Whenever there is trauma causing damage to soft or hard tissues e.g. haematomas or broken bones (especially in the limbs) a comfrey poultice is indicated. It is easy to make when there is fresh comfrey to be found. Roots or leaves can be used interchangeably though it is much easier to regenerate leaves, so, when using fresh plant material we will rely principally on leaves and stems.
Castor oil is a clear, viscous oil that is cold extracted from the seed of Ricinus communis. This plant, native to India and Africa can now be seen in many Canadian gardens. After the oil is extracted, a second extraction of the pomace yields Ricin, a poison used in cancer research and poison products. Castor oil is first mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus – 1550 BCE and was used by Cleopatra for her eyes and lips. Information available in the modern scientific literature is limited to the purgative properties of internal ingestion of the oil. A dose of 5-15 ml will produce catharsis within two to eight hours. There is a plethora of anecdotal folk and clinical literature on Castor Oil, but this bears no stamp of authority in the academic community. A more enlightened approach regarding the use and efficacy of Castor Oil packs is found in the readings...Read More
For many people, the fall and winter seasons bring increased incidents of colds and flus that may progress into more serious conditions like pneumonia. Those who suffer with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) such as chronic bronchitis, miner’s lung, emphysema and chronic asthma also tend to have their symptoms worsen at this time of year. When professional medical help has been sought and the diagnosis confirmed, a cooperative plan of action may be outlined with the agreement of the health care providers and the patient. The mustard poultice can be extremely effective when given as an external treatment along with the use of herbs and/or drugs taken internally to treat COPD. This combination of internal and external treatments can considerably shorten the healing time and make the patient more comfortable.
We would do well to reinstate the ancient art of poulticing as a valued healing tool in the modern herbal renaissance. As practitioners become more involved in providing therapy as well as dispensing herbal prescriptions, the line between clinical herbal therapist and folk practitioner will blur, with or without the approval of the orthodox health care community. There is no need to wait for “scientific validation” when we have recorded over three thousand years of proven efficacy in traditional healing practices all around the world. In this spirit we will re-introduce three important poultices, their preparation and use for the benefit of practitioners who can then also teach these methods to their patients and families. This re-education process will help place personal responsibility for health back into the hands of the individual and create a more humane relationship between the professional and lay community. Read more about the Read More
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