How to Make a Bread Poultice

Remarkably, simple ingredients like bread and milk can offer effective natural remedies, but personal experience has proven their efficacy. Bread poultice have emerged as an excellent solution for dealing with troublesome conditions such as boils, eczema, and other problematic body areas.

It's important to note that a poultice is not limited to bread and milk alone. The possibilities for creating a poultice extend to a wide range mix of materials. However, before exploring the various options, it is essential to understand what precisely a poultice is and the diverse range of purposes it can serve.

A poultice is a therapeutic application that directly applies a moistened substance to the skin. Its purpose is to provide relief, promote healing, or deliver other desired effects to the affected area. Whether drawing out toxins or soothing inflammation, a little bread and milk are versatile in addressing many ailments.

What is a Poultice?

The word poultice describes any soft, moist substance (usually warm) used for medicinal or other practical purposes. The word “poultice” comes from the Latin words puls or pultes, which means “porridge.”

Indeed, it's possible that porridge may have been the very first poultice used for topical skin treatment, or it got its name from its similarities to porridge. Either way, its name derivative suggests that making a poultice is an age-old natural remedy.

Covering a wound or a boil with a paste or a poultice “pulls” out the pus and infection. For boils that are still largely under the skin, it can bring them to a “head.” Essentially, it will draw the pus toward the surface of the skin.

Knowing how to make a poultice is beneficial because of its many uses.

Poultice for abscess

An abscess, also known as a boil, is a localized buildup of pus caused by an infection. Boils can be pretty painful and typically requires treatment. A bread poultice is a popular home remedy for addressing boils and infected areas. A poultice is a soft and moist paste of bread and milk applied to the problem areas.

Using a poultice is beneficial, primarily because it generates heat that helps in healing infections and reduces pain. When a poultice is applied to the skin, the heat it produces promotes blood circulation in the affected area, facilitating the body's natural healing processes and potentially accelerating the healing of wounds.

Epsom salt powder is a well-known and frequently used treatment ingredient for abscesses. Scientifically known as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt possesses specific properties that effectively address abscesses. One of its essential functions is to aid in drying out the pus within the abscess. By drawing out moisture, Epsom salt can contribute to draining the abscess and facilitate its healing.

Incorporating Epsom salt into a poultice can further enhance the therapeutic effects of the poultice. Combining the heat generated by the poultice and the drying properties of Epsom salt can work together synergistically, promoting the expulsion of pus and shrinking the abscess.

It is important to note that while a poultice and Epsom salt can be beneficial as home remedies for treating abscesses, they are not a substitute for professional medical care. In cases where abscesses are severe or persist, it is advisable to seek medical attention to ensure a proper diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment.

In summary, abscesses, or boils, are characterized by pus resulting from an infection. Bread poultice, a traditional home remedy, generates heat that aids in eliminating infections and bacteria and reducing abscess size. When combined with bread poultice, Epsom salt helps dry out pus and promotes drainage. However, it is crucial to consult a doctor or healthcare professional for severe or persistent abscesses to ensure proper medical attention.

Poultice for diabetic ulcer

The application of bread poultice on diabetic skin has been observed and studied since the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, an exciting development occurred as linseed was introduced into bread milk. This linseed-infused bread milk poultice softened calluses before surgical procedures to remove affected tissue. Additionally, the linseed poultice played a role in preventing infection in the treated area.

Recent animal studies have contributed valuable insights into the potential effectiveness of poultices in diabetic care. Specifically, researchers have focused on poultices derived from the Brochnum orientale fern. These studies have exhibited promising outcomes in treating diabetes and ulceration when utilizing poultices from this fern species. However, it is essential to note that further investigation is necessary to comprehend the precise effects of these poultices on the human body.

Given the evolving understanding of diabetes and its associated skin complications, it is imperative to explore and substantiate the efficacy of bread poultice in human subjects. Conducting clinical trials and engaging in research involving human participants are vital steps to evaluate bread poultice' true impact and potential benefits, particularly those derived from the Brochnum orientale fern, in managing diabetic skin conditions and ulceration.

By undertaking meticulous scientific studies, researchers can delve into the mechanisms underlying the observed positive effects in animal models. This will enable them to ascertain the optimal application methods and appropriate dosages of poultices for human patients. Such research endeavors hold the potential to provide valuable insights, contribute to the development of innovative treatments, and enhance overall management approaches for diabetic skin conditions.

