Understanding Herbal Preparations: Fomentation

Understanding Herbal Preparations: Fomentation

Posted by TriLight Health on Sep 10th 2022

Fomentation is the herbal preparation I bet you’re least likely to have heard of. Though it’s a big name, they are simple to prepare! It’s as easy as making a cup of tea. This post will teach you all about the fomentation and you can impress your friends with your new herbal terminology. 

What is a Fomentation?

A fomentation is a warm topical application of herbs. It is similar to a compress but is kept warm.

How is a fomentation used?

Fomentations are placed on the skin. Herbalists use them to assist with circulation, for pain, as cough relief, and other ailments. They are used in a similar method to a heat pack. In some cases a warm fomentation will be alternated with a cold compress. A fomentation might be used for 15 minutes or overnight, depending on the herb(s) used. For longer use, they will be covered with plastic wrap and a heat pack placed on top.

How to make a fomentation-

These are truly as easy as making a cup of tea. They even start the same way!

- Use the herb(s) of choice to make an herbal infusion or decoction 

- 15-20 minutes is best

- Strain herbs (they can be set aside and reused several times)

- Soak a cloth in the liquid for approximately 5 minutes

- Wring the cloth out- make sure it’s not too hot!

- Apply to desired area and cover with a towel (can also use a hot water bottle, if desired)

- Replace when cool

What herbs are commonly used?

Pain relieving and skin soothing herbs are most often used. These include:

Note- Heat applications are not appropriate with certain health conditions. As always, check with your healthcare practitioner first.

Learn More

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