Poultice, Herbal : How To Make

* Basil * Chamomile * Comfrey * Plantain * Chickweed * Slippery Elm * Mustard

Poultices are simply moist herbs applied externally and are commonly used to treat swelling, pain and congestion. They can be a simple as crushing a few leaves of basil to apply to an insect bite or putting a used tea bag on a black eye.

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My favorite easy poultice is made by pouring hot water over chopped herbs in a reusable muslin bag. The following steps are good for making a more complicated poultice to apply to each chest congestion and coughing.

  1. Chop herbs then moistened with apple-cider vinegar or hot water.
  2. Mix the herbs with whole wheat flour or cornmeal, to hold it together. The proportion should be 1 part herb to 3 parts vehicle.
  3. Spread the mixture on a warm, moist cloth and fold the ends and sides over.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, a blanket, or heating pad set on low to help retain the heat.

Compresses and Skin Washes Infusions of herbs and/or essential oils are very effective in herbal compresses and skin washes. A compress can be made with a bandage or any clean cloth folded to form a pad. Simply dip a cloth in a cooled herbal tea, wring out the excess moisture and apply to the skin. Wrap over the area firmly (but not so firm as to cut off circulation. This method is used to treat skin irritation, headaches, chest congestion or swelling from an injury.


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