Published: 09/03/2018 - Updated: 02/28/2019
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Poultices and compresses are some of the most ancient and most used natural remedies throughout history, and they have been very useful and effective at healing all sorts of conditions and helping to accentuate beauty. These types of therapeutic remedies have the advantage of being inexpensive, and easing to use and make.
What is the difference between compresses and poultices?
Both are treatments that are applied directly to the skin, atop the affected area, or the area to be treated, but they have different uses.
Poultices are made from diverse natural components like herbs, flowers, or oils, etc. They are applied to the skin and bring calming, anti-inflammatory, healing, purifying, regenerative, anti-bacterial, etc., effects.
A few examples of poultices and compresses
- Minced garlic, for example, is a good example of a poultice. This can be applied directly to sores or cuts, or to skin with pimples or acne. This helps with quick healing, and also prevents bacteria proliferation.
- A potato poultice, on the other hand, is good for nourishing and beautifying the skin. Applying a few potato slices, or potato puree to the skin, should be enough.
- Cold clay poultices relieve varicose veins, hemorrhoids, inflammation, and helps cure acne and small wounds.
Compresses, on the other hand, are prepared with vegetable derived elements, which are wrapped in a dressing or special fabric so it can be applied to the area of the body to be treated. This dressing is to be left on the set area with a bandage.
- An example of a compress is, for example, a mixture of crushed chamomile flowers with olive or sesame oil. The compress is moistened with hot water and applied as hot as possible, to dry areas of the skin.
- Another example is a linseed compress, which is used to treat principally problems related to the airways, like cough, sinusitis, bronchitis, etc.
Cold and hot compresses
In order to know if your compress should be cold or hot, just consider that hot compresses relieve cramps and prevent or cure muscle contractures of the neck, legs, feet, etc. The heat stimulates circulation, alleviates coughs, calms pain, relaxes, and helps you go to sleep. Cold compresses are use to lower fever, they help fight inflammation, and smooth or remove pain from bruised areas.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 02/28/2019
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