- With Winter came slips and falls, strains and sprains, and there would always be Sue with her books of remedies to make us all better. Her recipes seemed to work better and faster than conventional medicines, we rarely if ever went to the doctor, unless it was for something like a broken bone. Sue would make poultices smeared with herbs - these had a similar action to a compress but the whole herb rather than the liquid extract were applied.
Poultices are generally applied hot but cold, fresh leaves can also be used. Chop the fresh herbs in a food processor for a few seconds or boil in a little water for 2 to 5 minutes. Dried herbs can be decocted, or powders can be mixed with a little water to make a paste.
#Method 1: boil the fresh herbs, squeeze out any excess liquid and spread onto the affected area. Smooth a little oil onto the skin first, to prevent the herb mix from sticking.
# Method 2: apply gauze or cotton strips to hold the poultice carefully in place.
For a standard application: use sufficient herbs to cover the whole of the affected area and replace every 2 to 4 hours, or sooner as needed. An example of use would be: for boils and abcesses, use a poultice of figwort leaves and Xuan Shen - both have anti-inflammatory value, are anti-bacterial and cleansing for toxic conditions.
Note: these are also heart stimulant herbs and should not be used if heartbeat irregularities are present. Do not use with any other heart herbs or heart medications without checking with a professional herbalist, or medical doctor first.
For strains and sprains, injuries to joints and muscles - including back strain: use 5 to 10 drops of essential oils of thyme, lavender, rosemary and mix these with 20 ml of water. Soak a compress and apply this to the injured area. This will encourage blood flow to the injury and promote tissue repair. NOTE: do not massage too soon after injury, and do not use on broken skin.
To be continued......