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Compress and Poultice/External use

Compress: Both infusions and decoctions made from herbs and essential oils diluted with water may be used for external applications. You may dip a cloth in a full strength infusion, wring out the excess moisture and apply to the treatment area. This method is used to treat skin irritation, headaches, chest congestion or swelling from an injury. A compress can be made with a bandage or any clean cloth folded to form a pad, small muslin bags can also be used. Soak the material in teas made from herbs, roots or essential oils diluted with water. They can be hot or cold. Wrap over the area firmly ( but not so firm as to cut off circulation.

Poultice: The simplest poultices are moistened fresh herb leaves and/or flowers applied as is. Fresh or dried herbs can be chopped and moistened with water, or apple-cider vinegar. You can mix the herbs with whole wheat flour, cornmeal or cooked barley, to hold it together. The proportion should be 1 part herb to 3 parts vehicle. Spread the mixture on a warm, moist cloth and fold the ends and sides over. Oil the skin before applying a hot poultice. Plastic or a heating pad can be used to help retain the heat.