Compresses can be used either hot or cold. They can be great for colds or for twisted ankles. When making them be careful of how much essential oil you use! Also, always use cotton for the strips and bandages. Don't forget to test before you apply. Allergic reactions will only make things worse. Compresses traditionally don't use a base but with essential oils, it's very useful. You can also make the compress base before you know what it will be for. The base will last quite well in the fridge.
1 cup of plain yogurt
1/2 cup glucose
Spoon out the yogurt and mix until it is smooth. Don't add the glucose until the yogurt is at room temperature as it will be harder to mix. Once you have added the glucose, mix until the ingredients are blended. This may take a while as glucose can be thick. The consistency you are striving for is a thick paste that can be easily spread but will not easily run. Sometimes you will need to add or subtract some of an ingredient. The water you add to try to help the mixture feel right.
Once everything is mixed, choose the essential oils you wish to use.
Sprains and Inflammations
I've used several recipes that have seemed to work well in the past. Be careful as not to over do on the essential oils. I would suggest that you add oils until they are slightly under the amount you want. Then go away to let your nose recover. Come back and then smell the compress and see how much more you want or need.
With these three recipes, add the ratio of oils as written. For example add the most lavender in the first, followed by tea tree and finally the black pepper. How much oil you use depends on how much compress base you have used.
When the base is done and you have added the essential oils, slather it on a pad of cotton. The cotton should fit the area you wish to treat. Warm or cool the compress up a little so that it will help soothe the area in need. You can warm or cool the compress by placing it into a plastic bag and submerging it into some warm/cool water. Don't heat the water too much. Once the compress has reached the required temperature, apply to the skin.Apply the cotton pad to the area and then wrap firmly with cotton strips. Make sure that the wrappings aren't to tight. Just make sure before applying to the skin, that the compress won't freeze or burn the skin. Once you have applied the compress, let it sit. If there is any excessive itching or irritation, remove immediately and wash with soap and water. If you have done a patch test, this shouldn't happen.
In compresses, you can also use herbs. If you use herbs, you don't need to make a base. As essential oils on the skin are irritating, a base of some sort must be used. When using herbs, make an infusion of the herb you wish to use and let sit for several minutes. Once the infusion is at the required strength, dip the bandage into it. Then apply to the area you want.Although for most people this is just being over precautions but when using any home remedy, no matter how tried and tested, always be cautious.