Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh What Do You Do......

There is a song that says, "Oh What Do You Do In the Summertime?" Well around around here this past week the title of the song has changed to "Oh What Do You Do When you are Sick?"

The common seen around here has looked like this:

We've had a week of the sickies around here. The boys have had a seal-like cough, a fever of a 103, and a runny nose after the fever. The high fever broke after 24 hours but has lingered as a low-grade nuisance. After talking with a friend who went to their doctor, it sounds like we have croup. It is viral. Unless the boys can't breath, we just ride it out. If they can't breath, we can go and get a steroid shot.

So instead of a steroid shot I chose to do a mustard plaster (or poultice) for my older son so he could sleep through the night instead of waking up coughing. He didn't wake up that night.

Mustard is an amazing seed. It is often used as a condiment to give a little heat to compliment the food eaten. Mustard's heat is most potent in the first 30 minutes of getting wet. Ground mustard, flour, and water can be used to make a paste to open the respiratory system. Black mustard is usually used since it produces the most heat. We used yellow mustard. There are many recommendation on how to use a mustard plaster. First I gathered a cotton or flannel fabric that will cover the chest, another piece of fabric to cover the wet plaster, ground mustard, flour, and water. Add 1 part ground mustard to 2 parts flour. Add water to make a paste. Spread the paste on the fabric and cover. Get the fabric wet. We put it right onto the skin. Some like to have a t-shirt between the poultice and the skin.

It can look like this.
We let it sit on the chest for 15 - 30 minutes. When it is laid on the chest, it is cool. Over time it will begin to warm up.
The covered poultice/plaster
 We watch it very carefully because mustard can burn. If it is not watched, the mustard can cause burns or blisters. The chest will get red because of what the mustard's job is. It is a good idea to wash the chest off after to get the oils or residual mustard off the skin.
It is a holistic remedy. My great-Grandma Christensen used it. My Mom's inheritance was the fabric and recipe for the mustard plaster.


Sue said...

My grandma used to make mustard plasters all the time.

When my mom was a little girl, before antibiotics, she had terrible pneumonia every year. Without my grandma and her mustard plasters (and other home remedies), I really think she would not have survived.

She was a great nurse.


Kris said...

I can say with all honesty that I am SICK of being at home. We've had to be homebound for a couple of weeks now & I am ready to get out!

I'm so glad it'll be warmer tomorrow & I can at least go outside. :)

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Wow! I had NO IDEA! You are such a great innovative Mommy!

Hilary said...

Wow, that is very cool. I will definitely try that one next time Jayden is sick.

Cyndy said...

Thank you for sharing! I will have to get some mustard seed to have on hand!