BRUISE JUICE ~ How To Make It …

By Jeanne Rose


photo by Jeanne Rose of Bruise Juice on a background of Comfrey leaves
photo by Jeanne Rose of Bruise Juice on a background of Comfrey leaves

The Secrets of this Famous HEALING OIL Decoded


In 1969 I was trying to figure out how to cure my paralyzed right shoulder and arm after having a particularly awful automobile accident when I drove my car into Deetjen’s restaurant in Big Sur rather than driving it off the cliff. One historical herbal information source was the nearby U.C. Medical School library. There I found a most fascinating book, “Receipts in Physick and Chirurgery,” by Sir Kenelm Digby, Knt, 1668. There was a recipe for a potent ointment that would heal an injury at a far distance. Well, that was certainly fascinating as it meant if you had an injury in New York, I could rub the same place on my own body while in San Francisco and heal your injury from 3000 miles away.

So, I set about collecting the ingredients and spent the next six months working on the formula. Since the receipt (recipe) itself was so old, the names of many of the herbs were a mystery, such as what in the heck was smallage? This is when I learned how to use the Oxford English Dictionary, a diachronic dictionary that defines the word and tells you the history of the word and where it was first used. The name smallage is simply an old name for Celery seed.

Also, the ointment was made with ‘herbs in season‘, that is, freshly picked botanicals, and put by in a large porcelain jar with oil (then it was the oil of Ben*) until you had all the ingredients together. This meant I had to start in spring and end at the beginning of the following spring. I solved this problem the first time I made ‘Bruise Juice’ by purchasing some dried herbs from Nature’s Herb Company in San Francisco, using some fresh herbs from my garden, and storing them in a large porcelain jar with Olive oil. The process and original formula are in my book, Herbs & Things, written in 1969 and published in 1972.

photo by Jeanne Rose of one season's choices of herbs for Bruise Juice
Midsummer 2020

* “The best oil is the oil of ben as it is a protection…, a security from every affliction. Anoint yourselves with it… blessings…be on them and use it.”  Ben oil is pressed from the seeds of the Moringa oleifera, known variously as the horseradish tree, ben oil tree, or drumstick tree. It has a long history in many cultures as a fragrant oil for healing and perfumery. The oil is characterized by unusually long shelf life and a mild but pleasant taste (it smells a bit fishy to me).  However, I have always used Olive oil in my Bruise Juice – it is local, organically grown, and works exceedingly well.

Olive fruit for oil and Moringa seeds

DIRECTIONS  … Do not hurry the process.
Get your ingredients together, and work evenly and slowly.
Be consistent to get the best possible product.
Develop your standard of excellence and stick to it.

If you do not invest any energy into making a product, you will get no healing from it.


1) COLLECT ~ I always use at least 50 – 60 different parts of herbs, roots, barks, and spices in the Bruise Juice to combat any sort of physical problem. Do you have to use so many? Maybe not, but I am trying to follow this old formula as close as possible for the magic it contains. I have made Bruise Juice using just 5 plants, with all the parts; that would be 15-25 parts if the flowers and seeds were available with the root, stems, and leaves.

Bruise Juice can be used by everyone; It is great for all athletes; football, baseball, lacrosse, basketball, rugby, track-and-field, etc., and is used on all sports injuries as well as everyday aches and injuries.

For my  Bruise Juice, I pick plants in the morning before the sun is high, but the plants are dry (with no wet dew), and I always try to start work on a waxing moon, close to a full moon. I collect the plants, comminute them a bit, place them in a large porcelain and non-aluminum pot, and add enough virgin Olive oil to cover the herbs in the pot.

…(day 1-2)

the pot, the herbs, the olive oil
the pot, the herbs, the olive oil

2) COOK ~ When all plants are collected and in the pot, I turn the heat to medium and heat until the oil is on a low bubble, and the plants start to sweat their internal cellular water. I collect this condensate from the pot’s lid into a small separate jar or glass. I like to collect the condensate into a clean glass and drink it immediately for its healing qualities.  It is the first or virgin condensate from the plants.  Then I dry the inside of the pot’s lid with a cloth and cool the pot for several hours.
 …(day 2-3)

the pot, the cellular water of plants, condensing on the lid
the pot, the cellular water of plants, condensing

3) CONDENSATE MUST BE REMOVED INTACT ~ I heat gently and cool slowly (do not refrigerate) and remove the condensate each time, and heat and cool, and remove the condensate until no more condensate collects inside the lid. At this point, the herbs should feel crisp but not smell burnt and with no internal water as the herbs have condensed the healing into itself. If they smell burnt, they are, and you need to start over. I let the pot cool and then take it off the stove and let it cool enough to handle. [Heat low and slow]
…(day 2-5)

To remove condensate, lift the lid straight up off the pot without tilting it,
move lid away from the pot, and then turn it sideways to drip into your separate glass or jar.

