How to Make a Poultice

Learn how to make a poultice from fresh herbs. Herbal poultices can be applied to the skin to achieve various medicinal benefits.

Materials needed to make a poultice

  • Pestle and Mortar, necessary
  • Glass or Ceramic pot in which to macerate the herbs
  • Large wrap-type, gauze bandages
  • Sterilised Cheesecloth
  • Adhesive tape, First Aid grade

How to make a poultice

A poultice is made by first crushing the fresh herbs until they are macerated to a pulp using a pestle and mortar. This allows the phytochemicals to arise naturally to the plant’s surface areas, to be placed in almost direct contact with the skin or affected area. This method is useful in healing bruises or abrasions, to reduce inflammation or swelling, or to break up congestion.

Poultices are made by placing the macerated herb material onto a sterile bandage, wrapping it in one layer and then applying it to the affected area immediately. A piece of cheesecloth can be placed between the skin and the plant parts. Secure with adhesive tape and leave on for a sufficient amount of time, during which the herbs may release their healing properties.

Making a homemade poultice using dried herbs

You can make a poultice from dried herbs by mixing warm water with equal amounts of the herb and either bran or flour to make a paste. Place the paste between two pieces of thin cloth and apply it to the skin while it’s still warm.

Calendula poultice, comfrey poultice, mustard poultice and evening primrose poultice

Calendula flowers, Calendula officinalis, help with bruising, sores and skin conditions such as rashes and dermatitis. They contain phytochemicals that tone down inflammation and help speed healing of the skin and affected tissues.

Comfrey poultices can be used to treat bruises and inflammation, cuts and abrasions, muscular soreness, painful joints, skin irritations and bites.

Mustard poultices help with painful joints, skin irritation and bites.

Evening primrose poultices help with bruises and inflammation, cuts and abrasions, skin irritations and bites.

Please read this important caution regarding the safe use of herbs.

by Raymonde Savoie Johnson
Pl. Sc. Tech., Herbal Consultant

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