Poultices were very popular in the Middle Ages for anything from toothache to skin rashes. A poultice is a paste of chopped or mashed herbs, applied directly to the skin or wrapped into muslin and used as a compress. Poultices can be hot or cold, depending on the intended use.
A poultice to relieve a wasp sting would be cold, while a poultice prepared to comfort muscle ache, such as a mustard plaster, would be applied hot.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|