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Herbal Poultice Massage

Updated on January 23, 2018
Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma has lived and worked for almost three years in the Republic of Ireland as a spa wellness massage therapist.

Hibiscus flowers in Eden Nature Park and Resort in Davao City, Philippines.
Hibiscus flowers in Eden Nature Park and Resort in Davao City, Philippines. | Source

How I Met The Herbal Poultice

Herbal poultice massage is another type of Asian massage that came to Europe a few years ago. It is widely offered in most of the spas in Europe. Packed herbs and dried flowers are used in this massage. Dried lavender, roses, jasmine, ylang ylang, lemon grass, peppermint, chamomile and many others are cut into pieces then packed in a cheesecloth and bound with a thin rope.

When I started learning different kinds of massages in a Massage Academy in Germany, I was surprised because I already knew this kind of massage when I was a child. It was practised by my grandmother who was a "quack herbalist". I remembered that she collected more than three kinds of herbs in our garden and sometimes in the forest. Before the sun set, my grandmother prepared the herbal poultice in case somebody had a stomach trouble at nighttime.

When I had a flu or colds, she cut the herbs in small pieces, wrapped them in banana leaves, folded and roasted the packed herbs in an open fire. Then she unfolded the roasted package and put the content in a clean cloth. She sealed the package by using a piece of thin rope which is now a poultice and rubbed it in my chest and back. I don´t know the names of the herbs in english but I know how they look like as they are still existing in our garden.

Photo taken by myself at the Herbal Garden in Taozi Academy
Photo taken by myself at the Herbal Garden in Taozi Academy | Source

Herbal Poultice

Thai Herbal Compress Ball 100% Natural Herbs Aroma Massage Spa Product 100g (Pack of 2)
Thai Herbal Compress Ball 100% Natural Herbs Aroma Massage Spa Product 100g (Pack of 2)
This Herbal Compress Ball was what I always used when I was doing my herbal poultice massage treatment to my clients at work. It was composed of many herbs and it smelt so good. Very aromatic.

The Benefits of Flowers and Herbs

Herbal poultice massage is a very relaxing treatment. It soothes the painful muscles and rejuvenates the skin. It helps the flow of blood circulation of the body and boosts the immune system. It depends what kind of herbs and dried flowers you are using. Always consider the skin type of a person when making the poultice. Each individual should have his/her suitable poultice which is specially made for himself/herself.

Dried Flowers and Herbs:

Normal Skin: Rose, Chamomile,Lavender and Jasmine

Dry Skin: Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, Neroli and Jasmine

Sensitive Skin: Rose, Chamomile and Neroli

Oily Skin: Lemongrass, Lavender and Juniper

The Effects Of:

Lavender is antiseptic, soothing, antispasmodic and has a calming effect. The essential oil of lavender is good against insomnia. When you have a hard time sleeping, just put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or rub a drop under your nose before you sleep. It helps in healing the burned skin. One thing that I discover myself when I started using lavender oil in my aromatic massage was, it helps get rid off my warts on the finger.

Chamomile is anti inflammatory and has a very good soothing effect to the skin. It is good in treating stomach cramps and intestinal disorder. It is also good against insomnia, skin irritations, burns and has a calming effect to the body.

Rose has a toning, antiseptic and calming effect. The leaves of the rose are laxative and astringent and they can be used for healing the wounds. The essential oil of the rose is good against depression, nervousness and it balances the mind and soul when you´re in deep sorrow.

Jasmine has antispasmodic, anti depressive and aphrodisiac effect to the body. It balances both the mind and soul. It is good in healing skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis and it improves the blood circulation.

Neroli is the blossom of the bitter orange tree. It has a healing, calming, relaxing and anti depressive effect to the body. It is good against sleeping disorders.

Lemon Grass is a perennial plant and it is commonly used in Asian cooking. It is antiseptic and tones the skin. It is good against muscle cramps, indigestions, overfatigue and low concentration.

Spa Room

The Spa of my friend Beth.
The Spa of my friend Beth. | Source

Making The Poultice

10x10 inches of cheese or cotton cloth

2 or 3 tbsp.of dried lavender

2 or 3 tbsp. of dried roses

1 tbsp. dried jasmine

1 tbsp. grated coconut

Put the dried flowers and grated coconut in the middle of the cloth. Then form a ball out of the mixture and bind it tightly with the thin rope. Make 4 pieces of poultice so you will have 2 extra waiting in the steamer.

You can make the poultice as big or as small as you want. This one is for dry skin. This ingredients is variable. You can choose from dried flowers and herbs according to the skin type of a person. You can use almond or jojoba oil instead of grated coconut. Just wet them with the oil.

Heat the Poultice in the steamer with water for about 5 minutes. Before you start with the massage, test the hotness of the poultice by putting it on your arms first. Be careful. Always ask the person you are massaging if it´s okey for her. Start the massage by giving a short and fast stroke just to try if it´s not too hot. Then massage the parts of the body by stroking, rubbing gently and doing circular movements. You can also press the poultice a few seconds along the energy lines. Remember always massage towards the heart.

When the poultice cooled down, put them back in the steamer and get the 2 extra poultice and continue the treatment. They might be still hot so don´t forget to test them on your arms and start the massage again with short but fast stroke.

Photo taken by myself at TaoZi Garden, Germany
Photo taken by myself at TaoZi Garden, Germany | Source

Have you experienced herbal poultice massage? If yes, how did you like it?

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© 2011 Thelma Alberts


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