To summarize, the utilization of poultices in diabetic skin care has a historical foundation dating back to the late 1800s. Linseed-infused poultices were employed to soften calluses and prevent infection during surgical procedures. Recent animal studies have shown promising results in using poultices derived from the Brochnum orientale fern to treat diabetes and ulceration. However, further research involving human subjects is necessary to understand poultices' effects and potential benefits in diabetic skin conditions.

How to Make a Bread Poultice

Other Uses for Bread Poultice:

1. Soothing Bruises, Inflammation, Arthritis, and Sprains: Bread poultice offer a soothing remedy for conditions like bruises, inflammation, arthritis, and sprains. Applying a low heat bread poultice to the affected area can help alleviate discomfort, reduce swelling, and promote healing.

2. Care for Wounds and Cuts: Beyond their traditional usage, bread poultice prove effective in the wound and cut care. The moist bread creates a favorable environment for healing, keeping the infected area clean and providing a protective barrier against the infected area. Moreover, it aids in drawing out impurities or foreign objects from the open wound too.

3. Natural Treatment for Acne: Bread poultice also serve as a natural treatment option for acne. Applying a bread poultice to acne-prone areas can help reduce inflammation, absorb excess oil, and cleanse the skin. This can assist in unclogging pores and facilitating the healing of acne lesions.

4. Relief for Eczema Symptoms: Individuals dealing with eczema can find relief using bread poultice. The bread poultice's moist and cool nature helps soothe itchiness, reduce redness, and alleviate discomfort associated with eczema. Regular application can aid in moisturizing and calming the affected skin.

5. Effective Splinter Removal: One exciting application of bread poultices is their effectiveness in removing splinters. Placing a wet bread poultice over a splinter softens the skin. It helps draw the splinter closer to the surface, making removing it easier. This method reduces pain and facilitates the safe extraction of the splinter.

6. Ingrown toenails: A bread poultice can be a great remedy for ingrown toenails, offering relief and aiding in healing. The warmth and moisture from the poultice soften the skin, reduce inflammation, and help loosen the nail, alleviating pain and discomfort. Leave the poultice on for a few hours or overnight for optimal results. Regular use of the poultice can help draw out the ingrown toenail, promote proper nail growth, and facilitate gradual recovery and healing.

Bread poultices have a range of alternative uses. They can relieve bruises, inflammation, arthritis, and sprains, aid in wound and cut care, serve as a natural treatment for acne, alleviate eczema symptoms, and assist in removing splinters. The natural properties of bread poultices make them a versatile and gentle option for various skin-related concerns and good health.

How to Make a Bread Poultice

Making a bread poultice is very easy. Typically, bread poultice uses simply bread and milk. You can use any kind of bread, homemade or store-bought, fresh or stale. Also, if you have some stale bread, use it for this purpose.

How to Make a Bread Poultice

You don't have to use milk, either. You can use any kind of liquid you feel comfortable letting sit on your skin. Plain water will do. You'll also need something to secure the poultice to your skin, usually a bandage that will fit over the application area.

What you need:

  • Bread
  • Warm Milk or hot water
  • Bowl
  • Fork to mash
  • Bandage


  1. Begin by placing the desired amount of bread into a bowl. You can break the bread into smaller pieces for easier handling if preferred.
  2. Gradually pour milk or water over the bread in the bowl, making sure the bread is soaked. Take care not to oversaturate the bread. Add the liquid slowly and mix until the bread is moistened thoroughly.
  3. Use a fork to mash the bread into the liquid, ensuring every piece gets well-coated and integrated into the mixture. Continue mashing until the bread forms a cohesive and moist paste. If a smoother consistency is desired, you can further knead and combine the ingredients using your hands.
  4. Optionally, enhance the poultice by adding a few drops of essential oils or fresh herbs known for their beneficial properties. For instance, lavender oil promotes relaxation, while tea tree oil may have antimicrobial effects. Incorporate these additions into the bread paste by mixing them well.
  5. Apply the bread poultice generously to cover the affected area completely. Use enough poultice to ensure thorough coverage and allow beneficial properties to penetrate the skin effectively.
  6. To secure the poultice and optimize its efficacy, use a bandage to hold it in place. Wrap the bandage comfortably over the poultice, providing gentle pressure and stability.
  7. For optimal results, leave the poultice on for an extended period to allow ample time for the ingredients to take effect. Overnight application, typically lasting 8-12 hours, is particularly beneficial. During this time, the poultice can effectively soothe the area, promote healing, and provide relief.
  8. After the designated time, carefully remove the bandage and poultice. Thoroughly cleanse the area using water or a mild cleanser to ensure complete removal of any residue.
  9. To achieve desired outcomes, repeat the poultice application daily until the desired results are achieved. Regular usage allows the poultice to offer consistent support, facilitate healing, and address specific concerns effectively.

