March 12, 2010

Review: "Making Herbs Simple" -- Poultices

I like to make a lot of things myself. Not only for the joy of making something with my own hands, but to save our family money. I hope to give the following recipes a try this year. It's a goal...if I don't do it this summer, maybe next year. Each year the garden gets better. Each year I learn something more about homesteading. Each year there are great possibilities. If they don't all happen I have the joy of knowing I tried.

Proverbs 31:17 "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

It's good to have a goal!

Part Two -- Poultices

I have to say I've never made a poultice but it seems very interesting and I might give it a try. I thought I'd share my notes with you so you could try it, too, if you like.
Garlic Poultice -- Garlic is good for fighting illness and a poultice is a good way to get garlic into the bloodstream. I would like to grow my own garlic and I am planning on adding that to my herb garden area this year. For a poultice you should separate the garlic bulb into cloves. Squish the garlic cloves using a fork or a garlic press. You want to get the juices flowing. Place the garlic in a folded cheesecloth and fold it up like a burrito. Lay it in a bowl and pour hot water on it to get it wet. Place the poultice on the skin for about 5 minutes or so. Garlic is best the first 15 minutes it's "squished" and hot. Garlic can irritate the skin so be careful not to have it on too long. For chest congestion rub a little olive oil on the chest and lay a poultice on the chest for 1-2 minutes. If you have the flu they suggest you wrap a poultice loosely and lay it on the wrist veins for about 20 minutes. (I have to add that if I had the flu, garlic is the last thing I would want to smell!)

Plantain Poultice -- As I mentioned before that plantains are great for soothing a bug bite. If you don't have a tincture around you can use a poultice of dried plantains. Crush up dried plantain in a bowl and add enough hot water to saturate the herb. Put a lid on the bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour it into a doubled cheesecloth and squeeze a bit of the juice out of it, wrap it up like a burrito and place it on the irritated skin for 10-15 minutes.

According to the ladies, plantain and garlic poultices will draw the infection out. I'm going to give it a try this summer. Let me know if you've ever tried these tips and if they've worked for you!

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