I was just exiting the parking shuttle which was dropping us off at the airport for our trip to Kiev. The shuttle driver closed the van door behind me and caught my leg in it. I guess I was standing too close to the van. Needless to say, I looked down and saw a nasty red welt growing on my leg. This was going to be a doozy of a bruise.
Dan and I travel with a pretty comprehensive herbal first aid kit, yet every now and then an issue comes up where I wish I had something with me. When I get home from travelling I add that item to my kit. This was one of those times…
When I get a bruise, I reach directly for arnica. If I can get arnica on an impending bruise immediately, sometimes the bruise doesn’t even develop. I have tested this on myself and my family numerous times, going so far as to apply arnica on some bruises and not on others to see the results. Arnica helps bruises no matter how old they are, but if it is applied promptly after an injury or bump or at the first sign of a bruise it will increase the healing rate exponentially. When we have done side-by-side testing on bruises it is clear the benefit of arnica. A bruise to which arnica is applied straight away may last only a few days and be very lightly coloured as opposed to the week or two weeks of gross purple and then yellow-green blotches.
Arnica is a powerhouse plant that does a few things really well. It is anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling thus benefiting in the treatment of sprains, strains, fractures, contusions and other injuries. It speeds up the healing of bruises by prompting your body to send more white blood cells to clean up and repair the bruise. It is a natural pain reliever as it doesn’t just cover up the pain; it actually stimulates your body’s healing process. Arnica is especially recommended for trauma (such as a fall) or inflammation (as from arthritis).
…I had no arnica salve with me. So I walked around Kiev with an unsightly bruise. I have since added arnica salve to my travel first aid kit.
In a double boiler (or a pot nestled in a larger pot filled with a bit of water) over medium heat, add the oils and beeswax.
Stir until the beeswax melts and is fully incorporated.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a moment.
Add the essential oils. Stir.
Pour into clean and sterilised jars.
Safety: Arnica should never be used internally or on an open wound.
Arnica: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial, vulnerary
Rosemary: anti-oxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory
Lavender: nervine, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial
Fennel: diaphoretic, stimulant, anodyne, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory