HERBAL POULTICES

Poultices involve the direct contact of herbs with the skin. In my experience they work better than compresses, but are a bit messy. They can be made in two ways.

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1. You can use herb powder mixed with hot water into a thick paste; put it on a clean cloth (lint or gauze) and apply directly to the skin, provided the skin is not broken. Marshmallow root powder can be used in this way to draw splinters out.

2. You can use fresh herbs, quickly scalded with hot water and drained, or dry herbs that are brewed to make a very strong tea (use twice the amount of herbs you would use for normal brewing, and infuse for 10 minutes). Squeeze the herbs lightly while still almost hot to get the excess liquid out, spread on to a clean cloth and apply to the sore area. It can be a little messy, but the direct contact between herbs and skin is extremely soothing and effective, especially for painful joints or muscles and swellings of various origins.

SYRUPS

These are strong herbal infusions mixed with sugar syrup or honey and used for coughs. You can buy ready-made herbal syrups from some stockists, but if you want to make your own, a generic recipe is provided in post 26.

HERBAL POULTICES

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