Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mullein Compress

2 quarts cider or malt vinegar
4 oz. Mullein
1/2 oz Lobelia herb
1/4 ounce cayenne powder

Gently simmer well covered for 20-30 min. Strain and pour over 1/4 ounce cayenne powder. Foment affected area as hot as possible for at least 1 hour. I usually place a soaked cloth on the area and cover with plastic wrap and place a heating pad over it all.

This is wonderful for glandular swellings, painful joints and muscles, edema and other swellings. Mullein encourages the absorbtion of fluids thus reducing swelling and inflammation. Lobelia is very relaxing and anti-spasmodic. Using a stimulant like Cayenne makes the other ingredients more effective and it also can help allay pain and staunch bleeding both on the surface and under (e.g. good for bruising). Cayenne is also somewhat antiseptic. This fomentation may be stored in a cool place and used within a 3 month period.

Just a couple of notes:
1. If it is too "hot", use less capsicum. Adjust to the needs of the patient.
2. Don't foment overnight. It may cause skin irritation. Use moderation. Don't forget vinegar is an acid. My daughter had peeling skin for several days after falling asleep with a compress on her arm.
3. If the vinegar is too irritating, substitute olive oil, in which case you can foment longer.
4. An interesting variation is to use 2 oz Mullein and 2 oz Comfrey with the other ingredients. Comfrey tends to hasten healing of tissues so might be helpful in wounds etc.
5. Do NOT use this compress on cancerous tumors since it encourages dispersion and absorption of fluids, etc.

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