Benefits of the Yarrow Compress:
This compress is useful for supporting liver function, which aids in the healing process. It should be applied regularly over a period of time. You may want to begin with daily applications for one week and then continue for a few more weeks, 3 times per week for a month or more. In serious chronic conditions, you can continue one to three times per week for the duration of your treatment. At anthroposophical clinics in Europe, many patients will receive a daily yarrow compress over the liver during the rest period after lunch throughout their entire hospital stay.
Instructions for the Yarrow Compress
You will need:
A compress kit, consisting of 1 wool outer cloth, 1 cotton or flannel inner cloth, and 1 compress cloth
A tea towel
Loose yarrow tea
A large bowl
A hot water bottle and cover
Compress kits, hot water bottles, covers, and yarrow tea are all available in our shop.
- Find a quiet room with a surface for lying comfortably (bed, sofa, etc).
- Take the wool outer compress wrap and place it in the bed in the approximate position of your abdominal area; your abdomen should be in the center of the wrap, so that each end extends equally on either side of your body for folding left and right. You may use a large towel folded into thirds, so that it is approximately 12 in. wide, or the width of your abdomen.
- Place the inner (cotton or flannel) wrap on top of the wool wrap (it helps to put them together beforehand and roll the ends like a scroll).
- Get a tea towel and open flat. Place a small cotton cloth (approx. 6in x 10 in) in the middle of the tea towel (a man’s handkerchief or cotton scrap or cloth diaper), and roll or fold from the long side. Twist the whole towel (as in wringing) so that the two ends present as handles. This will help prevent burns.
- Place the middle of the tea towel down in the bottom middle of the bowl (you want the small cotton compress to be in the bottom section of the bowl to absorb the yarrow tea) with the ends hanging over the edge.
- Fill a hot water bottle between ½ and ¾, remove the air and wrap in flannel or a towel.
- Boil about a pint of water (not tap)
- Place in a large bowl or teapot with a lid (not plastic) 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of yarrow blossoms.
- Pour the just boiled water on the yarrow; cover to seal.
- Wait 3-4 minutes
- Pour the yarrow tea through a strainer on to the middle of the tea towel and compress.
- In each hand, twist the ends of the tea towel opposite each other to create a wringing. Do this several times working fast. (The middle cloth-the compress cloth- should be as dry as possible).
- Very quickly lie down on top of the outer wool wrap or large towel (the lower edge should be just below your waistline).
- Remove the small cloth and place it as hot as tolerable on the right side (liver area) of your abdomen. It is imperative that the compress next to your skin does not become cool or even lukewarm. Stop the whole process if this happens and begin again.
- Quickly and tightly cover the compress- first right side then left -with the inner wrap, then the outer wool wrap. Be sure no air is able to get to your skin.
- Place the hot water bottle on top of the outer wrap on your right side.
- Be warm and comfortable.
- Rest for 15-20 minutes
- Remove the inner cloth without disturbing the inner or outer wrap if the compress starts to cool or you wish to rest for a longer period of time.