelets to the site and the process of clotting begins.
Bruises may range in severity but they can all be painful. This pain comes from inflammation, as the arrival of platelets causes swelling and puts pressure on the nearby nerves. This also acts as the body’s warning to try and avoid further injury in that particular area. In addition to platelets, white blood cells also play a role in bruising. They come to the site and absorb the excess blood from where it has escaped from the vessels. As this happens, the bruise begins to disappear.
Natural Ways to Treat Bruising
To help heal a bruise, most doctors recommend the acronym RICE—rest, ice compression, and elevation. Icing can be done right away as it can help reduce the amount of blood that escapes from the vessels, thus minimizing the appearance of bruising. Compression works in the same way, while elevation works to direct blood away from the site of the injury.
There is some debate about these methods, as some researchers believe that compression and elevation inhibit inflammation, which is the body’s way of healing. Many people also advocate the use of essential oil for bruises, to work as an adjunct to these therapies.
Essential oils contain many constituents that show anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help reduce symptoms of bruising. This is why today we are going to give you five of the best essential oils for bruises!
The Best Essential Oil for Bruises: Our Top 5
Geranium essential oil and rose geranium essential oil are two varieties of the same plant species. They share almost the same properties, meaning the benefits from each are equal. When it comes to inflammation, studies indicate rose geranium essential oil may effectively work to reduce inflammation. Its potential to reduce swelling means it may be one of the most effective essential oils for bruises.
To use geranium oil to help reduce bruising, dilute it with a carrier oil of your choice before gently applying it to the area. You may also use it in conjunction with compression or heat therapy, or even add a few drops to a hot bath.
Studies on rosemary show not only its potential as an anti-inflammatory agent, but also rosemary’s potential to inhibit pain receptors. This is due in part to one of its components, cineole. Cineole shows evidence of being able to reduce inflammation and infection. This makes rosemary our favorite essential oil to help with bruising, as it may offer multifaceted relief.
For best effect, rest the bruised area immediately after injury, and treat with ice if necessary. Then, you can dilute rosemary essential oil with a carrier oil and gently massage it into the skin for best results. One of our personal favorites is sweet almond oil!
Frankincense essential oil comes from the resin of the Boswellia serrata. The boswellic acids that makeup frankincense are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. This particular study shows frankincense to be more effective than a common inflammatory medication by up to 20%. This means it may be one of the most effective oils for bruises.
Add frankincense essential oil to a carrier oil for dilution, then massage carefully onto the bruised area. Alternatively, you can also add a few drops to your favorite lotion and gently apply to help promote healing.
A study done with mice compared the effects of the common anti-inflammatory gel Voltaren with lemongrass essential oil. Evidence indicates lemongrass oil is more effective at reducing inflammation. This is in addition to its proven antifungal properties, which can be achieved via inhalation. For these reasons, we find lemongrass to be a great choice if you are looking for the best essential oil for bruises.
As with any other essential oil, you should never ingest frankincense or apply it directly to the skin. First, dilute it with a carrier oil, then apply topically over the bruised area.
Last but not least on our list of the best essential oils for bruises is lavender. Studies suggest lavender essential oil works to promote wound healing via topical application. Evidence shows it may increase the production of collagen, which is necessary for tissue reformation.
With its lovely, calming scent, adding lavender to lotions or creams is a great way to use it. Simply add a few drops to your favorite product and apply to the skin. Alternatively, you can dilute it with a carrier oil and massage it into muscles, joints, and injured areas to help promote healing.