Today naturals play such an important role in many of your lives including the team here at Organic Aromas. The art of self-healing has somewhat been lost in modern society. Many of us are slowly finding our way back to nature and all that it has to offer. Learn how to easily make and use a poultice to heal common ailments naturally at home.
Why learn how to use a Poultice?
Choosing to use a compress to treat inflammation, boils, abscesses or sprains is yet just another way we can live a more natural, pure life. Home apothecary and herbalism are satisfying and useful skills to learn and pass on to your kids.
The method of using a poultice to treat various ailments has been part of the apothecary craft for ages. We live in the modern world where tricky marketing and chemical-laden products have become the norm. It’s an easy and convenient habit.
Everything has its place though. Modern medicine has saved many lives. Pharmaceuticals have their time and place. But the craft of using herbs to enhance our health is powerful and well researched. Furthermore, it is safe, and effective and the ingredients are often already in your kitchen or bathroom cupboard.
What is a poultice?
A poultice, also called a cataplasm, is a moistened and sometimes heated pad that is applied to the skin for therapeutic purposes. Poultices have been used throughout history to treat infections, inflammation, pain, and abscesses.
The poultice has a very long history of being used to help heal the body. The word poultice comes from the Latin word “puls”, meaning porridge or gruel. It can be made of many things including herbs, clay, charcoal, potatoes, bread and milk, essential oils, Epsom salt, and a variety of natural herbs.
Assemble Your Tools
- Coffee Grinder, Herb Grinder, or Food Processor
- Clean Cloth (cotton or linen works best, avoid using synthetic fabrics like polyester as they can irritate the skin)
- Mortar & Pestle
- Measuring Spoons
- Jar or Bowl
- Clean Water
- Gauze or Cloth
3 Handy Poultice Methods
There are different methods for making a poultice, depending on what ingredients you’re using.
Dry Method: If you’re using dry herbs or spices, like ginger or garlic, simply grind them into a powder using a coffee grinder, herb grinder, or food processor. Add enough water to create a paste, and apply it to the affected area.
Wet Method: If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them finely then mash together to create a paste. Scoop the mixture into a strip of gauze and layer another strip over the top before applying it to the affected area.
Boiling Method: You can also use a clean cloth soaked in an herbal infusion as a poultice. Simply steep the herb in boiling water for at least five minutes, then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Soak a clean cloth in the infusion, wring it out, and apply it to the affected area.
Best Ingredients to Keep at Home
There are many different ingredients you can use, depending on what ailment you’re trying to heal.
- Wounds and Bruises: comfrey, plantain, or yarrow.
- Muscle Pain or Stiffness: ginger, cayenne pepper, or mustard seed.
- Inflammation: turmeric, ginger, or garlic.
- Chest Congestion: thyme, rosemary, or eucalyptus.
- Essential Oils: (Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Frankincense)
Wound Healing Poultice Recipe
- – ½ cup raw honey
- – ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- – ¼ cup Epsom salt
- – ¼ cup flour
- – ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- – 10 drops of essential oils of choice (Lavender, Tea Tree, Frankincense)
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to make a paste.
- Apply directly to the affected area or wrap the mixture in a clean cloth or gauze and apply as a poultice, and compress.
- Leave on for 30 minutes to several hours, then rinse off with warm water. Repeat Leave on for 30 minutes, then remove and wash.
In an emergency when you may not have many ingredients on hand, a poultice can easily be made with just Epsom salt and water. This is an easy natural remedy for wound-healing that has been used for centuries to heal cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
- To make the Epsom salt poultice, simply mix equal parts Epsom salt and water in a bowl.
- Apply the mixture to a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area.
- Leave the poultice on for 30 minutes, then remove it and wash the area with warm water.
- Repeat this process several times a day until the wound heals.
Sprain Poultice Recipe
Yarrow is great for inflammation, and horsetail has a high mineral content, that helps heal bones and joints.
- 2 tbsp. of Comfrey
- 2 tbsp. of Yarrow
- 1 tbsp. of Horsetail
- 1 – 2 tbsp. of Warm Water
- 7 – 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- In mortar and pestle, mix together the comfrey, yarrow, and horsetail. Mash the ingredients to form a paste, then add the warm water and lavender essential oil.
- Mix well and apply to the affected area. Add in the warm water a little at a time until you have a paste consistency.
- Wrap the compress around the affected area and leave it on for 20-60 minutes. Can be rewrapped and reused as needed.
While poultices are a safe and effective home remedy, there are a few things to keep in mind when using them.
- Always disinfect the affected area before applying the poultice.
- Do not use poultices on deep, excessive bleeding open wounds.
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, do not use them in the poultice.
- If you have diabetes, consult with your doctor before using poultices as some of them may contain sugar or honey.
- If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor before using poultices as some of them may contain herbs that are not safe for pregnancy.
- If you have any other medical conditions, consult with your doctor before using poultices as some of them may interact with certain medications.
Poultices are a safe and effective home remedy for many different ailments. They are easy to make with ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.
Do you use poultices at home? What is your favorite recipe? Share in the comments below! If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family.