I wanted to share a great little poultice recipe that I use in addition to other natural remedies. I use it to help our little ones with congestion. Poultices are an age-old remedy for chest congestion, injuries, bone breaks, inflammation, stings, bites etc.
A ginger or onion compress on the chest is known to break up lung congestion and facilitates breathing. For several hundred years onions have also been used to help curb asthma and allergic reactions.
So how do you make a poultice? Its actually quite simple to do and you can pretty much make a poultice of anything.
For this chest congestion poultice I use:
1 red onion, chopped along with a large clove of garlic that has been pressed
¼ cup of grated fresh ginger or two teaspoons of dried ginger
4 ounces of water
3 teaspoons of dried thyme.
You can stop here if you want but I usually am feeling quite adventurous so I add in some rose petals, yarrow and rosemary.
Once you have everything ready you place them in a small saucepan and lightly cook together in the water until soft (5 minutes should be enough).
Cool slightly, then mash or blend and apply to the chest while still warm. You can add in a little of bit of cornstarch if you want to make the mixture like a paste.
I just use gauze or paper towel on the chest, then scoop in the poultice and cover with another clothe. I get an old towel and place it in the drier until it’s hot. Then I place it on top of the poultice and if it’s sunny out I have the kids sit on the couch where the sun can reach their chest area. If it’s hot out you could always have your kids sit out by the pool if you have one.
Depending on our schedule and the severity of the congestion I leave on the poultice for a minimum of 15 minutes to a max of 3 hours. When I leave it on for longer periods I always reheat the towel in the drier every 20 minutes or so.
Now for the fun part. I always notice that immediately after we are done the kids start coughing and hacking up all the nasty congestion. I encourage them to breathe all the way in and cough as they are breathing out. Several times of this really draws out the slimy monsters.
If you want to take something internally to break up and assist with congestion you can make tea with any of these herbs: mullein, comfrey root, fennel, hyssop or eucalyptus.
I hope you enjoyed this fun simple safe recipe.