A fomentation is a topical 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). Fomentations stimulate circulation, aid in decongestion, draw abscesses, are soothing to external tissue and warm stiff joints. They can be used for acute inflammations, local pains and congestion, neuralgia, and toothaches, and especially in cases of sore or injured muscles and joints.

How to make a Fomentation

  1. Decoct or infuse herbs in water for a minimum of 15 minutes, then strain and set aside.
  2. Dip clean cloth into the decoction and apply to desired area. When it cools, wring out and dip again to keep warm.
  3. Apply fomentation for several hours or up to overnight (Note: can be kept in place with saran wrap which will also help to retain heat).

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