|Bruises and sprains
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale): A poultice of comfrey leaves will reduce bruising and speed healing of sprains and fractures. BUT, it must not be used on deep wounds as comfrey is such a powerful tissue healer that the surface skin may heal before the wound has healed deeper down. Comfrey also encourages good formation of scar tissue.
St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and arnica (Arnica montana): Both are excellent for sprains and bruises, especially if there is any pain or inflammation of the skin. BUT, do not use arnica where the skin is broken.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) , agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) and elder leaves (Sambucus nigra): All are soothing and healing for bruises, sprains and other minor wounds.
Balm of Gilead (Cedronella canariensis): Relieves bruises, cuts and arthritic pain.
Myrtle (Myrtus communis): Aids bruising.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria): Ointment or a poultice containing mashed leaves and flowering tops of catnip soothes external bruises.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officianlis) and Bay (Laurus nobilis): Essential oils of either of these can be gently massaged around sprains and into aching joints or bruises.
Parsley (petroselinum crispum): The juice reduces swelling and its leaves can be used in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for sprains and wounds.
Distilled witch hazel: Apply with sterile cotton wool as soon as possible to small bumps and bruises to halt swelling
||Marshmallow root or Borage leaf (Boraginaceae): A poultice or ointment containing either of these soothes inflammation and bruising.
Calendula: Oil extracted from the petals is healing and rejuvenating. In particular, it soothes inflammations and cracked skin (especially good on nipples).
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Massage oil containing lavender aids inflammation and rheumatic aches.
|Cuts and Abrasions
||Witch hazel, thyme, rosemary and calendula: Clean any cuts by soaking in witch hazel diluted with 4 parts water, or use 3 drops thyme or rosemary oil or one half a teaspoon tincture of calendula to 1 cup of hand-hot boiled water. These antiseptic washes can also be gently swabbed with a series of sterile cotton-wool.
Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris): An infusion of lady’s mantle can be used as a compress to arrest bleeding, heal wounds and reduce inflammation.
Comfrey, self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium): For slow-healing wounds apply a compress or poultice of comfrey (BUT see above regarding its effects on deep wounds). Compresses or ointments containing self-heal, chamomile or yarrow are beneficial.
Plaintain leaves (Plantago major): These have antibiotic properties.
Tea Plant: Tea plant ointment is a good antiseptic.
Comfrey, calendula and agrimony: To continue treatment, a soft ointment containing any of these is soothing and healing.
NOTE: If applying a poultice to an open wound, dip the leaves briefly in boiling water to sterilize them.
||Aloe vera: Immediately apply the cool inside surface of an aloe vera leaf to reduce pain, speed healing and leave a protective seal against infection. Crush the sap from fresh aloe vera leaves or slice them and apply as a poultice. For small burns, break off a leaf and apply the sap; for larger burns split and open out the leaf, place the sap against damaged skin and lightly bandage in place, renewing as necessary.
Calendula: Applied as a cool compress or ointment, it soothes and heals.
Marsh mallow(Althaea officinalis): Added to an ointment, it will soothe minor burns.
|Chapped skin and rashes
||Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): A decoction made from the leaf can be used on wounds, chapped skin and rashes. Extended use of yarrow leaves, however, may make the skin sensitive to light, so caution is advised.
||Coriander (Coriandrum sativum): Add essential oil of coriander to ointments for painful rheumatic joints and muscles.
Grate Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana): Grated root can made into a poultice and applied to stiff muscles and rheumatism. (Note: not to be used in continuous large doses when pregnant or suffering from kidney problems.)
Rosemary (see Circulation)
||Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): The leaf stimulates circulation and eases pain by increasing blood supply where applied. It can also be good for aching joints and rheumatic pains.
Other Herbal Resources
Lotions and Potions