Studied Homeopathic Remedies
A bruise is the visible evidence of bleeding under the skin. Seldom more than a cosmetic nuisance, it goes through a well-defined series of changes, beginning with a dark purple and red coloration, gradually fading through greenish yellow, then disappearing. Some people are particularly prone to bruises, developing them after injuries too minor to affect most people.
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Bruises
Homeopathic Arnica is so widely believed to be an effective treatment for bruises and other minor traumas that it is found in the medicine cabinets of millions of people, especially in Europe. However, there is as yet no consistent scientific evidence that it is effective. 4
For example, two very preliminary clinical trials were performed to test whether homeopathic
can reduce the size or discomfort of a bruise caused by injury.
In these unpleasant-sounding experiments, the subjects allowed themselves to be bruised on the inside of their forearms by a 2.3-pound (1,041 g) weight, which fell from about a foot and a half (44 cm) above the arm. Participants were given either Arnica or placebo before the experiment and then were bruised on one arm. Subsequently, they were given a second dose of whatever they had just received and were then followed for a period of 3 to 4 days. The goal was to see whether the bruises treated by Arnica got better faster than those treated by placebo.
Researchers found a hint of benefit in the first study, but none in the second study. Unfortunately, the numbers of participants in each study were too small to allow for the results to have much statistical meaning.
has also been studied to see if it can reduce bruising caused by surgery. However, in a
Finally, researchers have attempted to discover whether homeopathic
10x has any effect on the ability of the blood to clot, as measured by laboratory tests. In a double-blind study of 18 healthy male volunteers,
was indistinguishable from placebo regarding blood coagulation.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Bruising
Homeopathic practitioners traditionally give Arnica to treat traumatic injuries. The classical
Other Natural Options
For herbs, supplements, and other alternative treatments that may be useful for minor injuries, see the Minor Injury
For a thorough explanation of homeopathy, including dilution of therapies, see the
5. Wolf M, Tamaschke C, Mayer W, et al. Efficacy of ARNICA in varicose vein surgery; results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003;10:242-7.
7. Seeley BM, Denton AB, Ahn MS et al. Effect of Homeopathic Arnica montana on Bruising in Face-lifts: Results of a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Arch Facial Plast Surg . 2006;8:54-9.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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