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bruise-cream-msg - 1/23/10


Period and SCA bruise creams.


NOTE: See also the files: Handcream-art, Man-d-Mujeres-art, aphrodisiacs-msg, Mouthwash-art, p-medicine-lnks, cosmetics-lnks, On-Rehydration-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 08:27:08 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD  at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: FW: SC - Bruise Ointment


And glory be, I still have this one.  Bear



> by Herbalist's Fellowship, City-State of Marinus

> from Compleat Anachronist #27 - An Herbal Grimoire


> You will need the following quantities of these herbs:


>       1/4 cup arnica flowers (Arnica montana)

>       1/4 cup witch-hazel leaves (Hamamelis virginiana)

>       3 1/2 ounces comfrey root powder (Symphytum officinal)

>       9 ounces St. John's Wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum)

>       1/2 cup powdered black willow bark (Salix nigra)


> You will also need the following:


>       5 cups 70% (isopropyl) alcohol

>       36 fluid ounces olive oil


> Make a tincture of both the arnica flowers and witch-hazel leaves as

> follows:


>       1)  Mix dried plant material with 70% alcohol in a 1:10 ratio.

>       2)  After letting it set for 14 days, strain through a muslin

> cloth, pressing out as much liquid as you can.

>       3)  Leave for 2 days to settle, then filter out any sediment.


> Make a decoction of comfrey root powder as follows:


>       1)  Mix root powder with two pints water (spring water is best,

>               or well-filtered tap water, if not heavily chlorinated)

>               and boil for 10 minutes.

>       2)  Strain the liquid.


> Make oil of St. John's Wort flowers as follows:


>       1)  Crush the flowers in a mortar and pestle, then combine it

>               with the 2 pints of comfrey decoction.  If short of 2

>               pints, add enough water to make the proper volume.

>       2)  Add 18 fluid ounces of olive oil, mix well.

>       3)  Pour into a large clear glass jar with a wide neck. Leave

> uncovered in a warm place until fermentation occurs

>               (about 3 to 5 days).

>       4)  Put on an airtight lid and keep away from light until

>               the contents take on a red color (about 6 weeks).

>       5)  Pour off the mixture, discarding remaining plant material.

> Keep airtight until needed.


> Make oil of black willow bark powder as follows:


>       1)  Mix bark powder with 18 fluid ounces of olive oil.

>       2)  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer

> uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

>       3)  When cool, pour into large container.


> Mix completed oil of black willow bark, oil of St. John's Wort flowers, and

> tincture of arnica and witch-hazel together in a LARGE container, stir

> vigorously until well-mixed. Pour off into sterile, air-tight, resealable

> (preferably green or dark glass) bottles.


> Makes about 1/2 to 3/4 gallons of bruise juice. Stored in a cool dry place

> in good containers, it should last 1 to 3 years (if it doesn't all get

> used the first week).




> For use as ointment/liniment for bruises, sprains, and sore joints. DO NOT

> TAKE INTERNALLY. Apply liberally to sore area (avoiding mucous membranes),

> and rub in until ointment disappears into skin. Discontinue if irritation

> results. Avoid open wounds where possible. Apply as desired, but no more

> than 8 times daily, or irritation may result.


> (Writer's note -- Surely you didn't think it was a 10 minute project?

> Bruise juice takes at least 6 weeks to make, but ask any fighter -- it's

> worth it. Good luck.)


>                                          Bob Newmyer

>                                          rnewmyer  at epix.net

>                                         http://www.epix.net/~rnewmyer



Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 10:42:37 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT- looking for recipe for Bruise Cream

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> I got this request yesterday. I know this is a bit off-topic for this

> list, but I'm not on any of the herbal lists.


Well, whose fault is that? :)


>> Hello I found your e-mails on the web and am hoping you can help me to

>> track down a recipe for bruise cream. I use to have it but have lost

>> it. The only ingredients I know for sure to use is comfrey, beeswax

>> and shortening.


Hm.. sounds related to Iasmin's, which I have in my files:


> Bruise Balm

> -----------

> This is the most popular balm I make. Fighters in our martial arts

> program have all commented on how well it works to speed the healing

> of their bruises. Their doctors have commented on how well it work

> also. The first two herbal ingredients are standard ones I always

> have on hand because they strongly encourage healing of bruised

> muscles. The third herbal ingredient varies depending on my mood and

> the availability of the herbs at the time, but is always chosen for

> its helpfulness on bruises and sprains.


> 1 cup dried Juniper berries, crushed or roughly ground (Juniperus communius)

> 1 cup dried Arnica flowers (Arnica montana)

> 1 cup dried Bay Leaves (Anthimus nobilis)

> Oil to cover

> Wax to thicken


Here are some

others from the files of the SCA-Herbalist yahoogroup:


"Herbs for the Mediaeval Household" by Margaret B. Freeman


Bruise Butter

1 1/2 C calendula flowers (pot marigold)

8 oz jar pure lanolin (anhydrous)

6 oz coconut oil

a quarter to a half cup comfrey


Put all ingredients in a covered casserole, bake at 375 for an hour.

Strain through cheesecloth into container, cool and label.