Please note that if you have any specific medical conditions or concerns, you should seek guidance from a doctor or a healthcare professional before using a bread poultice or any home remedy.

How to Make a Bread Poultice

You can also add essential oils, linseed, or fresh herbs to your poultice. Some people like to add lavender or tea tree oil to the mixture to help kill bacteria or any infection in the skin.

Bring a Boil to a Head

Follow these steps to bring a boil to a head using a bread poultice. Begin by creating a bread poultice by moistening a piece of bread with warm water or milk. Place the moistened bread directly on the boil and secure it firmly in place using a clean cloth or bandage. Applying the warm milk and moist poultice helps soften the skin, enhances blood circulation in the affected area, and encourages the boil to develop a head.

Allow boiling water for the bread poultice to remain on the boil for an extended period, preferably overnight. This duration permits the poultice to work its magic effectively. The warmth and moisture contribute to drawing out the infection and stimulating the boil to form a head. As the boil progresses and approaches the stage of forming a head, you may notice increased pain, redness, and swelling in the area. These symptoms indicate that the poultice effectively facilitates the development of a head on the boil.

Removing the bread poultice, gently cleanse the area with warm water and mild soap. It is possible to observe a white or yellowish spot at the center of the boil, indicating the formation of a head. At this point, the boil is prepared to release the accumulated pus and initiate the healing process. Suppose the boil has not fully developed a head. In that case, you can repeat the application of the bread poultice daily until it does. Remember to seek guidance from a healthcare professional if the condition worsens, fails to improve, or any concerns or complications arise.

Remove Splinters

To remove a splinter using a bread poultice, follow these steps. Begin by moistening a piece of bread with warm water or milk, creating the poultice. Place the dampened bread directly over the splinter and gently press it onto the skin, ensuring it adheres well. Secure the poultice with a clean cloth or bandage to keep it in place.

Allow the bread poultice to remain in the affected area for several hours or overnight. The moisture from the poultice helps to soften the skin, facilitating the movement of the splinter closer to the surface. As the infected skin absorbs the moisture, the splinter may begin to shift, making it easier to extract.

After the designated period, carefully remove the bread poultice and inspect the area. You may notice that the splinter has moved nearer to the surface or may even be partially exposed. Using clean tweezers, gently grip the splinter close to the entry point and pull it out in the same direction it entered the skin. Remember to clean the area with mild soap and water afterward to prevent any potential infection.

It's important to note that if you encounter difficulties or the splinter is deeply embedded, it is recommended to seek medical assistance. Healthcare professionals can provide appropriate guidance and safely remove the splinter if necessary.

Read: Top 4 Uses for a Bread Poultice

A poultice provides a flexible and adaptable method for natural remedies, allowing you to personalize it with a wide range of ingredients. Below, you'll find a selection of poultice recipes and articles that could capture your interest and offer an enjoyable read:

How to Make an Herb Poultice

How to Make an Onion Poultice

More Poultice Recipes


Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

21 thoughts on “How to Make a Bread Poultice

  1. I have never in my life heard of a bread poultice. How interesting! My mom uses cabbage for everything, which seems to do the same thing as the bread. I think I’ll try the bread the next time I don’t have any cabbage and I have one of those weird boils or whatever they are.

    Thanks for sharing! I learned something new 🙂

  2. Is this something I could try out for what I have?

    I had a tiny bump on my back, after looking in the mirror I noticed there was a black dot which signaled it may be a blackhead. I left it alone hoping it would just go away if I left it alone. I first noticed it 2 months ago. I recently went to see a physio for a slip that happened. It was within that week following the visit from the physio that the bump grew bigger to eventually feel like a pebble on my back and I could no longer sit against my back as it was just too painful. I then went for a back facial for an extraction to remove it. That was two days ago. I am now in pain with what feels like a gold ball of swelling on the area and also a bruise to match that gold ball size. I have a suspicion there is still sebum/pus (actually a lot more than before) and the person I went to for the back facial mentioned I may need to come back a second time to remove the remainder sebum/pus. So, hence my question in the beginning. Would be great to hear your insight on this.

