Experiencing puffiness around your eyes? Soreness in your back, arms or legs? How about trying a simple, cost-effective, herbal or vegetable compress? Compresses are nature’s ancient remedy for your modern-day ailment or pain.
For thousands of years, cultures around the globe have recognized and used the healing properties of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Using a natural compress is a great way to harness the knowledge gained by our ancestors to heal a myriad of health issues many of us today treat with modern medicines or expensive and chemical-laden creams!
The following compresses are incredibly easy to make and also very inexpensive.
Muslin, Cotton, or Gauze Compresses
A compress is a piece of material that delivers a chosen healing property to the skin. Muslin or cotton can also be used, or even an old cotton pillowcase. All work very well. While not all households have muslin and cotton squares readily on hand, most if not all have old cotton pillowcases and small cotton hand towels!
Here’s my suggestion for an easy to find and make compress. Cut the pillow case in half; take the bottom closed portion and place a small cotton towel inside and roll up. Now you have a quick, DIY compress!
Dry or Wet
Compresses can be used dried or wet.
Using a dry compress can be as simple as taking dried ingredients and rolling them up in the compress and applying to the affected area.
To dry your own herbs: store in a warm dry dark place for about two or three weeks. When the leaves crumble to the touch, they are ready.
To quickly dry, place on a cookie sheet, make sure herbs are evenly spread out. Turn the oven to warm and let them dry out for about two hours. Check periodically. When the leaves are brittle to the touch, remove from oven. Place on wax paper and crumble. Move dried crumbled herbs to center of paper and roll up. Find a container–a Mason jar works wonderfully, although any clean dry jar will also work well. Spread on your towel compress when needed.
To make a very simple wet compress: a 1 to 3 ratio is a great place to start. You can always make a mixture stronger. Make it too strong the first time, and you may shy away from trying it again. Here are a few herbs and vegetables that have amazing healing benefits:
Ginger– Very effective for healing headaches, nausea, as well as joint and muscle pains.
Two methods for creating a ginger compress.
(A) Simply peel and grate a one cup portion of the ginger root and roll up in the small dish towel. Place it in the bottom of the pillowcase and roll that up. Using both adds absorbency and makes for a firmer, easier to handle compress.
(B) Shred the ginger, and add your water, approximately three cups. It’s very important to turn the heat off and let the mixture stand. It should be warm but not hot. Strain the ginger shreds into your hand towel, and roll up. Place in pillow case and roll that up. Dip both rolled up towels into the water. Let it stay for about twenty minutes.
Onion– Is helpful for throat problems, eye and ear aches, also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.The feeling you’ll experience will be extremely intense. Brace yourself. 😉
Two methods of preparation:
(A) Cut up several pieces of an onion and roll up in your towels. After a few moments the juices will come through. This can be very intense bordering on painful. However, it is very helpful. With use the sensation will become not as powerful.
(B) Cut up the onion and boil it in three cups water. Remove from heat, then strain out onion onto towel and repeat as above, roll up. Place in pillow case and submerge. Make sure it is warm, not hot. The warm sensation helps to lessen the intensity.
Sage– Very healing for sore throats or mouth issues. It has anti-inflammatory as well as healing properties. Sage is a great herb to use on wounds and sores.
Same two methods:
(A) Dried Sage can be used by simply rolling it up in your towels.
(B) Boil one cup in three cups of water. It is very subtle, and a comfortable compress to use.
Watercress– It’s a little less common than the other three. However, it can still found in the produce section of most major chain grocery stores. Looking to rid body of toxins? Experiencing a tired looking dull completion or puffy eyes? Look no further. Watercress is very high in nutrients, and has anti- oxidant properties. It’s perfect for overall health improvement, also high in Vitamin C, and great for strengthening your immune system.
Same two Methods:
(A) Can be used dried.
(B) Used wet, follow the same formula, one cup watercress to three cups water. This also is a very pleasant lightly scented herb, which works quickly.
Apply all compresses for about twenty minutes. They all can be re-applied. Start out slow and work them into your life.
Try a natural compress! In mere minutes you can be well on the way to being cured or on your path to improving your overall health.
Also by Alex: How to Take Tea to Next Level with Herbal Steeping
Related: Detoxify with a Castor Oil Pack
Photo: Alex Kudukis