Here’s some news on bruises: You don’t have to wait for them to go away on their own and you can stop them from appearing in the first place! Here’s how…

Sweet way to stop a bruise: Here’s how to stop a bruise from forming—as soon as you bump or bang yourself, wet the fingers of one hand and dip them in the sugar bowl. Then rigorously (but gently) massage the injured area with your sugar-coated fingers. (Don’t massage if it’s painful!) Make sure you reach the outer edges of the banged-up spot. Your sugared fingers will promote blood circulation, reduce the scope of broken capillaries and help prevent a black-and-blue mark from forming.

Delete that spot: If you’ve got a black-and-blue spot, spread a thin layer of blackstrap molasses on a piece of brown paper (from a grocery bag, for example) and apply the molasses side to the bruise. Then bind it in place with medical tape and leave it there for a few hours. Your skin color should go from black and blue to looking much more normal—maybe even free and clear!

Tasty fruit fix: Pineapple contains bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme that breaks down the cell bonds that form body tissue. Pineapple is the only natural source of bromelain, which has a long history of safe use and is very effective at helping break down the blood clots that form bruises. What to do: If you’re trying to get rid of a bruise, substitute pineapple for your other daily fruit. Each day for several days, have two or three four-ounce servings, preferably between meals, of fresh, canned or frozen pineapple or pineapple juice—and watch your bruise fade away. Bromelain supplements, often combined with the anti-inflammatory curcumin, are good sugar-free alternatives. Suggested dosage: 200 to 400 milligrams three times a day, taken on an empty stomach. As with taking any supplement, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first.

Lighten it up: Bruises can be an ugly combo of green and grey! To get back to your normal skin tone, cut a lemon in half, and gently rub the pulp over the bruise four or five times till the bruise is covered with pulp and juice. Rinse with cold water. If you can, do this once every hour until you go to bed. When you wake up, there should be a big improvement.

Caution: If a bruise isn’t healing, is growing larger, has become more painful or appeared without any apparent cause, it could be a sign of something serious, so you should alert your doctor.

Thanks to Andy Rubman, ND, author of the Bottom Line blog, Nature Doc’s Patient Diary, for help with these tips.

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