Hay contains a mixture of herbs with numerous phyto-therapeutic principles and are gathered in the high mountains. After being gathered they are dried, cut and put into special bags of varying sizes. The bags are steam heated for about 30 minutes and applied to the required areas. The packs are kept in place for about 30 minutes and are removed while still warm. The body parts treated are then kept warm for a further 10 minutes. The effect is local and penetrates the deeper layers, calming, alleviating pain and relaxing contractions. The areas particularly benefited are neck, back, kidneys and articulations.
The mustard used for these plasters is the flour of black mustard which gives out a mustard oil when mixed with water. This essential oil provokes a strong cutaneous reaction of heat similar to a burn. The plaster is prepared with some mustard powder on gauze which is then enclosed in a pack. This is then soaked in water at 37°C and is placed on the areas to be treated. The plaster remains in place for 6-8 minutes and is then removed and the skin is thoroughly cleaned. The redness and congestion of the skin activates an anti-inflammatory reaction of the underlying tissues and organs.
GINGER POWDER PACKS
Ginger is rich in ether oils. To prepare the pack, 2 spoonfuls of ginger powder to 30-50 cc of water is used. This is boiled to obtain a smooth paste, which is then spread on a gauze, put in a pack and then applied warm. To keep the pack warm a hot water bottle is used. It is left in place for about 30 minutes and is used mainly on the kidneys, stomach, thorax, chest and temples.
YARROW PACKS (infusion)
The humble yarrow is commonly found throughout Europe. Yarrow flowers are infused for 5-7 minutes and then poured over the cotton packs which are squeezed out and applied while still hot directly on the hepatic area. A hot water bottle is used to keep the pack hot and this is kept in place for about 30 minutes. Following this the patient is well covered and kept warm for another 30 minutes.
EQUISETUM PACK FOR KIDNEYS
Equisetum reinforces the kidneys and stimulates diuresis. The decoction of equisetum is prepared with 3 spoonful of equisetum to 60 cc of cold water and left to boil for 30 minutes. Cotton compresses are then soaked in the decoction and applied directly to the skin. The compress can also be filled with the herbs to make a pack, thereby increasing the therapeutic efficiency of the application.
BEESWAX ON SILK PACK
These are hot packs used to warm areas of the body which are particularly cold after a treatment of massage and/or friction. Beeswax on a sheet of silk is heated and applied to the area in need of treatment; it is then covered with a bag of salt which allows uniform and constant heat distribution. It is kept in place for about 30 minutes.
PACKS OF QUARK OR RICOTTA
Quark is a fresh, unfermented cheese of a creamy consistence. About half a centimetre of quark is spread on gauze which is then folded over to form a pack. It is left in place for about an hour and the skin is not washed after removal. This pack to which arnica or borage can be added is an excellent anti-inflammatory.
Mud contains a mixture of several minerals. It draws heat and liquid from the body, it disinfects, absorbs grease and has a good anti-inflammatory effect. Water is mixed into the dry mud powder with a wooden spoon until a thick homogenous paste is obtained. About 1 cm of the paste is spread on soft packing paper and covered with a large web gauze. It is kept in place until it dries. After treatment, the mud cannot be used again.
MUD PACKS WITH LEVICO WATER
ARGITAL mud can be mixed with Levico water and plant tinctures: the most frequently used is arnica tincture. Bio-active volcanic minerals obtained directly from deposits and springs around the volcanic basin of Bolsena lake are available upon medical prescription. They are applied with a special wooden spatula directly where needed to a thickness of at least 2/3 mm, wrapped in cling foil and kept in place for the entire night.
The oil is prepared in our laboratories using various medicinal plants. It is applied to a piece of thick cotton or flannel which is placed directly onto the skin and then covered with a warm compress.