Classically, a poultice (a.k.a. cataplasm) is a soft, mushy preparation composed usually of some pulpy or mealy substance which is capable of absorbing a large amount of liquid and of such consistency that it can be applied to any flat or irregular surface.
This herbal material is made into a paste, using hot liquids, and is spread thickly upon cloths and applied directly to the body while hot. Poultices owe their primary virtues to the moist heat which they contain and therefore must be renewed every few minutes, or somehow kept warm by other means.
An exception to these mechanics is the Mustard (Brassica nigra) poultice, which supplies its warming action through a volatile component produced when its crushed seed is mixed with water. In herb land, however, the scope of the term poultice has broadened and now covers a wide range of preparations, some of which are applied hot, some cold.
Because poultices have such a wide application you are going to learn how to make:
- The basic folk preparation of a poultice
- A Flaxseed poultice
- A Honey poultice and you’ll get a recipe for a burn first aid remedy
- A Cayenne poultice
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