Bleeding usually refers to the external loss of blood from a blood vessel, while hemorrhage refers to the rupture of an internal blood vessel. External bleeding can involve a wide range of several things, including abrasions (scrapes), lacerations (tears), punctures (such as stabbing) or gunshot wounds. In less severe wounds, involving broken or severed capillaries, the blood will flow momentarily in order to wash out the wound, and within a few minutes a clot will begin to form. In more severe wounds, involving a severed vein or artery, the flow of blood will be stronger and more profuse.

Arterial blood is bright red because it contains a high amount of oxygen and is being pumped directly from the heart; it will flow in spurts. On the other hand, venous blood is darker because it is returning from the cells, carrying carbon dioxide rather than oxygen and not being pumped directly; it will flow more steadily. A bruise is an area of mild internal tissue damage where blood released from capillaries has accumulated. The change in colour of a bruise from red or purple to brown, green or even yellow before disappearing results from the hemoglobin in the red blood cells breaking down as the blood elements rebuild the injured tissue.

Recommended Action

The best emergency measure for any bleeding, either internal or external, is a teaspoon of cayenne in a glass of warm water. If bleeding is internal, use a homeostatic herb that is a specific for the particular organ involved. Simmer them in 2 cups (500 ml.) of milk, then drink it slowly. Cayenne will control the bleeding. Goldenseal, to prevent infection, may be applied directly to minor external wounds. Plantain, comfrey or yarrow (either fresh or powdered) are more beneficial for severe wounds (internal or external). In a case of arterial or venous bleeding, apply direct pressure around the wound and get immediate attention. Generally, bruises are not serious, however, if bruising occurs easily, it signifies fragile, or easily ruptured blood vessels. This condition can be remedied with a good calcium supplement, and it is advisable to beware of Vitamin C deficiency. Large amounts of bioflavonoids are also usually needed.

Single Herbs: Cayenne, Plantain, Comfrey, Yarrow (vulneraries); Goldenseal root (uterine homeostatic); Mullein (bowel and lungs); Marshmallow (bladder); Goldenseal, White Oak bark (nose); Gumweed ointment (prevents scarring).

Nutritional Supplements Vitamin A (20,000 IU), Vitamin C (1000-3000 mg), Vitamin E oil over scab area after healing has advanced, Bioflavonoids (250 mg, four-six times daily), Calcium (200 mg daily), Magnesium (100 mg daily), Trace Minerals.