Poultices are an old time remedy that is still just as effective today with helping to draw out infection and to speed healing. Poultices help by increasing blood flow, relaxes tense muscles, soothing inflamed tissues, or drawing toxins from an infected area and are used with great success.
One of the reasons poultices are successful is that the skin, the largest organ of the body, and one of the first line of defense against disease, has the ability of absorption. Applying an herbal poultices to the painful area of the skin absorbs the medicinal benefits of the substance almost immediately. There have been many products developed to take advantage of this fact, body creams, salves, baths products, liniments, oil, compress and poultices.
Poultices can be used for the following conditions
~Joint pain and inflammation
~Enlarged glands in the neck, breast or prostate
They are also used to break up congestion, draw out pus, and remove embedded particles from the skin.
How to make an herb poultice
By making your poultice with the appropriate herbs or other substances, you will help ensure that the treatment is effective. An herbal poultice may be made with dried or fresh herbs. The two types of poultices are prepared in slightly different ways.
Preparing a dried herb poultice
If you are using dried herbs, use a mortar and pestle to grind the herbs to a powder. Place the herbs in a bowl, and add enough warm water to make a thick paste that can be easily applied. Make a quantity sufficient to cover the affected area. The ratio of ground herbs to water will vary according to the herb being used. Add the water in small increments, just until the mixture is thick but not stiff.
Arrange a clean piece of gauze, muslin, linen, or white cotton sheeting on a clean, flat surface. The material should be large enough to cover the affected area completely. Spread the herbal paste over the cloth. Cleanse the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, and place the poultice over the area. Wrap a towel around the poultice to prevent the soiling of clothes or sheets. Use a pin or other fastener to secure the poultice in place. You can use a hot water bottle in order to keep a poultice warm.
Preparing a fresh herb poultice
If using fresh herbs for your poultice, place 2 ounces of the whole herb - about 1/2 cup - and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Simmer for 2 minutes. Do not drain.
Arrange a clean piece of gauze, muslin, linen, or white cotton sheeting on a clean, flat surface. The material should be large enough to cover the affected area completely. Pour the herbal solution over the cloth. Cleanse the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, and place the poultice over the area. Wrap a towel around the poultice to prevent the soiling of clothes or sheets. Use a pin or other fastener to secure the poultice in place.
Herbal poultices should be kept in place for 1 to 24 hours, or as needed. During this period, you may experience a throbbing pain as the poultice draws out infection and neutralizes toxins. When the pain subsides, you will know that the poultice has accomplished its task and should be removed. Apply fresh poultices as needed until the desired level of healing has been reached.
Herbs commonly used in poultices
Chaparral, Dandelion, and Yellow Dock
Can be used to treat skin disorders such as acne, eczema, itchy or dry skin, psoriasis, and rashes. You can use one herb, or combine two or three. The greatest benefit will be obtained from using all three. Use chaparral only if you grow it yourself or purchase it from a reputable organic grower.
Can relieve pain associated with hemorrhoids.
Fenugreek, Flaxseed, and Slippery Elm:
Can be combined to treat inflammation. Slippery elm can also be used alone for the inflamed gangrenous sores often associated with diabetes, and for leg ulcers. The use of a slippery elm poultice upon the appearance of sores and ulcers can help prevent gangrene.
Slippery Elm and Lobelia:
Can be used to treat abscesses, blood poisoning and rheumatism.
Is good for inflammations of all kinds.
Lobelia and Charcoal:
Charcoal is available in health food stores. These are combined and used to treat insect bites, bee stings, and almost all wounds.
Lobelia and Slippery Elm:
Combined to treat abscesses, blood poisoning, and rheumatism.
Is used for inflamed hemorrhoids, lung disorders, mumps, tonsillitis, and sore throat. To make the poultice, mix 4 parts mullein with 1 part hot apple cider vinegar and 1 part water.
This is beneficial for inflammation, lung congestion, and swelling, and can help relax tense muscles. Because mustard is an irritant, place the mixture between 2 pieces of cloth, rather than placing it in direct contact with the skin.
Is good for ear infections, and for boils and sores that have difficulty healing. To make this poultice, place finely chopped onion between 2 pieces of cloth, rather than placing it in direct contact with the skin.
Pau d'arco, Ragweed, and Wood Sage:
Can be combined and used to treat tumors and external cancers.
Is good for an inflamed or sore breast.
Like poke root, can help relieve breast inflammation and soreness.
Note: that when the mixture used to make the poultice contains an irritant, such as mustard, it should not come into direct contact with the skin, but should be placed between pieces of cloth.
Information source: Prescription for Nutritional Healing