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Bruises and hematomas

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


Bruised ankleWhen an area of the body is strained or hit hard, the blood vessels near the surface are broken and blood is lost into the surrounding tissue forming what soon becomes a discolored area called a bruise.  Bruising may also occur with some medical treatments or for some that bruise easily from just a slight or unnoticed bump.  A severe bruise may include excess blood leakage that will cause the discoloration to extend below the area of the injury as gravity exerts its force.  Bruising may also be accompanied by swelling and pain from the injury. 

A bruise or contusion is a subset of the general term hematoma. A hematoma is any collection of blood outside a blood vessel. They can be very tiny or large with significant swelling and associated with any organ of the body.  Bruise refers to a hematoma where blood has leaked out under the skin and gives the characteristic dark discoloration of the area.

Bruising is more common in women and older adults.  For older adults this happens as the fat layer under the skin decreases and the skin becomes thinner and not as pliable.  Minor bruising is not a serious problem but if there is severe bruising after a blow or fall it may be an indication of a more serious problem that needs attention.


[search helps: hematoma, contusion, ecchymosis, purpura, petechia]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: CypressC, Soothing BlendC, GeraniumC, HelichrysumEC, LavenderC, LemongrassC

Essential oils based products: 

Also consider: FennelEC, MyrrhC, RosemaryC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

If the bruise (or hematoma) can be addressed immediately Helichrysum and/or Cypress with Lavender constricts the blood vessels and relieves pain. Also the more quickly cold is applied to the area, the less bruising there will be. Always protect the skin by not placing ice directly on the area and do not leave it on the area continuously. It is recommended that 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off is the most that ice should be applied.

After the first 6-24 hours when swelling has stopped, the constriction of blood vessels should be replaced with a method of increasing blood circulation to heal and reduce the bruise more rapidly. Apply the Helichrysum, 1 - 3 drops, neat every few hours or for even better results use the blend below. Also alternating hot and cold compresses with the essential oils will speed the process. 

Suggested blend:

    5 drops Helichrysum

  4 drops Lavender

  3 drops Cypress

  3 drops Lemongrass

  3 drops Geranium

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Paul and Debbie - When my husband bumps or scrapes (not breaking skin) his arm on anything ... even just a little bit, he gets these awful looking splotches.  Almost like a bruise on the surface of the skin, but not raised or full of blood like a blood blister.  His dad had the same thing with his skin in his later years.  Does anyone have any idea on what this condition is called, what to do for it, or what to do to strengthen his skin so it doesn't happen any more?

Pat - I know that getting the oils on the area right away really helps, either White Fir or Helichrysum. Also the supplements have helped my skin be a lot tougher.

Nannette - The bruise blend suggested by Dr. Sue Lawton is: Bruise Blend: (to strengthen capillaries and speed reabsorbing of blood that had collected in tissue) Big or little, deep or wide-it works!  5 drops Helichrysum, 4 drops Cypress, 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Lemongrass, and 3 drops Geranium.


Pat22 - A couple of weeks back I played paintball for the first time ever and took a direct and legitimate hit on my upper thigh from a 20 foot distance. It hurt like heck -- and soon thereafter bruised like heck! The attached picture 2012-07-11 shows what my 'trophy bruise' looked like the day after playing paint ball. I bruise VERY easily and my bruises usually take forever to heal.

Since the paint ball hit, I have applied Soothing Blend twice daily to this bruise only, just to see if it would help it heal faster than the many other bruises received during paint ball or white water rafting (the types of activities we were doing on this vacation). I don't have all of the oils recommended for bruises, but Soothing Blend had enough of them that I thought I'd give it a try -- and I'm glad I did! I used the roller with Soothing Blend, rolled around once on the bruise and then rubbed it in. Did this twice a day, morning and night.

The second picture 2012-07-23 (where you can barely see a bruise) is what my trophy bruise looked like last night, 12 days after the first picture.  All of my other bruises are still blue, yellow or green. This was by far the worst of the multiple bruises on my body and would probably still be hideous looking were it not for Soothing Blend.

Bruise before from Pat22  Bruise after from Pat22

Sharon - Try Helichrysum next time if you want even faster results!  I wish I had a photo to share but my daughter's knee looked like your bruise, the entire knee was black and swollen, and on the second day after the first application the black bruise was nothing but a thin green/blue line around the outside. I have never seen anything like it!

