Fomentation

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Fomentation

 

a therapeutic procedure for influencing a disease process by the local application of medicaments or hot and cold compresses.

Hot or cold water, aqueous extracts of plants, and solutions of various medicinal substances are used for fomentation. Pieces of gauze, clean canvas or linen cloths, or swabs of hygroscopic cotton wads moistened in these fluids are applied to the affected part of the body. With some eye diseases fomentations are applied to the closed lids. Sometimes the agents used for fomentation, such as lead water, are also called fomentations.

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In those days, hot fomentations and bread poultices were applied as required and bee and wasp stings received the "blue-bag" treatment.
Fomentations of tepid water or other substances were applied to injured parts, especially in dislocations, frostbite, and bruises where the skin had not been broken.
Cayenne is a warming herb with pain-relieving properties, especially if applied regularly, so cayenne added to any herbal tea works well as a fomentation.