Mustard Poultices (Hardalov`s Poultices)
The mustard plant is one of the most popular ingredients used by the Bulgarian people to warm up the skinor parts of it.
- Quick-acting mustard poultice. You will need freshly crushed or ground mustard seed (white or red). Take 2 tablespoons of mustard flour and 2 tablespoons of plain flour, mix them together well, add some tap water and continue stirring until you get a runny dough-like paste. Spread the musard dough in a thin layer over a piece of gauze, a thin towel, etc using a knife or the handle of a spoon and fold it in two so that the dough is enveloped between the two layers of cloth. Place the poultice on the troubled spot and hold it there until the skin becomes very red – it usually takes 10, 15 or 20 minutes depending on how fast the patient`s skin responds. The condition of the skin can be easily monitored by lifting one of the ends of the poultice from time to time. Once the poultice is removed, it is recommended to clean the spot with a towel soaked in hot water and to apply olive oil.
Some pharmacies sell ready-made mustard poultices which you can buy without a prescription from a doctor. They are usually applied in the following way: moisten the side of the poultice with the herb on it and place it on the troubled spot. Leave it there for about 10 minutes. The same poultice can immediately be placed on another spot.
- Slow-acting mustard poultice. Crush the amount of black mustard seed you will need, add an equal amount of ground table salt, mix well and pour as much warm vinegar as you need to make a dough-like mixture. Spread it between two layers of thin cloth and place it on the troubled spot. When prepared in this way the poultice can be left on the skin overnight (even on the skin of children) without any negative consequences.
Hardalov`s poultices are used to stimulate the flow of blood to the skin which helps to treat a number of illnesses: chest problems (pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, trachea bronchitis, etc), headaches, leg pain, etc. After removing the poultice, it is recommended to apply pure vinegar or milk to the spot.
Sourdough Ferment Poultice
Homemade sourdough ferment is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent; its use was spread among the Bulgarian people more than 1 000 years ago by the Bogomils. The healing properties of sourdough ferment come, on the one hand, from the hidden rays that allyeasts emit and which make the skin turn dark just as it does when exposed to the sun and, on the other hand, from the heat emitted during the process of fermentation. This fermentation process lasts for at least six hours and the poultice should not be removed during this time.
Good homemade sourdough ferment is warm, has a very strong sour smell and is not runny but thick as bread dough. Here is how to prepare it: take a tablespoon of wholemeal flour (white flour makes the ferment slimy), a pinch of salt and some warm water (not hot). Using warm boza (a type of fermented beverage) that has gone sour would be even better. Mix the ingredients into dough and leave it in a container covered with a woollen tea towel in a warm place (near a burning stove) and leave it for about 48 hours. During this time the mixture will turn into sourdough ferment which you can recognize by the bubbles on top and the sour smell. Should you want to speed up the fermentation process, add 1/4 teaspoon of pure wine vinegar.