Q. Have you ever heard of using castor oil for bruises? My mother-in-law swears by this remedy. Whenever one of my kids bumps a knee, she rubs castor oil on it and there is never a bruise.


A. Arnica and calendula are herbs that have long been used to relieve muscle aches and prevent bruises after minor injuries. Castor oil is used internally as a laxative, but many tell us it works externally for warts. Now we will add bruises to the list.

Others have the following castor oil stories to share.
Brenda says:
“We can testify castor oil works great for soreness as well keeping bruises down to a minimum.”
S. H. offers this:
“Castor Oil is great for MORE than helping lessen scars and easing bruises.
“It will just about knock out knee pain and help delay knee surgery for many people.
My husband’s knee really hurts at times; he has seen his doctor and was prescribed
pain pills.
“Since I heard about castor oil being rubbed onto knees and other joints to reduce inflammation and pain, I decided to tell my husband. It reduced inflammation, and stopped the pain (by morning #3 (third), ONLY applying at night). We have told many other people; some were facing knee replacement surgery; castor oil is successfully delaying that time and surgery.
“When I have sore muscles or feel a tinge of what might turn into soreness from fibromyalgia I have my husband gently rub some into my sore areas. We know that it is really good stuff. I hope the drug companies don’t try to make it a prescription and make a $4 bottle turn into a $40 one.”

S.H., Branson, MO

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  1. Sunny M.

    I am not sure why I didn’t see this until now, but WOW! I’ve been having some knee stiffness and pain that interferes with my bicycling. When I read this, I bought a bottle of castor oil… I think it cost less than $2. I have been rubbing into my knees twice a day. Amazing! I honestly got real relief within a couple of days. I don’t know how or why it works, but it did for me.

  2. Tom D

    Used it in Lacrosse for years. Put on castor oil and wrapped it with plastic wrap, bruise would at times be gone the next day. Frustrated a lot of players because the would swear that they hit you… :-)

  3. allie

    I love that book! I buy them in bulk and give them out to those with ailments. Dr. Jarvis was a great man!

  4. dJ

    I have very think skin to start with but when I started taking Plavix I looked like someone was beating me. I talked to my RN friend and Dr about this and they both said ANY type of oil will work. It is not the actual oil but the rubbing/massaging that you are doing that is helping. It is dispersing the accumulated blood under the skin. I am finding this really helps (the massaging) but do not do it to the point that it hurts. Also always gently rub in a direction away from the actual bruise. Hope this helps.

  5. SLH

    Wow! I am going to definitely try this, since I am borderline bleeder and bruise very, very easily! Heading to the vitamin store in just a minute! thanks for your post!

  6. Rhavda E.

    Castor Oil mixed with Helichrysum oil works twice as fast as just castor oil alone. Helichrysum oil will get rid of bruising by itself within 24 to 48 hours. I have been using several mixtures with Helichrysum oil and other base carrier oils over the past 15 years. My favorite base carrier oils to mix Helichrysum oil with are castor oil and coconut oil. I use about 20 drops of Helichrysum oil to 1 ounce of castor oil or coconut oil. Sesame seed oil and canola oil also work well as base carrier oils.

  7. 1yellowknife

    In Arctic Canada, castor oil protects from frostbite during extreme cold. Castor oil reduces the peeling of skin, should frostbite occur and minimizes the impact of the long Arctic winters on our skin. Of course prevention of frostbite is our priority focus. But castor oil helps a lot.

  8. MM

    DEF WORKS!!!! I am a huge bruiser, esp. since I am borderline anemic and whether I bruise and apply castor oil right away or wait 24+ hours before I apply castor oil directly to bruise and rub it a bit; it significantly minimizes the bruise right away and/or decreases the severity or # of days it shows! I love it!!!!!

  9. Peter G

    Warm Castor Oil wrapped in a towel around swollen joints or swollen areas will reduce pain and swelling.
    Also very good for Arthritis sufferers. Try it, you’ll love it. Peter G.

  10. DG

    This is also mentioned in the book “Back To Eden” and I have used it many times. In the book it says to use a white cotton cloth with the castor oil and apply a heating pad for about 30 minutes 3 times a day. It really works.

  11. JBJ

    My grandmother born in 1870 told me to use butter & a silver knife on any bruise. I have found any kind of grease immediately rubbed on a bumped area of skin will stop the bruising. Vaseline, mentholatum or any kind of grease will stop the bruising. Why?? Because when the skin is hit, the blood rushes to the spot & a bruise is left. If it is covered with grease, the blood does not rush to the wounded area. If the skin has been broken then use greasy neosporin so you don’t get an infection started.

  12. H.

    The old book Vermont Folk Medicine mentioned castor oil for several things. I have found it lightens the brown age spots on my hands somewhat, with continued use.

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