You can add eucalyptus oil or oil of clove for smell.

As with any salve recipe if it sets up too soft remelt and add more






Bruise Balm

~By Herbalist on the Bayou Guild

Principality of Gleann Abhann


6 bay leaves

1/2 cup lavender

1/4 cup sage

1/4 cup calendula

1/4 cup wormwood

1/4 cup rosemary


One large bottle of extra virgin olive oil. (I don't remember the exact

ounces, but it was a big one from Wal-Mart. lol)

Beeswax totaling approximately 4-6 ounces, as needed for thickness.


All the herbs were combined in a pot and cooked on the stove in the oil on

low (or simmer if your stove is so equipped) for approximately two hours.

Alternatively, you could use an old crock pot or potpourri pot (never use

something for herbal recipes you intend to use for food later) and simmer

it overnight. This would keep the herbs from having a chance to scorch

while cooking. Just remember to stir.


Afterward, cool and strain the oil. Melt the beeswax and add a little at

time until the desired thickness is achieved for your balm. It will need

to be cooled to see the actual consistency.

This recipe makes quite a large batch of bruise balm and could easily be

halved for personal use.




> I think that one was mine. If not here is what I use in my bruise cream.  We

> sell this each year at Rowany Festival in Lochac and it sells very well and

> is very effective.

> Caristiona


> Bruise Cream

> 40 ml water

> 20ml of oil (which has had St. Johns Wort, Comfrey and Calendula

> soaking in it, in the sun for four weeks).

> 25 gm of bees wax.


> Combine the wax and oil and heat until the wax is melted. Heat the water in

> a separate pot until it is ready to boil. Combine the water and wax/oil

> mixture. Mix the cream until it is cold. You need to do this to make sure

> that it does not start to separate as it cools. If you use a mixer in

> the early stages it can save your arm a bit, but for large amounts the cream

> gets thick enough to break a hand mixer.


-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net  



From: tonia burk <toniaburk at hotmail.com>

Date: March 29, 2009 10:43:10 PM CDT

Cc: <stefan at florilegium.org>, <sullien at yahoo.com>, <rene4life at yahoo.com>


Bruise Balm Making Class

Instructor: Randalin in kyrra – toniaburk at hotmail.com

Disclaimer: Use of any and all of the information herein is at your own risk.

Ingredients: 10 oz olive oil (wet measure)

1/4 Cup (dry measure) beeswax (~0.15 lb)

1/4 Cup (dry measure): Agrimony, Comfrey, Peppermint and Witch Hazel leaves

3/4 Cup  (dry measure) Calendula Flowers (~same mass as the others - fluffy)

Tools:  1 liquid measuring cup (1 cup vol.), ¼ cup dry measuring cup, double boiler with glass bowl, stapler, labels

Herbal Properties:

AgrimonyÕs blood-staunching and anti-inflammatory properties have been established by experiments in China.  Agrimonia eupatoria is also known as Church Steeples, Cocklebur, Funffing, Herbe de Saint-Guillaume, Liverwort and Stickwort.

Calendula officinalis is also known as Pot Marigold. CalendulaÕs key actions are anti-inflammatory, relieves muscle spasms, astringent, prevents hemorrhaging, heals wounds and antiseptic.  The herb astringes the capillaries, an action that explains its effectiveness for cuts, wounds, varicose veins, and various inflammatory conditions.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is also know as SaracenÕs Root, Knitbone, Boneset or Bruisewort.  ComfreyÕs ability to promote the healing of bruises, sprains, fractures, and broken bones has been known for thousands of years.  It encourages ligaments and bones to knit together firmly. A comfrey compress applied immediately to a sprained ankle can significantly reduce the severity of the injury.  The combination of tannins and mucilage helps to soothe bruises and scrapes.  Comfrey oil or ointment is used to treat acne, boils and psoriasis.  It is also valuable in the treatment of scars.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) relieves pain & reduces sensitivity when applied to skin.

Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) has a drying, astringent effect, causing the tightening up of the proteins in the skin and across the surface of abrasions.  This creates a protective covering that increases resistance to inflammation and promotes healing of broken skin.  It also appears to help damaged blood vessels beneath the skin.  It helps to tighten distended veins and restore their normal structure.

Discussion points:

* Other herbs commonly used in bruise formulations: chamomile, bay, juniper berries, red clover, plaintain, rosemary, arnica, St. JohnÕs wort, black willow bark, sage, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavendar, clove

* Not all herbs are the same

   - quality – color, smell, source

   - check species variations (ex: Chinese vs American variety)

   - check interactions/side effects www.drugdigest.org (ex: St Johns wort - light sensitivity)

* part of plant used: leaves, flower, bark, root,

* fresh (aromatics remain) vs dried (more concentrated constituents)

* other topical formulations: infused oils, ointments, poultices, creams, lotions, compresses of infusions, decoctions or tinctures

Some period references:

Agrimony:  Outwardly applied, being stamped with old Swines grease, it helpeth old sores, Cancers and inveterate Ulcers; and draweth forth Thorns, Splinters or Wood, Nails, or any other such thing gotten into the Flesh; it helpeth to strengthen the Members that be out of joynt; and being bruised and applied, or the Juyce dropped in, it helpeth foul and imposthumed Ears. (Culpeper)

