Friday, August 19, 2016

Making Fast and Easy Comfrey Poultice and Freezing Them For Later

Ok, I have to say that God is VERY amazing at times. After our first poultice experience the way my friend suggested, she only lasted 2 hours and her skin was irritated. I KNOW that God gives me different experiences so I can learn new things. I was talking to a nurse friend of mine the other day when she called and asked how Princess Five is doing. 

I shared that if I had known what I know now, I probably wouldn't have become a nurse. God has put me through so many times when medical science couldn't help my family members that I think I wouldn't have taken the time to go to school knowing how much we don't know about the world and health problems.

There is so much to learn but sometimes I wish he wouldn't give me these "opportunities" to learn new things. ;-) 

With that, I pondered and prayed about the poultice thing. I did research looking at how others made their poultices and found that I didn't want to deal with fabrics. I didn't want to deal with irritating the skin in any way. I saw others use wheat to thicken theirs but so many people have issues with wheat that I didn't think it the best method.  
I knew from crushing them in the first poultice that the mucosy stuff was in the stems and know from drying veggies for years that stems don't dehydrate well anyway so I figured that drying the leaves and flowers and then using the petals and stems for the frozen poultices would be the way to go. 

So, I dehydrated the leaves which I showed in yesterdays post here.  After which, I put the stems in a vase with water to keep them fresh until I made the poultice. 

Once I was ready to make the poultice, I decided that paper towel would be the best idea to keep the poultice off the skin which is messy but thin enough that the comfrey and tobacco can come through healing the skin. 
The first night, I wrapped the entire thing in plastic wrap and then in an ace but it leaked onto the ace and her pillows so I put down a scrap fleece blanket to keep her sheets and pillows clean but things worked out much better the second time as it was frozen to start with so not as "liquid" to start.  

I cut the stems and leaves I chose to use into small lengths so they didn't become ropy in the blender like celery tends to do. About two inch lengths using kitchen sheers. You need to put a little water in to blend it and I just blended it into a paste. 
I would use as little water as possible so that you don't have to add much diatomaceous earth to thicken it. I pondered on what to use to thicken it and remembered that diatomaceous earth is calcium which would be great for her bone mending so I used that as the thickening agent. Make it into a paste. You can watch my video on how I did it here and if you have any questions about how I did anything, feel free to ask here or on my youtube channel: thesecretisgratitude. 
I didn't show how I made the poultices to freeze completely on the video so I will show them here. 

I laid out some wax paper, then put on plastic wrap. I then put down paper towels and spread the paste onto the paper towel. I then put on some tobacco to help pull out the bruising as it has been nearly a month and she still has arm, elbow and under the arm bruises.  
You can see how quickly, the paste comes through the towel and will be able to contact the skin but not be so messy to take off and put on. The paper towel worked WONDERFULLY and was easy to throw away in the morning and doesn't waste fabric or leave anything to "clean up." Also, not many people have issues with paper as far as allergies so it is a wonderful way to apply it. 
After pulling some out of the freezer to use, I am going to put TWO layers of waxed paper between each saran / paper towel poultice as it wasn't quick to pull them apart. It wasn't horrible maybe 40 seconds but if you know me, anything that can be made to be faster or done more quickly, I will figure it out! 
So, Start with TWO pieces of wax paper, put down plastic wrap, paper towel, paste, (tobacco if you want), fold over the paper towel, and then put down TWO pieces of waxed paper so that when you pull the stack of poultices out of the freezer, you can quickly just pull apart the two pieces of waxed paper and get to your pliable poultice in seconds!  
Repeat this process until you have used up all your paste of comfrey. Once you have the entire stack done, I wrapped the entire thing in waxed paper, put an elastic around them to keep them in the wrap and if you have the larger zip bags about 2 gallon size, you could put them in there or it would fit nicely in the small casserole Tupperware containers to freeze.  

I was able to make about 6 or 7 poultices with about 7 stems and some leaves. I truly LOVE this method and so after the 2 hours of irritation the first night and then, it was a bit messy the second night, she wasn't really thrilled for me to put them on again. 

I told her we needed to do what we could so I pulled the frozen one's out of the freezer and pulled them apart and I LOVED that they were thin enough to wrap around her shoulder but the were stiff enough it wasn't oozing and drippy. It was cold at first so I stuck 2 paper towels under the poultice to keep the cold directly off the skin but it was it's own cool pack and she was grumpy at first due to the whole idea of another poultice but after a few minutes she said, "This feels good."  
So, YAHOO for inspiration, prayer, divine help, whatever you choose to call it, I am SO grateful for it. Very easy to put on and take off, cool so it feels good. You can make these in little squares for little "owies" or "boo boo's" on little one's and it is cold and molds to the spot as it is thin enough to bend. Once I wrapped the area with plastic wrap to hold it on, you really don't need the ace if you aren't moving but she was sleeping with it on so the ace held it in place better. 
The shoulder is a hard space to wrap and keep it secure so the tank helps secure the ace around the shoulder rather than having to wrap her all the way around to keep the ace on her shoulder.

These would be great for sprains, knees, ankles, arm, elbow even neck. Basically, it would wrap around just about any sprain, break, bruise, strain, muscle, tear, injury or trauma the body gets. I SO wish I had known about this when my kids were little. Just having these in little folded paper towel squares to put on after a fall is much better than the bag of peas we usually pulled out! 

Feel free to ask any questions you may have but I am thrilled with the outcome! She said today that she is feeling so much better and that she could move so much more today without pain and that her second day of physical therapy was great and today was her best day yet since the accident. I truly think she may end up not needing surgery if she can keep up on all the stuff we are doing as she seems to be making a much quicker recovery since we started this in the past week than she did in the first few weeks. Granted, she had lots of trauma to overcome but I personally see much more improvement on the days we do everything verses the days we have missed things.

God is good!  

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