Carrot Poultice for Sores... and more!
PLEASE NOTE: The Carrot Museum does not recommend
self diagnosis or self medication. The information contained in this web
site has not been verified for correctness. Some of the information contained
herein is hearsay and may not be correct. Use the information from this page
only at your own risk! If in doubt consult a doctor.
Note: If you have diabetes it is recommended you read this before eating carrots.
The Carrot Poultice is an ancient remedy or relief for sores on the body/skin.
Dioscorides, botanist to Nero, writing in the first century A.D., stated: "Ye root ye thickness of a finger, a span long, sweet-smelling . . . is good for . . . ye bitings and strokes of venomous beasts . . . and . . . the leaves being beaten small with honey, and laid on, doth cleanse rapidly spreading destructive ulceration of soft tissues."
The carrot poultice stimulates the body’s natural healing processes (granulation), cleanses, cools inflammation and reduces the pain. William Cook, a doctor and herbalist wrote in1869:
"The boiled roots also act on the kidneys; and form an excellent emollient and gently stimulating poultice in irritable ulcers of all grades. But the fresh and unboiled roots, finely grated, make a peculiar stimulating application of great value. They are excellent in all low forms of sores; such as carbuncles, degenerate abscesses, and buboes; and all fetid ulcers of the malignant, cachectic, and scrofulous grades. They correct the fetor, relieve the aching, and quickly promote sound granulation. It is said that they will even abate the suffering of phagedaena and of cancer. They certainly deserve far more attention than they have received from the profession; and sores in which it seems impossible to arouse a healing process by ordinary means, will usually improve at once under this application The raw carrots are not to be continued after full vital action in the part has been established." (full work of Wm Cook's The Physiomedical Dispensatory here) Modern poultice recipe here.
Carrot poultices are an old remedy that continues to provide relief from symptoms of colds and sore throats. Use whenever needed to soothe a sore throat. You can enjoy the healing benefits of carrots for health, both internally and externally. Maybe even do this on some periodic basis as I believe all of us have compromised lymph systems with everything we are bombarded with in our environments, food, water, etc.
A carrot poultice is a compress made from carrots. It is used to draw toxins from the body, usually the neck area. Carrots have a cleaning action on the lymph glands and a poultice is an easy way to focus that healing energy to the glands in the neck. A carrot poultice can speed recovery from a sore throat or swollen glands. Children love carrot poultices, as they are non-invasive and they are very soothing. Carrot poultices can be used to treat sore throats, colds, the flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis, swollen glands, or any time cleansing of the lymph is needed. You can use them as often as necessary.
They are also known to be good for healing wounds, burns, whitlows, boils, abscesses, chilblains, chapped skin, cold sores & eczema. Bruising and muscle problems e.g. torn tendon tendon and ligament - Helps to reduce pain, swelling and discolouration.
In the famous work "De medicina" by Aulus Cornelius Celsus written between 25bc-50ce, the use of carrot seeds is recorded. A carrot poultice was also used at the time.
As a matter of interest it was Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90) who catalogued over 600 medicinal plant species and said that the Greeks used carrot leaves against cancerous tumours.
In 1578 Henry Lyte wrote - The greene leaves of Carrots "boiled with honey and laid to, do cleanse and mundifie (purify) uncleane and fretting sores" (- a type of poultice) (read more about H Lyte on a separate Museum page here)
During the English Civil War a soldier of Cromwell's named Valentine Greatrakes entered the service of the Parliament; but, on the Restoration, being thrown on his own resources, he found himself inspired from Heaven to effect cures by prayer and touching; but soon advanced to all other infirmities. By 1666 he had achieved an enormous reputation for his great "cures" of disease by the laying of hands, and the cure of scrofula with the application of a carrot poultice. However his was dismissed as a "quack" doctor, partly because the cure of that ailment was reserved for the touch of Royalty! He claimed to cures many conditions by the laying of hands and was classed as a charlatan, even though the carrot poultice probably worked!
In 1747 John Wesley,MA wrote "A Primitive Physic, an easy and natural method of curing most diseases" , this included carrots in several "cures" - A cancer in the breast - 112. A Poultice of wild Parsnips or scraped Carrots, Flowers, Leaves and Stalks, changing it Morning and evening.
