Bruises

RIBWORT PLANTAIN is mentioned as a Highland remedy for boils and bruises (Grant). A Cornish ointment for bruises is made from MALLOW leaves pounded and mixed with pig's lard (Deane & Shaw), and they were one of the ingredients in a medieval prescription "for swelling of a stroke" (Henslow), which presumably means a bruise. They used to be treated with WORMWOOD - "the plant steeped in boiling water, and repeatedly applied to a bruise will remove the pain in a short time, and prevent the swelling and discolouration of the part" (Thornton). Earler herbalists repeatedly prescribed a similar treatment with wormwood (Henslow, Dawson, Cockayne). A liniment, using the root of RUSSIAN TARRAGON, was used by some native American peoples, the Mescalero, and Lipan, for instance. The liniment was made by pounding the root and soaking it in cold water (Youngken), and LESSER EVENING PRIMROSE was made into a poultice by peoples like the Ojibwe, by soaking the whole plant in warmWater (H H Smith; 1945).

Gypsies use an ointment made from the leaves or roots of SOLOMON'S SEAL in lard to apply to a bruise or black eye (Vesey - Fitzgerald). So did Fenland people (Porter. 1974). It is said that a certain Sussex pub landlord grew beds of the plant specially to put on the black eyes received after a pub fight (Sargent). The treatment was described in Scotland as "the root of Solomon's Seal, grated, and sprinkled on a bread poultice" to remove "bruise discolouration" (Gibson). Gerard mentioned their use for bruises "gotten by falls or womens wilfulness, in stumbling upon their hasty husbands fists, or such like". Gypsies also used a decoction of the root of SOAPWORT to apply to a bruise or black eye (Vesey-Fitzgerald), or a freshly dug root put on the black eye would do (Campbell-Culver), though that may take longer to achieve the desired effect. Similarly, BLACK BRYONY got the name "herbe aux femmes battues" in French (Baumann), for this is another plant that has the reputation of healing bruises - the roots "do very quickly waste away and consume away blacke and blew marks that come of bruises and dry-beatings" (Gerard). The crushed leaves of HOUSELEEK are another good remedy (Randell; Grant).

Gerard called DAISY Bruisewort, with good reason, for he advised daisy leaves for "bruises and swellings". Variations on this name include Briswort and Brisewort (Britten & Holland). MARIGOLD is used as a tincture in much the same way as Arnica. If the tea is taken after an accident, it brings out the bruises and prevents internal complications. A lotion would be applied to sprains and bruises as well (Moloney). MELILOT is another useful plant. Sir J Hill gave the advice: "the fresh plant is excellent to mix in pultices to be applied to swellings", and that advice can apply equally well to bruises (Thomson. 1978).

Bryonia dioica > WHITE BRYONY

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