Astringent Fomentation

, March 24, 2015 in Therapeutics

Fomentations are a category of treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in a liquid herbal extract e.g. tea, tincture or succus, and placed over the treatment area on the skin. An occlusive covering such as plastic wrap or waxed paper covers this and is held in place with tape or more bandages for a measured period of time.

An astringent fomentation is indicated for the treatment of cuts, scrapes, abrasions, wounds with exudates and cracked & sore nipples. As a preventive treatment to prepare the nipples for breastfeeding and help preclude mastitis.

  1. Choose appropriate astringent herb by strength and availability.
  • Oak – Quercus spp
  • Sweet Sumac – Rhus aromatica
  • Comfrey – Symphytum off. fol.
  • Yarrow – Achillea millefolium fol.
  • Coneflower – Echinacea spp. rad.
  • Self Heal – Prunella off.
  • Shepherd’s Purse – Capsella bursa-pastoris
  1. Boil 15 minutes in pure water to make a strong tea
  2. Cool and strain the tea
  3. Use to clean and irrigate wounds and sore tissues
  4. Wound may be wrapped with tea soaked gauze and covered with occlusive dressing prn
  5. Leave in place for one hour
  6. Repeat ad lib