For Putrid wounds 822. “Apply a carrot poultice.”
(A Cancer was described as a hard, round, uneven, painful swelling, of a blackish or leaden Colour, the Veins round which seem ready to burst. It comes commonly with a Swelling about as big as a Pea, which does not at first give much Pain, nor change the colour of the Skin.)
In 1790 Willian Buchan MD (Edinburgh, UK) wrote his Treatise on the prevention and cure of Diseases by Regimen and Simple Medicines, in which he wrote:
"Few things contribute more to the healing of foul sordid ulcers of any kind than keeping them thoroughly clean. This ought never to be neglected. The best application for this purpose seems to be the carrot poultice. The root of the common carrot may be grated, and moistened with as much water as will bring it to the consistence of a poultice or cataplasm. This must be applied to the sore, and renewed twice a day. It generally cleans the sore, eases the pain, and takes away the disagreeable smell, which are objects of no small importance in such a dreadful disorder."(full work available to download at archive.org)
In 1791 William Lewis produced An Experimental History of the Materia Medica giving an account of the pharmaceutical properties and medicinal powers of plants. The book promoted the use of carrots as a diuretic, for the relief of stranguary (difficulty or pain in urinating). It indicated that wild carrots gave a stronger effect. It also recommends a poultice of garden carrot root to treat skin ulcers. He concludes by saying the "A marmalade of carrots has also been proposed as an addition to the stock of ships provisions, for preventing scurvy."
In 1805 The Philosophical Magazine, Volume XXXIII first quarter, edited by Alexander Tilloch contained an article entitled "Observations on the remarkable efficacy under a new mode of application in the cure of ulcers and sores", written by Mr Richard Walker
A long account of the use carrot poultices in the treatment of sores and ulcers. The "new" application was to boil the carrots, rather than use them raw.
The carrots were split and boiled until tender and the liquor used to wash the ulcer before applying the carrot pulp, made into a poultice, applied cold ensuring as little as possible of the affected area is left exposed to the air.
Mr Walker also noted "The antiseptic power of the carrot poultice has been ascribed to carbonic acid gas which the sore is supposed to inbibe from it during its application; hence it might be inferred that carrot was fittest for use in its raw state.
I am however rather inclined to impute the efficacy of the carrot to its mild anti-putrescent quality, depending chiefly on the pulp saccharine matter it contains, in common with other vegetables, but in greater abundance; meliorated and softened into the fittest consistence by boiling and pounding for application to the tender, irritable surface of ulcers, sores, inflamed skin etc.
A Family Herbal (below left) - an account of the medicinal properties of British and Foreign plants – 1814. Robert John Thornton, MD, London. Carrot root poultice was said to be effective in the treatment of cancerous and angry sores.
Domestic Medicine 1861 by Horton Howard has this to say, together with a recipe:
DAUCUS CAROTA -Common name - Garden Carrot.
This root is in frequent use, and though it will not yield any grained sugar, it affords a great deal of a sweet juice, strongly nutritious. When boiled, it affords a tender, and not very flat ulent, food. The roots, when scraped small, and made up into a poultice, take off the disagreeable smell which attends ulcerated cancers.
The raw carrot may be scraped or grated, then made into a cataplasm with cold water, and applied to any fetid ulcers ; or carrots may be boiled a sufficient time till tl.ey become soft enough to mash into pulp.
The raw carrots are, however, preferable. Turnips prepared the same way are said to answer a similar purpose. They are both to be applied immediately to the ulcer, without the intervention of any other substance.
Carrot Poultice Recipe - Take of, Boiled carrots, bruised, 1 lb. Flour, 1 oz. Butter, I oz.
Mix them with as much warm water as to form a pulp. This will be found a valuable application to ulcerated sores and swellings, scrofulous sores of the irritable kind, and many other inveterate ulcers."
Modern Day Carrot Poultice:
If you have been to a doctor already and do not need antibiotics (oral or IV antibiotics are the recommended treatment for an infected wound), you can try the following home remedy:
Grate fresh carrot and apply directly on top of the wound. Cover with a warm, moist compress (wash cloth works well) and leave on wound for 20-30 minutes. The carrot poultice will help to draw out toxins and infection and speed healing.