  3. my mom always boiled her water and put on cut…soar as hot as possibleand she didnt cut the bread up and it worked wonders

  4. I remember my gran using a poultice when i was very young. It consisted of bread, suger & some very moist soap to enhance the “drawing” effect. I burned my hand three weeks ago & it healed quite well except for a small part which has now hardened & is very swollen & tight. After consulting a doctor i am now going to use this “recepie” to see if i can draw out the pus underneath. Plz wish me luck…

  5. Pingback: Garlic Poultice For Acne - Acne Medication
  6. Is this equivalent as spreading a baking soda paste over a bee sting to draw out the poison?

  7. Hi. I am Gerald and I have a story that gives me the ability to tell you that this remedy works and works awesome.

    When I was 16, and I am 59 now, I had a ruptured appendix. I I had the surgery and 2 weeks after my surgery, I was talking with my father and I asked him if I could go rabbit snaring with him. He told me no because of my condition but I promised him that it was Ok and it was healing well.

    Half way into the trip 4 miles behind my house into the woods, my cut from the surgery ripped open and I was bleeding. My father gave me his T shirt to plug the opening and we returned home. Not wanting to return to the Hospital because I was afraid that the Dr would re stitch everything, I told mom that it was getting better. 3 days later I was so sick with aa terrible pus filled and very open wound, I cried to ask Mom to bring me to the Hospital. Mom looked at the terrible mess I was in and she immediately made a Bread poultice with bread, scalding hot water with milk un the water while boiling and she added molasses. She said that the Molasses had the drawing components needed to bring all of the nasties out of the body.

    She put the poultice into a T-Shirt Material, twisted it until it was damp and not fully dry and then placed it on my infected opening, I went straight to be, and when I woke up 7-8 hrs later it was like someone murdered someone in my bed, as there was Blood and other stuff all over the sheets and my stomach that was drawn out by this poultice. Mom cleaned up the bed and my side area and placed another one of the same pultice and repeated it again. 6 Hrs later Mom came in and checked and there was little to nothing showing. Mom left it on my side for over night and the next day I was like it never happened. My dressed my side with bandages and a antibiotic cream and till today I make my own when necessary. They work. Geerald

    1. I used to constantly have boils when I was a child, in fact I was born with one. My Mum used to make poultices all the time to get rid of them. It always worked! Now trying it myself at 59 as have an infected thumb!

  8. I had a hard pimple type thing on my lip and nothing worked until I tried a hot poultice. It took a few mins and wham the gook came flowing out, so they do work.

  9. I am almost 60. I live in rural Renfrew County, ON. Canada.

    We were always using Bread Poultices for every kind of infection or illness.

    I am glad you finally caught up with the country folk!!

    Diane L.

  10. I wasn’t sure if the bread poultice would work. But was willing to give it a try. Had bad abscess swelling on left side of jaw. Hard to sleep pain on back of neck. Just put two pieces of bread into a clean piece of cotton wrapped it up soaked in hot water from tap. Then applied to jaw. Within about six hours I started feeling better.,fever went away, so did sore throat, ache on back of neck disapeared. Red spot size of loonie appeared then pus began to drain in few spots. Then a hard crust skin formed there but still draining. Felt remarkably better withing about 24 hours. Well enough to go out to get some tasks done. Soon lockjaw got better was able to chew food and brush teeth.then after few days whole crusty skin came off, new healing skin underneath. I thought there would be a scar on face but no. Looking at me would you know I suffered this?
    This poultice is a miracle…if I hadn’t seen it’s healing powers with my own two eyes…sure glad it worked…I’m not on any medical,insurance and didnot want to go see the Doctor. I recommend it….

      1. I’m glad too. The thing is when your sick like this you don’t really feel,like leaving the house, it’s good to know something around your house like a few slices of bread can do the trick just fine. I remember my dad using a poultice on me when I was a little girl. I had stepped on a nail the nail went into my foot, he made a poultice and put it on the bottom of my foot.. Anyways this web site really saved me from a lot of needless suffering and I Thank you very much!

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