BRUISES OCCUR WHEN BLOOD VESSELS BENEATH YOUR skin are damaged and leak blood into the surrounding tissues. Contrary to popular belief, bruises should not be simply left alone to heal, says Margi Flint, an herbalist in Marblehead, Mass. "When you get a bruise," she says, "the blood stays stagnant in that area." Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium) improves your circulation and helps your skin reabsorb the blood, allowing the bruise to fade quickly with no potential for scarring. Spray yarrow tincture directly onto your skin, or apply it with a cotton ball, several times daily until the bruise is gone. If you can't find yarrow in your natural food store, substitute echinacea tincture (Echinacea spp).
To ease the pain and inflammation of a bruise, Flint recommends the homeopathic remedy Arnica montana. Take oral Arnica 30C soon after the injury, according to the package's dosage directions, and continue until the bruise has healed.