For a while now my 15-year-old son has been dealing with annoying ingrown toenails… a very persistent problem infact!
We have been to the Dr several times and have had small wedge resections done with little effect via a GP. Early in 2022 his toes have flared up and our first go-to was to manage the situation at home – overall it made a big difference to him and helped us to avoid the need for antibiotics.
Without putting you off your lunch let’s just say his toes were looking slightly (very?) swollen, red, and inflamed. It was time to do something more for them.
A friend mentioned trying a potato poultice on them. She described 3 situations where she had used them with great success.
Firstly, her son had a repetitive large, painful and debilitating abscess on his buttock that was looking like it needed surgery. The Dr had provided a script of antibiotics to be used if the situation flared further as they waited for the surgeon’s appointment. During this time, she heard about using a potato poultice, so she gave it a go and 3 days later her son was back at school, enjoying sport and the abscess never returned. Amazing!
The second scenario occurred when her adult daughter was thrown from a jet ski on Boxing Day 2 years ago. X Rays revealed no breaks but a lot of soft tissue damage which required a moon boot, crutches. Pain relief, physiotherapy, and 6 weeks off work. My friend applied a whole lower leg potato poultice to her daughter’s injury for 10 days and her daughter’s swelling reduces amazingly quickly and the Dr and physiotherapist were impressed with the speed of her recovery. Her daughter felt the poultice was soothing and helped immensely with the pain- possibly as the poultice was drawing away the inflammation.
Lastly, she described how she recently had a stye in her eye, so she applied a potato compress/poultice. She said it felt so good on and it really helped with pain discomfort and swelling. The stye went away when combined with herbal eye baths and addressing emotional issues.
How do you make a potato poultice?
To make a potato poultice simply select a small, clean organic potato to use and follow the method below.
Organic is best if you can as it would be highest in minerals that we are looking to harness for the healing to occur.
- If the potato is clean, then it does not need grating- if there is dirt residue on it is best to grate to ensure the poultice is clean.
- Grate the raw potato and place it in the center of a clean cloth- muslin, gauze or even a clean tea towel.
- Fold this cloth to form an appropriately sized package that will fit well on the area you intend to treat
- Apply the potato parcel to the affected area
- Cover the poultice with cling wrap and then a snug cover, for example a sock if it’s a foot, or firm clothing or towel. Use dressing tape if needed to secure the outer layer to the treatment area
- Sometimes applying heat to this poultice could potentiate healing and bring some comfort.
- Leave this poultice on overnight or for as long as is practical allowing time for healing to occur.
This can be a helpful tool to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation.
Keep in mind that this isn’t always going to solve the scenario you face, but it may provide a useful way to support healing, along with other parts of the Root Cause Protocol (RCP).
For my family’s situation, a visit to a podiatrist for a more permanent solution was the final outcome for the ingrown toenails as we couldn’t solve the way they were growing. The BEST outcome of this was that he didn’t need any antibiotics along that process. The podiatrist has a go-to where she (and I’m sure most) will recommend using them even if it’s a minor infection… we declined the prophylaxis and instead we opted for a ‘wait and see’ approach, and it paid off. The surgery fixed the structural side of what was happening, and the potato poultice stopped the infection cycle and prevented a worsening until we got to the surgery.
Supporting our bodies from the inside-out is one of the best ways we can support healing from scenarios like this that crop up during our lives. If you would like help to understand what minerals have to do with recurrant infections or inflammation like we’ve described here, please look at our consult options with myself or one of the team.
Let me know what your experience has been with potato poultices in the comments!