4) STRAIN ~ through a sieve that has been lined with a transparent or thin piece of silk or a pantyhose (do not use cotton or linen), I let it drain until no more oil comes through (this can take 2-4 hours depending on the temperature of the room). [if you wish to add essential oils, this would be the time], add and mix, then on to stage 5. [Also if you want to use some of the Bruise Juice in salad dressing, do not add any essential oils]
…(day 4-5)

Jeanne Rose photo of paint strainer used and straining herbal bits from the product
paint strainer and straining herbal bits from the product

5) SETTLE ~ Pour into a half-gallon or gallon jar, let it settle a day or two, and then bottle on a waning moon. You can also add the essential oils at this point.
…(day 5-7)

Jeanne Rose photo of Bruise Juice in the large glass jar
Bruise Juice in the large glass jar

6) BOTTLE ~ When completely settled, the oil is clear and green, and any watery or clouded liquid is clearly showing at the bottom of the jar; it is time to bottle it up. A waning moon is good, a warm day is better, and a peaceful day is best. [your intent goes a long way when creating a healing oil or ointment]

the 8-oz. bottles are filled

7) LABEL.  And make sure you label everything totally and completely.

…(day 5-8)

Biodynamic BJ-2022
Biodynamic BJ-2022


That is it!

Here are the extra notes you may wish to have regarding the plants to use, the essential oils to add, and the whys and wherefores.



“Wherever you live, learn the plants around you.  Depend upon what grows locally. 

Plants have power,

and you can tap into this power by using them in this simple old remedy.

Use what you know.”

The plants that I use all grow in my backyard in San Francisco.
What do you grow in your area?

An idea of what percentage of each type of herb to use in your Bruise Juice.

Chart of what herbs to use and at what percentage.

Essential Oils per gallon • Each quart of Bruise Juice contains over 2.5% essential oil (about .8 oz by volume) and should contain all or some of these oils. Tea Tree essential oil by itself is not adequate. Use a simple blend.

Don’t get fancy and try to add everything that you have in your cupboard.

– first aid in all its forms, mild, anti-bacterial, and first aid treatment
Litsea cubeba – anti-viral (in a combination — Tea Tree 9 parts • Litsea •1 part)
Palmarosa – anti-fungal and anti-yeast
Rosemary verbenone – anti-fungal (verbenone) and stimulating


Bruise Juice is a well-known product developed by Jeanne Rose in 1969. It was written about & described in Herbs & Things, Jeanne Rose’s Herbal – see pages 204-206. Each season of the year, the Bruise Juice is made with the freshest herbs of the season – so Spring Bruise Juice will smell and react a bit different than Summer made or Fall made Bruise Juice. Apply with fingers, cotton ball, q-tip as massage, application, or rub. Rub it on gently or firmly, as often as necessary, at least several times per day. You can make it simple or use all or some of the herbs and herb parts you have. Here is one iteration of mine.

Summer 2008 — made a simple Bruise Juice with 7 of these herbs (15 parts) including

ANALGESICSage leaf and stem – analgesic = 20%
AROMATIC – Peppermint & Bergamot mint , leaves, stems – aromatic  & Lemon Balm tops, flowers, leaves, stems – antiviral = 10%
ASTRINGENT – Rose buds, leaf, stems – astringent & Witch Hazel leaves , stems – astringent, & Yarrow flowers, stems & leaves  – astringent & healing = 20%
EMOLLIENT –  Violet leaves, & Marshmallow flowers and leaves – healing = 20%
HEALING – Comfrey leaf & stem – emollient & healing & Rosemary leaves, stems = 20%

Essential Oils of Plai, Lavender & Rosemary

A COLLAGE of plants from 2018
A collage of plants from 2018


            Some of the herbs that I have used at various times are as follows: since this is a Seasonal product, the herbs used to depend on the season that we are making the Bruise Juice. Spring Bruise Juice is often green with leaves and early flowers; Summer Bruise Juice is flowers and lots of herb parts; Fall Bruise Juice is leaves and roots; Winter Bruise Juice is often conifers, seeds, and barks. Of course, stems are different than leaves, and both are different than the flowers or seeds of the same plant.  It is the chemistry of each that is different. Look up individual plants on my blog posts for their healing qualities, as many are listed there.

