When any kind of chest congestion is present, making a mustard plaster is one option of breaking it up.
Mustard has rubefacient properties, which means it increases blood circulation, perspiration and heat to the area of skin where it is administered.
To make a mustard plaster ~
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup mustard powder (you can also grind mustard seeds into powder yourself, which would make a stronger and even more effective poultice).
Stir in enough hot water to make a thick paste. Be sure to place a thin layer of olive oil on the chest before you put the paste on to help keep the plaster from “burning” the skin. Place this paste on chest and cover with a hot wet towel. Place a dry towel on top of that. You don’t have to place a hot towel on the paste, but this will help the mustard seed to stay warm and effective. It’s very important to check the plaster from time to time to make sure it isn’t burning the skin. I would leave this on the chest all day or over night as long as the skin isn’t becoming irritated. If you have sensitive skin, only use the plaster for 20-30 minutes at a time. This is a very effective remedy for breaking up congestion, but you have to be sure you don’t burn the skin – use the olive oil on the chest first! Don’t place the plaster directly on the skin and then blame me if you get “burned”.
This is a remedy that Anne on Anne of Green Gables used on Minnie Mae when she had severe croup. Have you never seen Anne of Green Gables? You’re missing out! It’s one of my favorites!
And you can’t just grab a bottle of mustard from the fridge – you have to purchase mustard seeds or mustard powder. :) It’s an inexpensive herb to buy too!
*Disclaimer ~ These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.