Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can a poultice be used for a home healing treatment?

I have watched a few westerns and “Little House on the Prairie” where poultices were mentioned as a type of medical care. This was done when they couldn’t afford a doctor or a doctor was too far away.

I had also heard my grandparents on both parents sides of the family talk about using them as well. Since they grew up in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they said their parents often used these types of homemade cures for colds, burns from grease pops, and cuts.

Having had more sprained ankles and wrists along with sour muscles than I can count, one typical poultice I used was a hot wet or dry cloth for helping with the soreness. Of course it would be followed by a cold compress as well. This is one type of poultice even though there weren’t any types of other items used during the process of alternating the two.

What is a poultice?

A poultice is a cloth or piece of bread that is soft and heated for healing sores, cuts and abrasions. They sometimes have some sort of medicine added to them for a better healing power. The poultices are packed into the wound.

What are they used for?

Having had more sprained ankles and wrists along with sour muscles than I can count, one typical poultice I used was a hot wet or dry cloth for helping with the soreness. Of course it would be followed by a cold compress as well. This is one type of poultice even though there weren’t any types of other items used during the process of alternating the two.

Poultices are made also to help horses with inflammations in their lower legs. This is done to help with tendon injuries. On episodes of “Bonanza” and “Little House on the Prairie,” they showed the characters using poultices on their horses to help heal ligaments and other ailments. I have seen horse owners use similar poultices for their horses too.

Poultices can be used on granite and marble to remove stains. Rather than using medicinal items for this, chemicals are used instead.

Can poultices cause burns or other health problems?

If they are too hot they can cause a burn on the area they are placed on humans and animals. One type of poultice which should never be used is a coal ash type of one. This can cause a chemical burn.

They can also cause lead poisoning if lead is used. This was found out when Beethoven had used a lead poultice after a surgery which caused him further illnesses.

Are there homemade poultice recipes?

There are several kinds of poultice home remedy recipes available. Healing-from Home-Remedies.com has nine poultice recipes for inflammation, infections, abscesses, and boils.

If you have ever listened to your grandparents or great-grandparents, you may have heard how they used mustard poultices for chest colds. I do remember one of my grandmother’s swearing by them and her husband complaining how they would burn the skin if it ever touched it.

NOTE: I am not condoning the use of a poultice in place of a doctor’s treatment for cuts, burns or sprains.

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