In Raging Bull, Robert DeNiro as Jake Lamotta complains to his wife about overcooking it. In Rocky, Slyvester Stallone uses it to heal a black eye. What is it about steak and boxers? Does putting a slab of meat on your eye really help to heal a shiner? It seems that Hollywood would like us to think so. Is it an old-wives’ tale or a Hollywood trick?

Putting a steak on a black eye does not help it heal, you’re just wasting a good steak. In fact, the raw meat could actually cause an infection. It’s the coldness of the steak, not the meat itself that has the healing powers. An ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables is just as effective. The cold helps keep the swelling down and, by constricting the blood vessels, helps to decrease the internal bleeding which causes the black and blue. Black eyes, like any other bruise, will fade with time.

If you have a black eye, be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any vision problems (double vision, floaters or blurring), severe pain or bleeding from the eye.

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