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Poultice -
Applying herbal remedies directly to the skin.

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If you had ten books on herbal remedies you will have ten different definitions of what a poultice is. Some believe that it is made with fresh herbs only, some that it is made with powdered herb only, some believe that it is applied directly to the skin others that it is wrapped in a cloth before applying.

My definition of a poultice is the application of a porridge like preparation of the herb to the skin, which is then wrapped in a bandage to keep in place.

Please see my comments on the applicability of the herb on my compress page.

It really does not matter whether you start making a poultice with fresh or dried herb, whole or powdered herb. Either way the herb should be pounded and macerated until it is a paste like consistency. In the case of a dried herb you need to add water, if the herb is fresh you may still need water but less so.

Seeing that the purpose of the exercise is to get the herb in touch with the skin of the patient I see little benefit in wrapping it in a cloth before applying. My inclination is to put it on the skin and then to use a bandage to keep it in place. For those who do not want the task of cleaning up the mess after the herb has done its job, by all means wrap it in thin linen or cotton before applying but please ensure that it is not wrapped so well that none of it can get to the skin.


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