Q. My mother-in-law uses castor oil for bruises. At Christmas, my sister-in-law sat down in a very heavy old rocker-recliner chair. It went crashing to the floor, and one corner landed right on top of my mother-in-law's foot.

My sister-in-law was dazed and took a moment to get up, which meant my mother-in-law's foot was trapped under the chair for a few seconds. She was screaming!

We all urged my mother-in-law to go to the hospital to make sure no bones in her foot were broken, but she refused. Instead she slathered the top of her foot with a generous amount of castor oil. She said that castor oil applied immediately to a bump reduces swelling and prevents bruising.

I didn’t believe it until the next day when I saw that her foot was fine! I don't advocate castor oil for serious injuries, and I do think my mother-in-law should have had her foot X-rayed, but for minor accidents, it works great!

A. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid. This compound has both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects (European Journal of Pharmacology, Oct. 27, 2000). Regular topical use seems to improve pain tolerance, but no one has studied an anti-bruising effect.

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  1. Angelina Mayers
    Reply

    Caster Oil can certainly help reduce the bruising. I am always amazed to find out that natural substances can be put to so many uses. :)

  2. CraftyMariachi
    Reply

    Isn’t an anti-inflammatory by definition anti-bruising? My grandma also uses castor oil for bruises and actually even as a laxative… It’s always crazy how many random uses these things are put to!

  3. LCF
    Reply

    Whenever my children hurt themselves, the first thing I reached for was the castor oil. My mother-in-law’s uncle was a boxer and castor oil was what they used after a boxing match to prevent hematomas and bruising. It works like a charm. It has been passed down as a remedy in my family for many years.

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