Poultice recipes have been around for centuries. That was the major way to treat injuries in the past. I ran across many poultice recipes when I was doing research for my novels.
It seems that many times different localities used natural ingredients or agricultural products grown in the area as ingredients for poultices. For example, a tobacco poultice was used where tobacco was a main agricultural product. With what we know about tobacco’s harmful effects, I can’t imagine using it in such a way today.
Perhaps cotton was used in Alabama since it was such a major product in the early days.
Do you have any experiences with poultices?
Here are a few poultice recipes from an old cookbook. I wonder if any of them actually worked?
Bread and Milk Poultice – Put a tablespoonful of the crumbs of stale bread into a gill of milk, and give the whole one boil up. Or, take stale bread crumbs, pour over them boiling water and boil till soft, stirring well; take from the fire and gradually stir in a little glycerine or sweet oil, so as to render the poultice pliable when applied.
Hop Poultice – Boil one handful of dried hops in half a pint of water, until the half pint is reduced to a gill, then stir into it enough Indian meal to thicken it.
Mustard Poultice – Into one gill of boiling water stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal; spread the paste thus made upon a cloth and spread over the paste one teaspoonful of mustard flour. It you wish a mild poultice, use a teaspoonful of mustard as it is prepared for the table, instead of the mustard flour.
Equal parts of ground mustard and flour made into a paste with warm water, and spread between two pieces of muslin, form the indispensable mustard plaster.
GINGER POUTICE –This is made like a mustard poultice, using ground ginger instead of mustard. A little vinegar is sometimes added to each of these poultices
STRAMONIUM POULTICE– Stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal into a gill of boiling water and add one tablespoonful of bruised stramonium seeds.
WORMWOOD and ARALEA are sometimes applied in poultices. Steep the herbs in half a pint of cold water and when all their virtue is extracted stir in a little bran or rye meal to thicken the liquid; the herbs must not be removed from the liquid.
This is a useful application for sprains and bruises
LINSEED POULTICE – Take four ounces of powdered linseed and gradually sprinkle it into a half pint of hot water.