Chill out with hot compress

p2It can be rubbed on the back after a massage, repeatedly rotated on muscles stretched after a tiring week at the office, or a few hours of sports. The oils are perfect also for smoothening the skin. In ancient Asia, common allergies, ailments and pains were treated by extracting essential oils from the delicate stems and tender leaves of herbs found in the backyard or forest. Women placed a hot compress, Look Prakob in Thai, on their abdomen almost immediately after giving birth to heal the tired muscles. Lemongrass was always kept at home for its antiseptic properties.

Prai, a type of ginger, was a natural skin moisturizer and ideal for relieving muscle pains. Turmeric minimized itching and cleansed wounds. Camphor leaves eased respiratory difficulties, while Kaffir lime leaves were heated in a pouch for massaging. Beach morning glory sanitized inflamed skin.

Tamarind leaves sped up the absorption of vital herbal ingredients into the skin. Such alternative healing ways were effective and are being rediscovered only now. It has been part of natural treatments and cures, easily accessible right here at some herbal spas. It is neither magical potions nor celebratory chants that accompany these methods, but rather heat from a mix of herbs, odors from aromatic therapies, and juices from fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices, among others.

For the traditional healers of Siam centuries ago, the knowledge of creating the perfect hot compress was essential; they were applied on the body of every weary warrior who fought long and hard battles with the Burmese during the Ayutthaya period more than 200 years ago. Chill out with hot compress In Laos and Cambodia, the practice was also prevalent. But while the formula of herbs and plants differed in each country or region, the aim was the same.

Fortunately, the secrets for making them have been revealed, enabling everyone to experience the ultimate in the pampering. The ideal herbal compress starts with a mix of 10-20 carefully chosen herbs. Amounts of each herbs are varied, and depend primarily on the specific purpose. Most are pounded for their invigorating contents resulting in a liquid paste that can be made thicker or thinner with the addition of liquids.

Placed in a cotton bundle, the mixture is heated slowly over a charcoal burner. After a few minutes, the warm mass of mashed leaves, bark, seeds and fruit peels emit a fragrant smell that wafts to the nostrils, starting the healing process itself. It can be rubbed on the back after a massage, repeatedly rotated on muscles stretched after a tiring week at the office or a few hours of sports.

p1The oils are perfect also for smoothening the skin. Generally, the basic composition of a hot compress is camphor, turmeric, prai and Kaffir lime leaves. One can also try making a hot compress at home. Just drop by a health shop and buy a ready-made mixture. Or why not check into one of a number of health spas offering hot compress and discover for yourself the benefits of this old healing method?

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