Using a natural poultice is a great way to treat certain conditions. It’s similar to a compress, but instead of using a liquid, the plant material itself is used.
A poultice is can help with healing sore muscles, skin issues, or forms of pain. It is often used warm and contains selected herbs for the condition being treated.
How To Prepare A Natural Poultice
To prepare a poultice, chop or grind your chosen herb/s finely and simmer them in a small amount of water. Once the herb thickens to a paste or jelly, remove from heat.
Now you can use it in one of two ways.
The first is to create a paste using an organic unbleached flour combined with your herbs. Use just enough flour to make a spreadable paste.
The second method is to spread the herbs onto fabric strips. You can use strips cut from a sheet or pillowcase, cheesecloth or muslin.
Once the poultice is prepared, apply it to the affected area, cover with plastic wrap and then cover this with a towel.
Creating a natural poultice is easy but to get the best results, it’s important to know a few basic things. Here’s what you need to consider.
The first thing you need to do is decide how long you will be using the poultice on the affected area.
This is important, because it will determine what type of poultice you use. It will be either a flour based paste or a cloth strips spread with the herbal mixture.
If you plan on keeping the poultice on the area for a longer period of time, the cloth application is best. This method is less messy and helps to hold everything together on the affected area.
If you will only be using the poultice for an hour or less then the flour paste may be ideal. It can usually be prepared and applied faster.
You already know that different herbs help with different issues. But it is also important to be aware that not all herbs will act the same way on your skin. Particularly when combined, some may actually have bad interactions.
For example, you don’t want to mix a mint and a capsaicin application. The combination of menthol (from the mint) and heat (from the capsaicin) can cause burns to the skin. They can also increase irritation and issues with the infected area.
Instead, choose one or the other and only add additional herbs that are not part of the mint or pepper families. Also try more mild application such as chamomile for soothing.
So before using any herbs or combination of herbs in a poultice, check how they may interact. If any issues are likely, substitute different herbs or use them alone.
Once your poultice is prepared, make sure the area where you will apply it is clean and free of any debris.
Prepare the area as you would for any other medical application or cleansing. This will help the poultice to begin working as soon as possible.
When preparing a poultice take these 3 things into consideration – timing, interactions and preparation. This will ensure you will get the best results.
And remember, do not reuse the poultice. You will need to make a fresh one for each application. This reduces the chance of infection or irritation from bacteria.