Suppositories & Pessaries

Suppositories & Pessaries

These are classed as remedies used externally because they are not taken orally but in a sense they are taken internally in as much as they are inserted into the body; suppositories being inserted rectally (eg. For hemorrhoids) and pessaries vaginally (eg. for candidiasis).

Both are made in essentially the same way, the choice of herbs depending on the condition to be treated. They may contain extracts of herbs or the dried ground herb itself.

Of major importance in the preparation of suppositories and pessaries is the composition of the base. A good base should: remain solid at room temperature, melt at normal body temperature, be a non-irritant to the body, and be stable on storage and when combined with the herbal materials.

The bases that are commonly used are: oily ones (usually cocoa butter or ‘Theobroma oil”) and are suitable for lipid-soluble material and tannins; and water-miscible ones (usually mixtures of glycerin and gelatin) which are suitable for water-soluble substances.

While it is possible to form suppositories and pessaries by hand particularly if made with cocoa butter, it is faster and neater to use molds. These are usually stainless steel and are re-used, but plastic ones can be obtained which may also be used as the dispensing medium and makes packaging and storage easier. Before filling, the mold should be lubricated with almond oil then inverted to drain.

How to make a Suppository or Pessary:

  • Combine herbs (tincture or powder)
  • Melt cocoa butter and add herbs in slowly, stirring well (approximate ration of 75% cocoa butter to 25% powdered herb)
  • Pour into prepared molds
  • Freeze
  • Remove and partially thaw (for about ½ hour) before use

Comments are closed.

A place for all things herbal medicine

Created and maintained with love by Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND



This site is created and maintained as a free resource for herb lovers around the world. Donations are accepted with gratitude :)


Get my new book here!

The 2nd Edition of my herbal reference is here!