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What is an Herbal Poultice?

By Stephen Sedita, AP

What is an Herbal PoulticeA Poultice refers to a blend of mud, clay, silt, wax or other base material with medicinal herbs which is heated and applied to the body. The usage of poultices dates back to ancient times and can be found in virtually every culture on every continent. Through the years the technique has been honed and evolved to utilize the best materials and to deliver the best medicinal effect.

While it may appear similar to the use of mud or clay in a spa setting the herbal poultice is different in that it has a medicinal effect. This is not a waxing procedure and is not meant to remove body hair or reduce the need to shave.  Nor is this a skin treatment per se, while the base materials do benefit the skin the purpose of the poultice is not for cosmetic effect. The application of the herbal poultice is specifically done for medical effect and this is what differentiates this technique from the spa type of treatment that most Westerners conjure up.

In modern day China the usage of herbal poultice is widespread and can be found in most hospitals. Many hospitals have a whole ward for poultice therapy which is used as an adjunct treatment to many modern procedures and acupuncture treatments. The poultice therapy has become so widespread because it effective, safe, relatively cheap and simple to apply. This therapy has been referred to as wax or mud therapy, though neither term adequately expresses the medicinal nature of the therapy.

General Functions

Clears the Meridians

It can relax muscle and open up the body’s meridians, spurring unobstructed flow of qi and blood.  The free flow of qi and blood is critical for virtually all ailments.

Cleans the Blood and Expels Toxins

It can raise the body’s metabolism and spur blood circulation, helping to eliminate waste in the body and toxins in the liver and kidneys.


It can go deep into the subcutaneous tissue, and through elimination of pollutants, detox and reduce inflammation, eliminate dead skin, and cause the skin to be cleared and smooth.

Reduce Fatigue

It can relax the entire body, lower blood pressure, make one’s mood relaxed and pleasant, and restore vitality.

Activate the Cells

It can stimulate all the cells of the body, effectively improve the physique, and strengthen immune functions.

Strengthen Functionality

It can stimulate the body’s microcirculatory system and improve the functionality of the body’s various organs.

Weight Loss

It can help with perspiration, the elimination of excess heat, and the burning off of excess fat, making the body slender and more shapely.


It can result in a reduction of blemishes and spots on the skin.  It can help improve the overall quality of the skin and promotes a more healthy skin tone.

Improve Sleep

20 minutes of heat therapy is equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise.  After heat therapy, one can enter a deep sleep, and after waking, will feel twice as relaxed.

What Makes it Special?

The poultice is a unique drug delivery system. The heat opens the pores of the skin which allows the herbal medicine to diffuse through the skin and then into the bloodstream via the local capillaries.  Due to the materials used in the poultice the heat is retained which keeps the pores open throughout the duration of the application. The heat further has a benefit to stimulate local blood flow by allowing the capillaries to expand.

This technique avoids any drug allergy effects and bypasses any complications from medication needing to pass through the digestive tract. Injections can also deliver medicine directly to a local area but there is the added side effect of the needle insertion and some people have negative reactions to the preservatives used in many injectable drugs. The herbal poultice is unique because it is able to deliver medicinal herbs directly to the affected area with no side effects.

The other benefit of the poultice therapy is that it can be applied virtually anywhere on the body and that different herbal formulas can be used to treat a variety of conditions. For example one formula helps with women’s reproductive health and is best applied locally over the lower abdomen. Another formula is great for arthritis and would be applied over the affected joints. Yet another formula is specially designed to treat lower back pain and would be applied over the lower back.

Specific Formulas

• Neck Pain • Spinal/Vertebrae Support

• Arthritis/Joint Support

• Kidney/Low Back

• Digestive Health

• Breast Health

• Weight Loss

• Prostate/Men’s Health

• Liver Health Support

• Uterus/Women’s Health


• 100% Pure, Natural Beeswax

• Volcanic Mud

• Clay from Ocean Floor

• Herbal Cream (Base)

• Proprietary blend of Medicinal Herbs, differs for each Formula


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