The Thai poultice massage has its origins in Thailand during the Ayutthaya period (14th to 18th centuries). The poultices were used on soldiers returning home with aching, fatigued muscles. They were applied directly to the body while massaging. Today, this is one of the popular methods for alleviating pain, inflammation, drawing out underlying infections, speeding the healing process and reducing stresses of modern life that manifest themselves in stiff joints and aching muscles.
Thai poultice massage is a technique that involves special poultices made of herbs and spices that are wrapped in muslin or cotton and steam-heated. Steam heating helps release the natural essential oils and aromas of the herbs and spices, allowing them to be absorbed by the skin during the massage. During the massage, the poultices provide healing, nutrient-rich relaxation to the skin and muscles and work to promote harmony of the body’s energy flow. They do this by loosening energy blockages and stimulating blood circulation. Applying the herbal poultice to the painful area of the skin absorbs the curative benefits of the substance almost immediately.
A poultice is usually made of herbs and placed on the skin to treat a variety of conditions. Either fresh or dried herbs may be used for the poultice; however, due diligence must be done to ensure that the herb used does not have irritant properties.
Before you make your own poultice, find a list of commonly used herbs and their uses:
Fresh or Dried Herbs
There are a number of herbs – both fresh and dried – that can be used to prepare a poultice. Below is a sample of herbs that are commonly available:
Kaffir Lime: The juice and rinds are used in traditional Indonesian medicine; hence the fruit is referred to in Indonesia as jeruk obat (“medicine citrus”). The oil from the rind has strong insecticidal properties. kaffir lime helps boost circulation.
Galangal: Galangal, a herb like ginger and turmeric belongs to the rhizome family. It is also known as ‘Siamese ginger’ and is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Thai. Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore is beneficial in treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and to increase blood circulation.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help to deal with lot of health problems. It regenerates connective tissue and ligaments, supports thymus and spleen function, aids circulation, reduces fevers and infections, improves muscle tone, aids in muscle pain and sprains, stimulates lymphatic detox, aids fluid retention, and helps skin blemishes
Many other beneficial herbs and spices may be used along with the above
- Poultices help to increase blood flow
- Relaxes tense muscles
- Soothe inflamed tissues, drawing toxins from an infected area
- Alleviates pain and inflammation.
- Induces relaxation for those who suffer post-partum.
- Helps to open the pores and deliver deep medicinal heat to relax the muscle
- Increases blood circulation
Fresh or Dried Herbs
White Cloth / Gauze or Gauzy Materials
Yarn / Thread
Bowl for Mixing
Step By Step in making poultice
Mix all the dried herbs. Put 1 cup of each herbs in a bowl and mix it well.
Prepare the white cloth and put average tennis ball in size.
Tie it nicely to create a handle for your poultice
Keep it tight so it will not become loose when it is in use
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