How to make an herbal poultice


A poultice is a great way to apply herbs to a specific area of the body.  By placing herbs directly on the skin, you take advantage of the skin’s ability to absorb the helpful properties of the herbs.  I have used this method for sprains, breaks, and other injuries.  You can also use this for relieving inflammation, draw out infections, heal bites, boils or abscesses, and to promote healing to a specific area.  You can make a poultice from fresh or dried herbs.



How to make a Poultice:

  • Start by mashing your herb.  If you’re using dried herbs, use a mortar and pestle to grind the herbs to a powder.  If fresh herbs are being used, simply heat, bruise, and mash or chop them up finely.
  • Add just enough liquid to make a thick paste- you can use hot water, apple cider vinegar, oil, liniment, herbal tea or a tincture (whatever best suits your needs).  The liquid to herb ratio will depend on what herbs you are using- just make sure you make it thick but not stiff.
  • Spread the herbal paste over a clean piece of gauze, muslin, or white cotton cloth and place on area of the body.  Secure in place with a pin or tape.  You can apply the paste directly to the skin and cover that way, but it can be a little messier.  Also, a thin layer of olive oil can be applied to the skin to help keep the herbs from sticking to the skin.  If the area is small, you can also wrap the area with clear plastic wrap (saran wrap) to keep the poultice from getting messy.
  • For added effect, you can warm the poultice by placing a hot cloth or hot water bottle over it.
  • Keep on for up to 24 hours.


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