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I’m not a clumsy person, I’m a graceful person who doesn’t look where she’s going. And thanks to that fact, along with walking in shorts rain or shine (or snow or sleet), walking with a big heavy dog who has her own ideas about when to stop or slow down, and exceptionally cold, humid mornings, I’ve experienced an unusual share of road rash this past winter.

What’s road rash? It’s the unique contusions and bruising that result from bare skin unexpectedly making contact with concrete or tarmac. I’m lucky because, using only my lower limbs for locomotion, my knees, elbows and palms don’t get as badly beaten up as rollerbladers, skateboarders, cyclists, and motorcyclists can. ;-) However, it still smarts, and as with any injury that removes or damages a portion of our largest organ, it often takes a long time to heal.

I started applying seabuckthorn seed oil to my road rash a couple of years ago, to ease the sting, reduce the likelihood of infection, and promote healing. But I noticed something new this winter; I had a particularly bad fall going down a hill in an alley on a frosty morning; I decided to slow down and Nova, my dog, didn’t. I went down hard on both knees, and I fully expected to see severe bruising. I was surprised after a couple of days to notice bruises only on the sides of my knees. The next time I applied seabuckthorn oil I saw a possible explanation: the bruises fell just outside the area of application.

As a test, I tried applying the oil to the bruise, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. However in subsequent cases (unfortunately, falling repeatedly isn’t a mistake I seem to be able to learn from), the positive results of preventative application has held true.

It’s not surprising. Seabuckthorn oils contain substances that strengthen cell walls, promote vascular health, reduce interstitial fluid and suppress inflammation. All factors that would affect bruising. I’ve never seen a study particularly focussing on the efficacy of seabuckthorn oils in preventing contusions, but I would be very interested in the outcome of such a study. Particularly in such applications as cosmetic surgery, where bruising can be not only painful and unsightly, but can affect the outcome of the procedure, I think seabuckthorn oils could be an effective supplementary treatment.

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