[see or]

List of plants from a summer-made bruise juice with the alchemical symbol of healing at the bottom.
List of plants from a summer-made bruise juice with the alchemical symbol of healing at the bottom.
photo of a warrior son by a jeep
Bruise Juice Baby and warrior son, Bryan Moore.

Bruise Juice is always good to be applied to children’s injuries and even when those children grow up to be Warriors.


101 Uses for Healing Bruise Juice – externally applied

A list of 101 uses for Bruise Juice
101 Uses for Bruise Juice

We have many users of the fabulous Bruise Juice with comments and here is one,

“I received the bottle of Bruise Juice. Thank you!! I have been using it by application religiously each morning & evening. It is a wonderful formulation. I love the scent! If you have that scent in a more concentrated formula as a fragrance application I would like to know. Warm regards … J”

In the early days, people used Bruise Juice as salad dressing (with no EO), but this is the first time that anyone wanted to use it as a scent!

“I gave blood on Saturday.  The tech person poked through the vein and it
immediately swelled bigger than my thumb.  When I got home, I put bruise
juice on it, liberally.  There was almost no bruising, and today I can
hardly see it at all.  The other arm they finally got the pint out of is
more bruised than the arm that swelled!  Good stuff!” — E.T.

Bruise Juice and Calendula oil - photo by Jeanne Rose
Bruise Juice and Calendula oil – photo by Jeanne Rose


All rights reserved 2022. No part of this article may be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.

© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,

Jeanne Rose has two blogs on the uses of herbs and essential oils.

Refer to them for more information.


13 thoughts on “BRUISE JUICE

  1. Jeanne—your bruise juice has helped my family so much over the years with all manner of aches, pains, scratches & bruises. True plant medicine. It’s the real deal & I thank you for it. I think of you often.

  2. Hi Jeanne, I remember you had a copper distiller that I think you used for bruise juice? Thank you for the instructions for stovetop!

    • Thank you for comment. In 55 years, I have made Bruise Juice the exact same way as written in the blog. The copper still is used in distillation to make hydrosols only. However, my still can also be used to distill alcohol from wine.

  3. There is something so wonderful about this recipe.
    I found out that a friend of mine who who lived her whole life in the Bay Area, was raised on Bruise Juice.
    One day she came to my house with her son, an I had a bottle that I had just gotten from you on the table. She went wild! She went straight for it, opened it, then rubbed it on her hands and face. she showed it to her child… asked how I got it… asked if she could buy it off me or take some home. I had to tell her to calm down. I gave her the bottle and bought another.
    It turns out that bruise juice had been an important part of her life growing up. Used for every boo boo or childhood accident and even the smell of it was synonymous with healing.
    What an affect it had!

  4. Hi Jeanne,

    When I was studying at the Academy of Art in the late 90s a fellow student told me a story involving your bruise juice. He said he had fallen and skinned his knee pretty bad in Guerneville. He said you showed up with your bruise juice and applied it to his injury. He said it healed up very quickly.

    At the time I already owned many of your books. It strengthened my belief in you and your remedies.

  5. Bruise juice I remember the original formula and I thought goosefoot was in it, I finally figured out that lambs quarter ie. Chénopodia is what it is, and here in France it’s a popular plant épinard sauvage ie wild spinach and I just picked some and cooked it with duck. So many great stories about Bruise Juice. My first was buying a little one-ounce bottle in cannery row Monterey. I used it to treat a terrible sunburn laying on the beach in Big Sur ! Talk about full circle. 1972 lastly I would take some to the hospital for my dad who had bruises all over his arms he loved it and had the nurses apply it. Thanks Jeanne for reintroducing Herbal medicine to California and the rest of the continent.

Thank you for reading and your comments.