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Although the poultice is far less frequently prescribed than formerly, it is, nevertheless, if used carefully and correctly, an efficient method of applying prolonged heat or cold to the intact skin.

The action of a poultice is to produce hyperaemia (q.v.) of the skin and lessen congestion of the deeper vessels. By its action on the nerves of the skin it also allays pain. Thes method, however, must only be used if the skin is intact, as the heat and the absence of air favour the growth of bacteria, and a wound, if present, tends to become infected. The conditions usually treated by hot poulticing are abdominal colic and acute chest illnesses, such as pneumonia, pleurisy and bronchitis.
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Linseed Poultice. Linseed is most generally used for hot poulticcs. The requisites are a bowl, a jug, a spatula or spoon, some boiling wabcr, a piece of unbleached calico or used linen, two heated plates, a board and some: linseed meal. A good substitutc for a spatula is a flat bone (not celluloid) paper knife.
Heat the spatula, jug and bowl by pouring boiling water over them. Spread the calico on the board; put sufficient boiling water into the hcated bowl to mahe a poultice of the required size. Add the linseed quickly, a little at a time, stirring all the time with the warm spatula until the mixture will leave the bowl clean. Turn it out on to the calico and spread, making an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.
Leave a margin of calico about 1 inch wide and turn down the edges over the linseed. Dip the spatula into boiling water and smear it over the surface of the poultice. Fold it in two with the linseed towards the centre, and carry to the bedside between hot plates; apply it and cover with jaconet, wool and a binder. To renew the poultice, close the windows, rub the skin with a warm towel, and cover the part with a blanket until the new poultice is ready to apply.
The kaolin poultice, B.P.C., or antiphlogistine may be used as a substitute fos a linseed poultice. Prior to use it must be kept in an air-tight tin. It is made hot and spread in a thick layer on lint or cotton wool, the poultice being applied directly to the skin.
A mustard poultice is made by adding 1 part of mustard be from 5 to 16 of linseed, according to the strength desired. Procedure is as above, water just off the boil being used.
Bread Poultice: To make a bread poultice, cut several moderately thick slices of stale bread, remove the crust and cut the bread into squares. Place in a bowl, pour boiling water over, cover with a plate, and place by the fire for two or thrce minutes. Beat up the bread with a fork, strain off the water, place between layers of muslin, and apply as with other poultices, the heat will be much longer retained if it be covered with a piece of oiled silk or jaconet, overlapping it about 1/2 inch all round.
When the poultice is applied over a painful stye, a boil, or to remove the crust of eczema, it is desirable to sprinkle the surface to be applied with powdered boracic acid.
Potato Poultice. If a large potato is coolced in its jacket, wrapped in lint or flannel and crushed, it provides a dry, very hot poultice.
A charcoal poultice, used in cases where there is severe ulceration, as in a bed-sore.
Starch Poultice. Here "crustina" is a feature, the repeated nse of a starch poultice is invariably successful in ridding the case of the septic, crusty element of eczema and bringing it into line with the moist variety. A starch ponltice should never be allowed to remain in situ for more than half an hour, as otherwise it will set and be difficult and painful to remove. It is made as follows:
A tablespoonful of wheaten starch and a teaspoonful of boracic crystals are mixed into a thin paste with a little cold water in a jug or large jampot. Rather less than a pint of boiling water is added and the mixture stirred until it becomes jellified as the starch grains burst. The jelly is thickly spread on Linen with a paper-knife, and the poultice then appiied to the crusted and septic part. The crusts come away in the starch after one or more applications, and the lotion or liniment treatment already described can then be applied. The starch poultice, properly prepared and applied, is a valuable remedy for septic conditions.
Ice Poultice. Ice poultices are sometimes used in pericarditis, typhoid, etc. A piece of gutta-percha twice the required size is taken, and one half is covered with first a layer of wool and then one of crushed ice. Salt is sprinkled over the ice, and the shole covered with another layer of w-ool, and, finally, the second half of the gutta-percha tissue. The edges are moistened with chloroform and compressed with the fingers unbil they adhere. The poultice is appliect over a layer of lint and bandaged in position.
Mustard Poultice. Mustard poultices can be prepared by mixing one part of mustard to sixteen parts of linseed meal and applying it in the same manner as a linseed poultice. llore commonly still the mustard is mixed with cold water, stirred to a smooth cream, and spread on muslin or brown paper. The edges of the muslin or paper are folded inwards to prevent the poultice running, and it is then clapped on, the mustard being directly against the skin. It is left in position for ten to fifteen minntes, after which the skin is wiped dry. If left on too long, vesicles or blebs form, with much unnecessary irritation.
Mustaxd Paste. One part of powdered mustard is mixed with three parts of wheat flour and made into a paste with lukewarm water. T he paste is then spread between two layers of muslin. When it is to be applied to infants, six parts of flour should be used to one part of mustard, so as to avoid injury to their delicate skin. The paste should be removed when thorough redness of the skin is established. This will take five to ten minutes, according to the strength of the mustard used. Mustard paste may be applied as often as once every three hours.
POULTICE: For Animals. The usual substances employed for this purpose comprise bran, linseed meal, yeast, antiphlogistine, mustard, mustard and linseed, bread, etc.
Poultices assist in reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Poulticing the feet of horses has been customary for centuries, particularly in the case of bruises and "picked-up nail." In these circumstances hot bran or brau and linseed are as a rule, employed. The bran is mixed with boiling water until it is fairly moist, and is then put into a poultice bag of sufficient length to come withiu a few inches of knee or hock, as the case may require. It is then tied on to keep it in position. Either hot or cold poultices are used in fever of the feet affecting horses, or more rarely catt.le. Modern veterinary surgeons, however, favour hot fomentations for the feet in preference to poultices, as being cleaner and better.
When a part is suppurating and unhealthylooking the addition of powdered charcoal to the bran or linseed is useful and beneficial, For affections of the chest in the horse, a plaster of mustard and linseed is applied to the chest wall and covered with brown paper. This should be washed off after 20 minutes. Such diseases as pneumonia, plcurisy, etc., in the dog are best treated with hot linseed and mustard poultices contained in a bag made of stout linen. They should be applied to both sides of the chest, and renewed ecery quarter of an hour. These poultices contain one part of mustard to two parts of meal.