Apart from simple compresses where clean cloths are soaked in medicinal herbal infusions and applied to the skin, it is sometimes beneficial to have a mass of herbal product laid against the skin for 10-30 mins to help heal bruises, reduce inflammations or ease painful joints.
I am making poultices at the moment to help reduce the swelling of tissues behind an arthritic knee. This treatment doesn’t cure the arthritis but may help ease the pain and increase the movement a little. I usually make a pack of three, each poultice can be used for three days twice a day, rolled back up and put in the fridge after each use. I tell the patient to warm them up in the microwave before use then carefully wrap around the leg with the herb resting against the swelling, then rest with the leg elevated for 10 minutes if the poultices contains mustard powder, or 30 minutes if it is just linseed and/or slippery elm.
These are easy to make at home with some clean old sheeting cut into strips. You need about 60gms each of fresh ground Linseed, and slippery elm powder. You mix the linseed and slippery elm then add enough hot boiled water to make a paste which you spread on the strip of cloth. The photos below show how it’s done. I roll them up with cling film so they keep clean and don’t stick or leak. The cling film is removed when the poultices need to be used. The strip of cotton is long enough to be folded over to cover top and bottom, like a linseed sandwich…