A herbal compress is often used to accelerate the healing of wounds and muscle injuries.
A compress is simply a pad or cloth made from soft cotton or linen, cotton wool or surgical gauze soaked in an herbal extract and applied to the affected area.
Most of the time a hot compress would be used but a cold compress is better for a head ache or a bruise.
You can dilute herbal infusions or decoctions with water, but for an average application; use a sanded infusion or decoction. A herbal tincture will need to be diluted in hot water, use 5-20ml tincture diluted in 500ml hot water.
Herbal tea bags are not quite as potent as dried or fresh herbs, but the can still make a very effective compress.
Herbal Compress Method
- Soak the cloth in the hot infusion or herbal extract.
- Wring the cloth out to remove excess liquid.
- Wrap the cloth around the painful/ affected area. When the cloth begins to cool or dry, repeat using hot liquid.
How To Make A Homemade Herbal Poultice
A herbal poultice is similar to a compress; the difference is that instead of using the liquid extract from the herb, you use the whole herb.
- Use enough fresh or dried herb to cover the affected area
- Place the dried or fresh chopped herb in to a pan and cover with water, boil the herbs for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Once cool enough to touch squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Rub a small amount of oil onto the affected area (this stops the herb from sticking to the skin) then spread the herb over the area you are treating and wrap a gauze or cotton strip around it to keep the poultice in place.
- Replace the poultice every 2 to 4 hours or earlier if needed.
Although most herbal poultices tend to be used hot. When using fresh herbs, cold ones can be just as effective. Chop the herbs and place them into a blender for a few seconds. Use in the same way as the hot method. Powders can be mixed with a small amount of water to create a paste before using.