How to Make an Herbal Fomentation

A fomentation is a special preparation that allows herbs to be absorbed through the skin. It is prepared by first making a strong infusion, or tea, from the herb parts (usually the leaves, roots, or flowers). A clean cloth is then dipped into the warm tea and applied to the skin. When it cools, the cloth must be wrung out and dipped again to keep it warm. The fomentation should be applied for several hours at a time and perhaps for several days, depending on the condition being treated. Redness of the skin is normal and indicates increased circulation, so do not discontinue unless skin feels painful.

Properly used herbal remedies treat the underlying cause of problems. Therefore, it may take some patience for those of us who are used to the almost instant results obtained from conventional treatments that often only mask symptoms and drive disease deeper into tissues. With perseverance, however, herbal remedies can help the body heal itself from the inside out, yielding lifelong results.

This example is a comfrey and plantain fomentation I made to treat a small area of eczema on Marianne’s leg. Results will be posted soon.

5 thoughts on “How to Make an Herbal Fomentation”

  1. This is interesting. Annalise has a patch of “something” on her scalp. She never had cradle cap as an infant, so I was concerned it was eczema. I’ve been planning to ask her pediatrician about it, but they are usually eager to refer us to specialists, which is expensive for us and annoying to me (that they can’t seem to offer advice past extremely basic things). I don’t think wrapping her head in plastic would be the way to go though :)

  2. Leah, Wilson had eczema on knees and elbows as a baby and is just now outgrowing it, I think. It would clear up in winter and reappear as soon as the weather warmed up. Our luck with the pediatrician was not good. She admitted they don’t know what causes it, so she prescribed steroid and anti-inflammatory creams. They would work as long as we applied them daily, and I just didn’t feel good about doing that.

    I wonder if some tea tree oil or tea tree shampoo would help Annalise? It’s a good treatment for psoriasis, if you think that’s a possibility. I know someone whose psoriasis on the scalp cleared up within a couple of days of using the tea tree shampoo. (That tip came from a hairstylist.)

  3. Marianne is doing OK with the leg wraps, although she said this morning that her rash is better and maybe we can let it heal itself now. I’m pleased with the improvement, and I’m hoping it will clear up completely in another week.

  4. I posted a question about it on Yahoo answers and someone suggested almond oil, I guess with skin issues there are lots of things to try! I’ll have to search for psoriasis images online, ewe! the things we do for our kids.

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