Herbal Poultices and Compresses

What Is a Poultice?

A herbal poultice simply is a wad of herbs (fresh or dried) that is moistened and applied to injuries such as fractured bones and pulled muscles. Often a poultice made with the right combination of herbs will take away pain, reduce swelling, and jumpstart the healing process in the affected area of the body.


©Smoobs via Flickr, cc

Although poultices can be used to treat many things, there are times when a hospital visit is necessary. Treating an immediate bleeding issue with a herbal remedy is reasonable, but a severe wound needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. The same applies to broken bones — applying salves or poultices to help the bone heal faster, and help remove pain is fine, but don’t try attempt to set the bone yourself or treat it completely home.

A compress is clean cloth that has been dipped in a herbal solution–usually an infusion or tincture. A compress can be used in to hold poultice in place, or it might be placed directly against the skin.

Comfrey Poultice Demonstration

For non-emergencies, herbal poultices made of goldenseal, comfrey, slippery elm, and aloe vera can be useful as multi-purpose remedies for scrapes, abrasions, wounds, and pain from fractured bones.

To help broken bones heal faster, as well as treat problems with joints such as gout, a poultice of comfrey, white oak bark, mullein, black walnut, marshmallow, wormwood, lobelia, or skullcap can be used. These herbs need to be moistened with water or aloe vera before being applied.

Usually a poultice will work well if you have at least one of the primary ingredients. For example, comfrey is used because it eliminates pain, repairs skin and cell damage, and helps reduce swelling. Goldenseal helps with infection, and aloe vera helps the herbs penetrate deeper into the damaged tissue.

Herbs have a lot to offer in regards to our health, but to truly learn about all they can do you need a guide like the Everyday Roots ebook. Check it out if you’re looking for natural health ideas about how to be more self-reliant, learn better ways to heal, and be independent of medications that can sometimes do more harm than good.


  1. […] poultice is a great remedy for rashes, burns, and bug bites. A mixture of clay, herbs, and water will dry up […]

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