Marigolds (Calendula):  It is an Herb of the Sun and under Leo they strengthen the heart exceedingly, and are very expulsive, and little less Effectual in the smal pox and measles than Saffron.  The Juyce of Merigold Leaves mixed with Vinegar, and any hot swelling bathed with it, instantly giveth ease and asswageth it. (Culpeper)

Comfrey:  ...distilled Water..and for outward Wounds and Sores in the Fleshy, or Sinewy part of the Body whersoever; as also to take away the fits of Agues, and to allay the sharpness of Humors.  A decoction of the Leavs herof is available to all the purposes, though not so effectual as of the Roots.  The Roots being outwardly applied, helpeth fresh Wounds or Cuts immediatly, being bruised and laid therunto; and is especial good for Ruptures and broken Bones: yea it is said to be so powerful to consolidate and knit together (Culpeper)

Mint:  Dioscorides saith, It hath an heating, binding and drying quality, and therefor the Juyce taken with Vinegar, staieth Bleeding: It stirreth up Venery or Bodily lust...applied with Salt, it helpeth the biting of a Mad Dog;...Applied to the Forehead or Temples, it easeth pains of the Head. And is good to wash the Heads of yong Children therewith, against all manner of breakings out, Sores, or Scabs therein; and healeth the chops of the Fundament. It is also profitable against the Poyson of Venemous Creatures.

They {the eating of the leaves} are extream bad for wounded people and they say a wounded man that eats Mints his Wound will never be cured, and thatÕs a long day. (Culpeper)

Witch Hazel:  This seems to be a North American herb commonly used by Native Americans.  However, just a point of interest, the name is not a reference to witches, but derives from the Old English word for ÒpliantÓ, and the limber branches were used as archery bows. (Kowalchik)  I included it because it is a widely used well-known skin care product.


Chevallier, Andrew, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Dorling Kindersley Lmtd, London 1996.

Culpeper, Nicholas, The English Physician, Printed by Peter Cole, Printing-Press in Cornhill, 1652 {web source http://www.med.yale.edu/library/historical/culpeper/

Kowalchik, Claire and William H. Hylton, Ed. RodaleÕs Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 1998.



Re: [Meridian_Herbalists] Re: Randalin's bruise balm


On Jul 14, 2008, at 16:38, Tonia Burk wrote:

> Greetings Magdalena,


> I began to research and make bruise balm for practical use. My

> sources were the "Seasons" article in Pop Chiv a number of years back

> and various books and websites. It is not a redacted recipe. I just

> took what I liked out of each source.


> Witch hazel and arnica are non-period ingredients I've used in the

> past, but I think the Agrimony, Comfrey, Peppermint and Calendula are

> period. Almond oil is much nicer on the skin (absorbs better) than

> olive oil, but much more expensive.


I have heard wormwood being used as a substitute for the arnica. It

is pain-relieving, encourages circulation, and relaxes muscles.

Although it is associated with absinthe and its dangers, I have heard

of no problem with using wormwood *externally*. The medicinal use of

wormwood goes back to Old Testament times (and, of course, is

mentioned in the New Testament, Book of Revelations as a reference to

extreme bitterness).


You may be able to document period use of arnica, however. Arnica

montana was used by Europeans in the 1500s in NA and may have been

taken back or traded to Europe by colonists.


> I bought the dried herbs from Sevananda, a natural food store in

> Atlanta that has very fresh green dried herbs for super cheap. I

> wish I grew them all!


> You can bake the mixture in the oven or heat it over an open fire in

> a double boiler (put your cooking pot suspended in a bigger pot of

> boiling water=constant 100 degrees C), which helps prevent you from

> having flaming bruise balm.


> I gave samples out in little baggies in the past, but the oil tends

> to weep, so I suggest little jars if you can get them. It is great

> for the painful bone-deep bruises I get from rapier.


> My only other words of wisdom are, of course, to use at your own risk

> and to let us know how it goes!


> Randalin


> --- In Meridian_Herbalists at yahoogroups.com, "Louise Webb"

> <webb249 at ...> wrote:

> I was looking at the files section and began studying your bruise

> balm recipe. I've ask

>  around and discovered some fighters who swear by it. I see you

> pulled the healing

> properties of the plants from various sources and I wondered if you

> came up with the

> combination based on this information or whether it was a recipe

> you redacted. I noted

> the witch hazel is a North American plant used by the Native

> Americans so I thought it

> possible it was your own healing recipe.


> I wanted to post the question at large to see if anyone else has

> experimented in this area.

> A recipe that has a proven track record is a good place to start

> before my little group launches into this on our own.


> I also wanted to ask if you raise all the plants listed or do you

> purchase any of the

> ingredients as extracts? Bees wax and olive oil excluded of course

> although you may have

> a hive and an olive tree. The handout has me intrigued and my

> little group wants to try it out.


> Finally, any advice, words of wisdom or even caution?


> Magdalena


Tol Bolsun,

Peterfi Mihal


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org