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Power of the Poultice

This week my little boy woke up with a cold and an irritating, unproductive cough that was driving him mad!

He is generally pretty hardy and most little sniffles in our house are normally halted by a good dose of garlic.

I am a firm believer on giving the body what it needs to heal, so as I rested on the couch with him with a cup of warm chicken broth……. I remembered the humble poultice…..

Poultices have been traditionally used for centuries to draw infection, inflammation or to help disperse fluid. (A well known example of this to most breastfeeding mums is the application of cabbage leaves to settle swollen breasts).

Poultices of potato have traditionally been used by our grandmothers to help draw out bruising and even splinters. Poultices of onion have been used to draw impurities and clear congestion ……

AHA! So, I set to work to prepare an onion poultice for my son.

Here’s what I did:

I grated an onion very finely with the fine edge of a grater

  • In a steamer, I very gently warmed the onion (NOT COOKED –onion needs to be raw for greater medicinal properties)

  • I removed the onion from the heat, added 1 tablespoon of cornflour and mixed together to bind it and absorb the liquid

  • I wrapped this mixture in a layer of gauze like a burrito (a chux cloth would probably be perfect too)

  • I carefully checked the temperature of the poultice.

  • I rubbed a small amount of olive oil onto my son’s chest, then carefully laid the compress onto his chest.

  • I then covered the compress in cling film (I wrapped it around his chest) to seal and then I wrapped his chest with a large tea towel and tied it at the back to secure it.

  • I heated a hot water bottle, placed in a cover – and gave it to my son to cuddle. The heat of the hot water bottle not only feels comforting, but helps to keep the onions warm – (heat helps the onions draw out impurities and helps to break up congestion).

I made sure he was super comfy on the couch with his favourite TV show and teddy, where he rested with the poultice on his chest for a couple of hours……..

I sat back with a cuppa…..What could I hear?….. Silence!…. His little cough had settled and he was finally able to rest…

I am a massive advocate that FOOD IS THE MOST POWERFUL MEDICINE – this even goes beyond what we put on our lips!

After a few hours, we removed the

poultice. His cough hadn’t disappeared completely but it had definitely lessoned, which allowed him to rest more and recover.

I am a HUUGE believer in keeping things simple. Food, skincare and simple home made remedies can really make a huuuuge difference….

Never underestimate the power of simplicity…..

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