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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Using Infusions Externally

By Shall

Using Infusions Externally

Herbal infusions can be used externally in a few ways for quick and easy skin remedies and first aid treatments. Herbal infusions are effective wound washes and can also aid sore, achy muscles.

Soaks
Soaks are infusions that have been re-warmed after the plant material has been strained out. The affected part of the body can be soaked in the warm infusion. Infusions can be used for foot baths, sitz baths or even used by soaking in a bath tub, if needed.

A quart of an infusion can be used for a foot bath and 2 or more quarts can be used for a sitz bath or for soaking in the tub.

Enemas, Douches and Eye Washes
Herbal infusions can be used as enemas, douches and eye washes when carefully strained.

An effective remedy for Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is made by making an infusion with

1 tablespoon powdered Comfrey root
1 teaspoon powdered Goldenseal
1 cup boil water

I simmered the herbs in water for about 15 minutes, and then strained carefully thru several layers of cheesecloth and a coffee filter to make sure all the particles were removed. I let it cool to room temperature and then used an eye dropper to drop a few drops in my child’s affected eye a couple of times throughout the day. There was no sign of infection by that night and no antibiotics were needed.

Fomentations
Strained infusions can be sued as fomentations by soaking a wash cloth in the infusion, wringing it out and applying it to the affected area. Fomentations work well on treating chest congestion, sprains and sore muscles.

I make an infusion from fresh or dried Ginger root by simmering it slowly for about 45 minutes, then soak a wash cloth in the infusion, wring it out and apply it to sore muscles. This fomentation takes away the achy soreness of stiff muscles and arthritic hands.
Wrapping an ace bandage around the cloth can help keep it in place, especially on elbows.

Poultices
Poultices are made by using damp plant material directly on the body. The plant material can be warmed in water, chewed on, grated or crushed and applied directly on the affected area.

Compresses
Compresses are made by macerating fresh or infused herbs in a cloth. Compresses are less messy than poultices.

Sheila
Grassroots Cottage
http://grassrootscottage.blogspot.com/

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