A carrot poultice is a compress made from carrots. It is used to draw toxins from the body, usually the neck area. Carrots have a cleaning action on the lymph glands and a poultice is an easy way to focus that healing energy to the glands in the neck. A carrot poultice can speed recovery from a sore throat or swollen glands. Children love carrot poultices, as they are non-invasive and they are very soothing.
Carrot poultices can be used to treat sore throats, colds, the flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis, swollen glands, or any time cleansing of the lymph is needed. You can use them as often as necessary. You will need some carrots and a grater to get started.
Function: Filtering the Blood When you are sick, your body manufactures many white blood cells. These blood cells surround the bacteria and viruses in your blood, gobble them up, and then die. The dead cells are filtered through the lymph system, which acts like cheesecloth, or a filter, catching the non-useful stuff from your blood and sending it to the bladder or colon for excretion. If there is too much "junk" in your lymph, it can get stagnant, slow down, and the filtering, which is so important to health, can decrease. Some of that achy feeling when you have a flu is from stagnant lymph. A carrot poultice is very stimulating to the lymph system and gets it moving again.
Application: Use this poultice to treat swollen glands, sore throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis, cold or flu, laryngitis, or fever. Its use is to cleanse and purify. It is a good aid for any cough or cold that settles in the glands of the neck. During a cold or flu, stimulating the flow of lymph is helpful.
Ingredients: Gather two large fresh carrots, one sheet of cheesecloth or paper towel or muslin and a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (optional). You will need a grater, blender of food processor.
Procedure: Grate carrots finely-- food processor is good for this or use a hand grater. Collect the grated carrots, juice and all, and place them in the centre of the cloth or paper towel. Wrap the paper in thirds, and then fold in the edges to seal and secure the bundle. This can be a little messy but you will get better with practice. The finished size is four inches wide by eight inches long.
Wrap cloth around your neck and lie down. Place an old towel or cloth around it to prevent staining bed sheets. The cloth will become hot, drawing heat from your neck. Rest for at least a half an hour or longer, as you wish. Discard the carrots when done. This can be repeated as often as necessary. You can reuse the poultice for 12-24 hours if you refrigerate between uses.
Option: Ginger/Carrot Poultice Add a few slices of grated fresh ginger to the grated carrot. This increases the heat and stimulates the lymph. This poultice is stronger and has more "bite".
Carrot poultices are an old folk remedy that continues to provide relief from symptoms of colds and sore throats. Use whenever needed to soothe a sore throat. You can enjoy the healing benefits of carrots for health, both internally and externally.
You should always have animal bites (especially cat bites) seen by a doctor since the chances of infection are high and an untreated infection can get into the blood and be life-threatening. Signs of infection are redness, warmth to touch, red streaks extending from the wound, a wound that is discoloured or slow to heal, a wound with yellow-green discharge or foul odour. It is important to see a doctor any time you get a bite or puncture wound to get a tetanus shot--you will likely need a booster if you haven't had one in 5 years. You ideally should get a tetanus shot within 72 hours of the injury. Slow wound healing may also be an indication of systemic disease such as diabetes, which is another reason to be checked out by a doctor.
Carrots are good for the disposition, for they help to maintain very good health, and a person in excellent health will have a disposition to match. Carrots are important to the growth process of children, strengthening the bones and preventing anemia. Their vitamin and mineral contents are extremely high.
If carrots were used more extensively as a vegetable, they would prove of great benefit to mankind. Patients are often put on a carrot diet for a short period of time for cancer, liver, kidney, and bladder problems. Carrots are very useful in dropsy, gravel, in the bladder, painful urination, to increase the menstrual flow, and in expelling worms from the bowels.
Grated carrots make an excellent poultice for ulcers, abscesses, carbuncles, scrofulous and cancerous sores and bad wounds. . The seeds of carrots, ground to powder and taken as a tea, relieve colic and increase the flow of urine. The powder may also be placed in capsules and one or two taken daily with a glass of water. Carrot blossoms, used as a tea, are a most effective remedy for dropsy and will very often effect a cure when all other means have failed.
NOTE: The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice from your personal physician.
History Wild Carrot
- SITE SEARCH