Charcoal Poultice

"After this I had a very painful time with my whole head. My cheek was swelled large and hard. Ellen White was with me at the time, and she pounded up charcoal for me. With this pulverized charcoal and hot water I treated my face for hours, till the soreness and pain was killed." Letter 19, 1896. Ellen G. White.

Equipment for Poultice
Applying the Poultice


from Hydrothermic Remedies...


  • Adsorbs poisons
  • Reduces inflammation


A soft composition of powdered charcoal usually heated and spread on a cloth, and applied to a sore or inflamed part of the body.


  1. Local Inflammations
  2. Local Infections
  3. Infected Wounds
  4. Chemical poisoning
  5. Insect Stings and Bites
  6. Gastrointestinal problems such as Diarrhoea and Gas - large poultice on abdomen - see Charcoal for Diarrhoea


  1. Rare


  • Powdered Activated charcoal
  • Warm water
  • Deep container and spoon (size depends on size of poultice to be made)
  • Flaxseed meal (grind fresh each time as the meal rapidly goes rancid)
  • Clean muslin sheeting, flannel or paper towel
  • Wool cloth
  • Plastic or kitchen cling wrap
  • Pin or tape
  • Ice or cold compress


Important Considerations

  • Handle charcoal with care - it can be messy
  • Remember: Serious conditions need expert medical attention as do mild conditions which do not respond

Preparation for Treatment

  • Assemble equipment
  • Have room warm and draft-free


  • Use equal parts of flaxseed and charcoal
  • Add enough hot water to make a paste
  • Apply charcoal paste to the muslin/flannel/paper towel quickly to prevent cooling; spread out to desired size.
  • Wrap cloth around charcoal
  • Place on area to be treated
  • Cover with plastic, or cling wrap, then wool cloth
  • Pin or tape in place, leave overnight.

Completion of Treatment

  • Remove poultice, being careful not to let crumbs of charcoal fall to the floor
  • Rub with ice or very cold cloth
  • Repeat with fresh poultice as needed

Poultice may be:-

  • made without flaxseed but it is more difficult to handle
  • reheated after mixing in frying pan or wrapped in foil over the flame on the stove burner.

Very few side effects