07 February, 2009

Old-Fashioned Mustard Plaster Like the Poultices Great-Grandma Used to Make

The Keenest Mustard is the Best
I was asked about the mustard plaster I mentioned the other day, and when I looked up the instructions again I realized I had done it wrong--I forgot to soak the lower cloth, the one that goes against the skin, in warm water first. That's probably why it felt warm, but not as penetrating as I thought it should. I'm going to try it again tonight. Between sucking down buckets of onion and garlic soup and being able to open the windows today for the first time in months, I think the evil winter cough is losing its grip. And now it's time to kick this bad boy in the butt once and for all.

Here's the recipe I'm going with, which I found on a web page called Grandma's Attic. Be sure to check out some of the other home remedies they have. (Of course, I am not a doctor and only post this for information's sake, yada yada, use at your own risk.)

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Mustard Poultice

A mustard poultice is a time-honored therapy: Your great-grandmother may have used mustard poultices and plasters to treat congestion, coughs, bronchitis or pneumonia. A mustard plaster offers immediate relief to discomfort in the chest and actually helps to treat infectious conditions - a much needed therapy. It works mainly by increasing circulation, perspiration and heat in the afflicted area.

The person receiving the treatment should sit or lie down comfortably. The best poultices are made from black mustard seeds ground fresh in a coffee grinder, but ordinary yellow mustard powder will do in a pinch. To prepare a mustard poultice, mix 1/2 cup mustard powder with 1 cup flour and stir hot water into the mix to form a paste. Spread the mixture on a piece of cotton or muslin has been soaked in hot water. Cover with a second piece of dry material. Lay the moist side of the poultice across the person's chest or back.

Leave the poultice on for 15 to 30 minutes; promptly remove it if the person experiences any discomfort. The procedure is likely to promote perspiration and reddening of the chest. Give the individual plenty of liquids during the procedure and encourage her to take a warm or cool shower afterward, then rest or gently stretch for 1/2 hour.
Do not administer this treatment to a young child, elderly person or the seriously ill without consulting a health care professional.


The Keenest Mustard is the Best print courtesy of Allposters.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I have a bunch of black mustard... wish I would have known about this last week! I'm definitely trying this out next time. :) Thanks!