These are used to warm and soften the skin, when applied to inflamed parts of the surface of the body; particularly when a gathering (suppuration, abscess) is expected. Also, they often do good in cases of internal inflammation {pneumonia, for example) by favoring the return of the blood to the skin, and thus unloading the part troubled with excess of blood.

Flaxseed, (linseed), bran, mush, slipperyelm bark, charcoal, chopped carrots, and lye are among the materials most needed for poultices.

Poultice, Covered With Gauze.

Flaxseed meal, mixed with hot water, makes a good, soft convenient poultice for common use in " gatherings " of different parts of the body. Mix the meal well with enough hot water to make it hold together and spread easily, and yet not too soft to stay where it is put; a poultice should never run. For use, it should be spread upon a piece of flannel or muslin laid on a hot plate or hot waiter; something hot near the patient, so that it will be warm when applied. The edges of the rag should be turned over, to the width of about an inch, to keep the stuff in, and upon it may be laid a piece of thin and soft gauze or tarletan. The latter makes the poultice easier to remove, but is not otherwise necessary. A few drops of sweet oil (or lard oil) may with advantage be poured, or a little vaseline spread, upon the surface of a flaxseed poultice. When pain is great, half a tea-spoonful to a teaspoonful of laudanum may be poured upon it. As soon as the poultice is put on the part, it should be covered with a piece of oiled silk, oiled paper, or thin rubber cloth, to prevent evaporation, and thus keep it moist. Without this, it will dry and become hard and cold in a little while. Bran will do as a substitute for flaxseed meal, when the latter cannot be obtained.

Bread and mush poultices are made and applied in the same way. One made with crumbs of moderately stale bread and hot water (better this always than milk, which may sour unpleasantly) is as soothing to the part as any poultice can be. Powder or slips of slippery-elm bark are also very soft, and perhaps more cooling to an irritated skin.

A mush poultice (of indian meal) is the warmest kind; very suitable for application in internal inflammations, as pneumonia, pleurisy, dysentery, etc. It may be made by by using hot mush, prepared just as if it were to be eaten; spread, applied, and covered in the same way as a flaxseed poultice.

In changing or renewing a poultice, be sure to have the fresh one warm, close by the patient, so that the part will not remain for a moment uncovered. Should it do so, the chill caused might more than undo all the good effected by the poultice.

A chat coal poultice is only suitable for a nasty, and especially a mortifying (gangrenous) , part suffering from disease or in-jury. Finely powdered charcoal should be used; two parts of it with one part of Indian mush. Warmth is not important for this kind of poultice unless the limb or other part affected is cold at the time. Such poultices need to be changed often. Yeast poultices are sometimes employed, but I am quite doubtful of their beneficial action.

Lye (ley) poultices may be made by mixing common lye from ashes, or a druggist's solution of potassa, with flaxseed or Indian meal. They are not often used nowadays, being formerly applied to punctured and torn (lacerated) wounds, as a means of preventing lock-jaw (tetanus). Better, for this purpose, is laudanum, applied directly to the part. If a lye poultice is so used, laudanum should be added to it.