By Susan Munro, RP-CRA
Plasters/Castor Oil Packs
Mustard plasters and Castor Oil packs have been used for hundreds of
years to relieve pain and to leech out inflammation. Before the days of
antibiotics, mustard plasters were used extensively in the acute and
recuperative stages of pneumonia. Castor Oil packs are used on areas like
the abdomen to relieve constipation and pain. We also use them here for
arthritis in feet, hands, wrists, ankles - any joint that is swollen and
These are simple, economical and time-tested remedies.
Mustard Plasters applied to areas of congestion on the upper front of the chest OR to the upper back area when you are
experiencing bronchitis or pneumonia, helps to loosen phlegm and relieve pain.
Castor Oil packs are applied in a specific manner
with heat for a period of up to 1 hour on the abdomen, liver area, etc. to
Castor oil packs are usually quite safe but must
be applied for the specific time and are contraindicated in persons with IBS (it
may increase diarrhea).
Mustard plasters are applied for approximately
20 minutes or one-half hour and the area will become vulnerable to chill. You
must keep the area warm, which implies that you are to wear additional clothing
covering that area. Rest is most important. The plaster will draw
out inflammation, so there may be additional coughing up of phlegm or mucus.
The plaster will facilitate an easier expectoration.
6 teaspoons of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Keenís mustard powder.
Mix these ingredients in a bowl with boiling water
until it forms a sticky paste. It should not be too runny, but wet enough
to soak into a clean piece of cloth.
Apply the mixture to a clean cloth, spreading it
like you would a sandwich. Cover it over, like folding a piece of bread,
so that the mixture does not directly make contact with the skin. Wait 1
minute until the extreme heat of the boiled water dissipates and apply it to the
upper chest or back area. Cover over with a cotton towel and make sure the
rest of the body is covered. The reason you cover the plaster with another
towel is to make sure your clothing does not get stained. Mustard WILL
wash out with spot treatment.
Apply for 20 mins or Ĺ hour and then remove from
skin and scrape the mixture into the garbage and wash the cloth. Remember
to cover up and rest.