Ever wondered what it means to make a “compress”? This is a technique that is truly a lost art for many of us. A compress is an absorbent pad applied to an area of the body that requires some additional love. Creating a compress is very simple, and takes only simple ingredients. Let’s take a look below how to create your very own compress.
When choosing the temperature of your compress, you’ll want to consider the reason for use. Did you overwork your muscles at the gym this morning? Try a warm compress to relax the muscles. Do you have a bruise or did you step down on your ankle wrong? Try a cool compress to discourage additional bruising.
To begin, Epsom salt or himalayan salt should be added, 1/4 cup per cup of water. Stir well to dissolve. Then take a soft cloth and soak in the epsom salt/water mixture. Wring out and apply to the area of concern. This is the most basic compress you can create.
I like to boost the benefits of these compresses by using hydrosols. Calendula, chamomile, helichrysum and lavender are all very nice when dealing with minor bumps, bruises and broken skin. To relax muscles reach for eucalyptus, marjoram, peppermint or rosemary. You can add 1/4-1/2 cup per cup of water for a total of 1 – 1/2 cups plus the 1/4 cup epsom salt. I especially like using marjoram compress on my neck and shoulders after a long day, the warm, relaxing compress is very soothing and is a great way to find some zen just before bed!
Of course, adding essential oils can further bump up the benefits for your compress. Remember that less is more! A few drops are all that will be necessary. Try 2-3 drops of lavender or roman chamomile in a cup or so of water for your compress to soothe your fussy toddler when teeth begin to make their appearance. Apply to outer jawline for a few minutes, as tolerated.
Always be certain that the choices you make (either hydrosol or essential oil) is considered safe for the person using the compress. When using hot water, be sure it’s a safe temperature before applying to the skin and keep hot water away from small kids.
As always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!