Mom Wishmeyer’s Good Old-Fashioned Mustard Plaster.
This old-fashioned but very effective and safe home remedy is applied to the chest of those suffering lung congestion due to colds or chest infections.
- Discard-able fabric, like old cotton sheeting or pillowcase or old (clean) cloth diapers about one foot by two feet or so. It is easiest to just throw this away after use.
- Wax paper to place under the fabric to protect your work surface from the mustard paste.
- Alternatively, a disposable underpad such as can be purchased inexpensively at any pharmacy, works very well and can be trimmed to size.
- 3 Heaping tablespoons of flour.
- 1 Heaping tablespoon of dry powdered mustard.
- Plain water sufficient to mix the flour and mustard powder into a paste the consistency of slightly runny pancake batter – so that it can be spread easily.
You will also need: some plain Vaseline, and a towel and a microwave oven to heat things with.
How to do it:
Mix the flour, mustard, and water into a spread-able paste, just a little less thick than a pancake batter.
Lay down a sheet of wax paper and place your cotton material on that, or place your disposable underpad down with the absorbent side up.
Spread the flour / mustard paste evenly over this pad to within about an inch of the edges.
Fold the pad with its mustard paste so that it will fit into your microwave oven, and heat it for 10 to 15 seconds – until hot but not scalding.
Apply a little Vaseline to the patient’s nipples to protect these sensitive areas, and with the patient resting in bed apply the hot mustard plaster to the chest with the wax paper or plastic of the underpad to the outside and the mustard paste in contact with the chest.
Cover this with a warmed towel – it can be warmed by tumbling in your clothes dryer for a few minutes or by heating in the microwave for a few seconds.
Pull up the bedclothes and settle the patient in for a rest.
Check the patient in about 20 minutes – the skin under the mustard pack should be pink, or even a little red, but should not be angry or becoming blistered. If the patient is tolerating this well, it can be left on for up to a half hour, then removed and discarded.
The patient should then rest and even sleep for an hour or two – the mustard pack can be repeated as above one or two more times, with 2 hours or so between applications.
This is a very effective old-time remedy; it quickly relieves chest congestion caused by colds and other chest infections.
Most people respond very well and are greatly improved by the next day.