"For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay [it] for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover." (Isaiah 38:21)
Definition: Poultices are soft, moist plant tissue applied warm or hot to the surface area of the body to alleviate pain, or to draw out inflammations and infections. The plant may be mixed with other plants or other poultice making materials.
HOW IT CAN HELP YOU- Poultices can help in a number of ways in dealing with problems in local, surface portions of the body. Here are some of them:
(1) To reduce inflammation.
(2) To relieve pain and congestion and act as a counter-irritant.
(3) To absorb poison (one of its outstanding advantages)!
(4) To absorb and thus neutralize chemical toxins, and insect bites and stings.
(5) To hasten the formation of a head in an abscess or boil.
(6) To reduce swelling and tension.
(7) To deodorize in the best way: eliminating the cause of the odor.
(8) To help treat wounds.
(9) Because of the above help, to act as an effective and save antiseptic and disinfectant.
HOW TO APPLY IT
1. Assemble everything and prepare the poultice in a warm room.
2. (Several poultice formulas are given below).
3. Place the salve on a damp cloth; then place that on the area to be treated. Cover with the plastic, and then with the wool cloth over that. Pin or tape it in place.
Leave it on overnight.
4. When removing it be careful not to spill charcoal, etc., on the floor. Rub the part with ice, or with a very cold, wet wash- cloth. You may wish to renew the poultice with fresh salve and clean cloths.
POULTICE FORMULAS - A number of different mixtures can be prepared for use in
poultices. Here are several of the more common ones:
1 - Charcoal Poultice -
Charcoal has an amazing absorptive (adsorptive, the experts call it) ability to pull into itself toxins and poisons, thus neutralizing them. This is due to its large surface and the fact that charcoal is pure carbon. The carbon hungrily unites with other substances. Poisons, gases, chemicals, toxins, bee and insect stings and bites all can be adsorbed by charcoal. Charcoal can be also be placed in a poultice and placed over the abdomen, instances of diarrhea and similar intestinal problems. Charcoal can adsorb far more than its own weight. A cube that is 2/5 of an inch square can adsorb 33 square yards of poison!
Most of the major poisons known to mankind can be adsorbed, and thus neutralized, by charcoal. With a spoon in a bowl, mix equal parts of powdered charcoal and ground flaxseed. Add enough hot water to make a paste, quickly before it cools. Spread it to the desired size, and place the cloth on the afflicted area. Follow the remaining directions as described above, under How to Apply It.
2 Clay and Glycerin Poultice -
Dig up some good quality clay from several inches below the surface. It should be fine and with no pebbles, etc., in it. Heat and sterilize it in the oven at 350 degrees F. Add some water to moisten it again; add several tablespoons glycerin. It is best to use this only once, after which renewing the poultice with a fresh mixture. Clay also absorbs. It is the primary ingredient in mud baths for arthritis.
3 - Clay Poultice -
Prepare the clay as described above, but do not mix with glycerin. Cover and keep moist with frequent applications of water because no glycerin was used as a moisturizer.
4 Flaxseed Poultice -
Obtainable from a health food store, one tablespoon of flaxseed should be ground up and mixed with a cup of water brought to a boil. This yields enough paste to cover the front of the abdomen. Spread the mixture on a strip of dampened, wrung out old sheet, or directly on skin. Cover with a larger piece of plastic; hold in place with a 50-60 inch strip of cloth (for an ace bandage, obtainable at the drug store). Leave it on for 30 minutes or longer (even overnight). Remove it, wash the area with a washcloth, and then give a cold mitten friction to it. Shower if necessary. Dry thoroughly.
5 Garlic Poultice -
This is a powerful way to neutralize certain poisons. It can help reduce abscesses, fungus skin infections, eczema, dermatitis, boils and is used to neutralize the acids in arthritis and similar conditions. Make a pulp or raw garlic and place it on a cloth, and then over the affected part. This is not a painless remedy, but the results are usually well worth the effort.
6 People Paste -
Mix equal parts of: Golden seal powder, Myrrh powder, and Slippery elm powder. Use as is or use one of the following as a binder: Aloe Vera Gel, vegetable glycerin, blackstrap molasses, water. This can be applied on to wounds, bed sores, rashes, infections, colds fever, sore throat, indigestion, congestion, blood poisoning, inflammation.
7 Carrot Poultice -
Shred four ounces of carrot- add one ounce of corn meal.
Add enough boiling water to make poultice texture. Onion may replace carrot for onion poultice. Used in inflammation and suppurations.
8 Linseed or Flaxseed Poultice -
Mix 10 fluid ounces of boiling water to 41/2 ounces of linseed meal. Stir to poultice consistency. Used as an emollient a drawing.
9 Potato Poultice -
Shred raw potato into find granules. Close the eye and apply without heating. Hold in place with gauze patch and secure with cloth retainer. Used for pink-eye inflammation.
CAUTIONS - Certain poultices (especially mustard) can cause blistering. Especially use mustard with caution, and be ready to remove it as soon as needed. A poultice applied after pus develops is sometimes a detriment, for the salve can cause bacterial development. Do not use poultices over active suppuration (pussing). Keep in mind that the heat in the poultice is often as important as the poultice- so keep it warm. In pneumonia, peritonitis, and other deeper inflammations, the poultice should be large enough to cover a surface area as large as the organ being treated. The poultice should be covered with plastic, and removed if it becomes cold. A cold poultice or an old poultice does not accomplish much.