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Rediscover the ancient wisdom of old wive's tales with remedies to speed up the healing process, such as vinegar in brown paper and cabbage poultices. Accidents, sports injuries and bumps can cause bruising, strains and sprains.  It's hard to avoid these everyday knocks, but simple, natural herbal remedies can do much to help relieve pain and aid your body to repair damaged tissues. The simplest first aid treatment of any knock or bump is to apply a cold compress, using a cloth soaked in ice cold water or a bag of frozen peas.

Herbal enhancements

You can increase the effectiveness of compresses by soaking them in healing herbs such as distilled witch hazel or tincture of horsetail to help reduce pain and swelling. Herbal creams and ointments prepared from calendula or plantain are also effective. In the case of a strain or sprain, you should rest while your ligaments recover. Cotton bandages can add support, but if a fracture is suspected seek medical advice immediately. The humble cabbage can be added to natural compresses to work as a simple and effective first aid treatment.