Cis - I was hit very hard on my breastbone and soon the bruising had started. I too bruise very easily, especially as I get older because the skin becomes thinner. When I got home I immediately got the Helichrysum, Fennel, Geranium, Frankincense, and Soothing Blend (for the pain) and put it on my breast bone area including the lower part of my left breast. I did this twice a day in the morning and evening for 5 days. And the bruise stayed a very light yellow/green shade. My husband was amazed because he was putting the oils on each day for me.


Maree - Does anyone have any suggestions for a friend of mine that was attacked by a bison in Yellowstone:( she has bad bruising and a hematoma the size of a football in her knee?!

Pat – Use a blend of white fir, helichrysum and lavender. Dillute it with some coconut oil for easier spreading and repeat every couple of hours. (Also Birch for pain and bruising if you have it available)

Julie Ann - Grounding Blend, Helichrysum, Cypress and Peppermint.  Took a goose egg size blood clot (editor’s note: probably a hematoma) down on my mothers arm that had me very concerned and even a little shaky...it was close to her heart, brain (on back of upper arm).  Worked literal miracles within hours to take the black and blue colors and swelling down.  It is completely gone now and everything is back to normal.  Keep up the oils for weeks to come.  I had my mother applying them all day long and before she went to bed.

Teressa - I use Peppermint for bruising!  It works great.  I dropped a half size dutch oven pan on my foot and the it immediately started to bruise.  I dumped Peppermint on it and not only did the bruising go away, but the pain was quickly gone.  The oven hit my right foot then bounced and rolled on to my left foot.  My right foot injury seemed so sever, that I ignored the left foot.  The next morning my left foot had a bigger bruise than my right one that I had put Peppermint on!!!


TaLaisa - My Mom has inherited very droopy eyelids, they were sagging to the point of affecting her vision.  The eye doctor decided to do surgery, to lift the eyelid. The timing was terrible. She is off track for school but didn't have the allotted 6 weeks healing time to recover before school started. She is diabetic and bruises easily and bruises take months to go away. Needless to say she was worried about the big black eyes she'd be sporting for back to school night at the beginning of August.  

I convinced her (lovingly, of course) to let me get her some oils. I spoke to Tamalu, who gave me great suggestions but also reminded and empowered me that I could help. The minute my Mother got home from surgery I gave her Geranium, Soothing Blend and Lavender and told her to put them on at least twice a day and as often as she felt like it.  She's been putting them on faithfully for the last eight days. One eye is completely clear of bruising and the other eye is very close. She has marveled at the fact that neither ever turned that dark blue color that fades to yellow and ends up traveling down the affected area.  She told me that she's also been putting the oil on the spots on her arm and hand where they put in the IV line, fast healing on both areas as well. It's really remarkable that what the doctor told her took most average patience 6 weeks to heal from and may take her twice as long,  has progressed so rapidly toward nearly healed in less than two short weeks.

Megan - Being TaLaisa's sister I have been witness to this amazing recovery. I have been so impressed and thrilled with the results I have been seeing with the progress being made in my Mom's recovery!


Jessica - I have two friends that recently had surgery.  One of them has severe bruising as a result, the other has scarring on her shoulder.  What oils are great for combating both situations? 

Carla - Birch works very well for bruising.  I have actually prevented bruising when I applied it after crashing into a table in the middle of the night.  The real hero would be Helichrysum.  I used it on my black eye after an eye procedure.  It is also amazing with scarring.  My sister had a neighbor use it on her had which was crippled through scarring.  She was able to regain use in her hand.

Pat - Here are a couple of bruising blends that work really well, don't forget to be consistent and aggressive in applying these oils. One treatment will not eliminate the bruising.

Blend #1:

    5 drops Helichrysum

  4 drops Lavender

  3 drops Cypress

  3 drops Lemongrass

  3 drops Geranium

Blend #2:

   6 drops Clove

  3 drops Peppermint

  2 drops Marjoram

  4 drops Roman Chamomile

  2 drops Geranium

  2 drops Cypress

Helichrysum is especially beneficial in healing bruises when applied neat on location. 1-3 drops on bruised area 2-5 times a day.

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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.