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A - Z of Home Remedies & Cures

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Poultices, Herbal Poultice

Poultices, Herbal Poultices


Poultices are used to relieve muscle and nerve pain, fractures and sprains, swellings and broken bones, drawing pus out of ulcers, boils and infected wounds. They are effective in helping to draw out splinters and foreign objects. Poultices can be applied hot or cold.

Poultices involve applying whole herbs directly to the infected wounds or sprained area using a clean cloth or gauze and held in place with bandages or towels. Poultices can also be made with powdered herbs, mix the powder with a little water into a paste and apply on a cloth or gauze dressing or directly to the wound. Cover with a bandage or towel.

Poultices and compresses are quite similar in their herbal application, poultices use the whole herb and compresses use the liquid extracts.

Preparing a Poultice
Select a quantity of herbs sufficient to cover the infected are. Simmer the herb in a little water for 5-minutes on a very low heat, (do not boil). You are steaming the herb so that it is blanched and becomes softer.

Carefully remove the herbs from the pan and lay them on a clean cloth or gauze, fold the cloth or gauze so that it will cover the infected area. Rub a little vegetable oil on the wound or sprain before placing the cloth or gauze to avoid sticking. Apply the cloth or gauze to the wound, as hot as can be tolerated, and secure with a bandage or cover with a towel to retain the heat.

If you are using a hot poultice it should be renewed and reapplied when it cools. If using a cold poultice, leave it on the wound for 2-3 hours and repeat the process if necessary.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal medications



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