Have you ever wondered how wounds were treated “back in the day” before the wonders of modern emergency medicine when a person couldn’t travel to a medical center and a doctor couldn’t get through a storm to make a house call? In all likelihood, a poultice was used. A poultice is a traditional medicine remedy applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation, or to facilitate wound healing. Carrot poultice has been used in herbal medicine for treating quite a few different ailments.
What is a Poultice Made From?
A poultice is a moist mass of organic matter, typically derived from plant material. Depending on the type of injury, wound, or degree of inflammation, a poultice can be composed of different types of material (crushed leaves, petals, pulp, ground bulb) and could be applied warm or cool. Typically, the concoction of plant matter is formed into a paste and spread over the area of concern. A wrap or bandage is then applied to hold the paste in place. Cool or warm cloths may be applied over top of the bandage.
Why Use a Carrot Poultice
Carrot poultice is a good option for a closed wound that has a high risk for becoming infected.
It also is a good option for making a light compress to reduce inflammation associated with cold sores, eczema, sore throat and swollen glands, and even to reduce swelling of breast tissue related to childbirth and breastfeeding.
Easy-to-Make Carrot Poultice
A cool or warm carrot poultice can be prepared the same way.
- A cool carrot poultice is recommended for inflammation and pain, such as a sore throat.
- A warm carrot poultice is typically used for a closed wound.
- Grate the carrot and combine with crushed or shaved ice. Place the shavings in the center of a thin, durable cotton cloth such as a cheesecloth.
- Fold the cloth to enclose the shavings and knot the ends.
- Apply to the affected area with the knotted side facing out.
- Cover the poultice with a bandage wrap or thin towel. Leave on for 30-60 minutes.
A warm carrot poultice is typically applied to a closed wound within the first 24-48 hours. To warm the poultice, simply apply a heat source (e.g., moist heating pad or rice pack), over the towel or bandage wrap (e.g., a hot moist heating pad or rice pack). Leave this on for 20-40 minutes.
Watch Dr. Peter Swanz make a carrot poultice.
A poultice is a simple technique that can be incredibly effective when the proper substances are applied in the appropriate manner. To learn more about poultices, speak with your holistic health provider.
Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006–. Carrot. (2021 Jun 21) PMID: 30000953. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30000953/
The Bodhi Clinic. “What is a Poultice? Types of Poultice” https://www.bodhiclinic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Poultice-carrot.pdf
Medicine from the Kitchen blog. “Poultices-Medicine from the Kitchen.” https://drswanz.com/poultices-at-home/
AliveMagazine.com. “Poultices.” https://www.alive.com/health/poultices/