Poultices -Latin puls, pultes, meaning “porridge.”
In times past, poultices were a favourite household remedy, often involving the use of bread or mashed potatoes as a carrying mixture for herbal infusions or oil. Historically, poultices were made from bread and cereals, flaxseed, charcoal, even mashed pumpkin, potato, carrots and bran. All these have been used because of their absorbent qualities. Poultices are used to ease nerve or muscle pain, sprains, or broken bones, and to draw pus from infected wounds, ulcers, boils and splinters.

Poultices and compresses are commonly used on horses, for injured inflamed tendons and abscesses where drawing action is needed, or to bring circulation to the area. These can be made with fresh or dried material (When using dried herbs they must be moistened first. Make a paste by adding hot water or apple cider vinegar). Keep the poultice warm!
You may want to cover the skin with a thin layer of oil as this protects the skin and may make removing the poultice easier)
Methods of working.:
Simmer or sweat the herb for two minutes squeeze out excess liquid and apply to area.
Cover with a bandage ( or similar)

Some poultice examples are as follows:
Self heal relieves sprains and fractures.

St. John’s Wort relieves muscle or nerve pain.
Slippery elm powder, mixed with calendula, draws out boils and infected wounds
Wild Strawberries: The fruit of the wild strawberry creates a poultice when crushed berries are applied to sunburned skin.

Flax: The linseed that comes from the flax plant is known to make a poultice that treats boils, abscesses, and ulcers. This type of poultice is created when the seeds are crushed and directly applied .
Plantain ( not the banana!): The fresh leaves of the plantain make a suitable poultice that aids in treating bee stings and wounds that are slow to heal.

So have a go you have your medicine chest at your feet !

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Sara Jane

Categories News | Tags: , | Posted on May 16, 2010

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