A Natural Medicine Chest: Ginger Compress


In our efforts to care for our health by using whole organic foods, we also embarked upon a new road of caring for our health using botanicals and common sense. While I am not here to tell you what to do, I am here to share my experiences of handling health issues the natural, and inexpensive way. You see, Paul and I just didn’t have the money to spend on ‘going to the doctors’. We learned over the course of time to try the least invasive first, and usually it worked well for us. By the way, we had no health insurance, and still don’t have one which pays for anything! 

One of my favorite treatments is the ginger compress. Ginger compresses can be used to increase circulation to an organ or, in the case of an earache, bring comfort and aid the body in healing itself. I have found them to be very helpful. 


Items required:

Stainless steel pot with close-fitting lid

  (I use a 3-quart pan)

Cheesecloth, cotton, or muslin sack to hold the ginger


2 kitchen towels and 1 bath towel

1 1/2 quarts of water 

1 ounce of ginger per quart of water (grated to about a golf-ball size)

Bring the water to the boil. Meanwhile, grate the unpeeled ginger and place in the cotton sack, which is tied off. When the water has come to a boil, turn off.  Wait until the water has ceased boiling and squeeze the sack of ginger so the juice runs in to the water, place the sack in the water, and replace the lid. The same ginger water can be used 3-4 times.

For ears, soak the ends of the towel, keeping the middle dry. Squeeze the excess liquid into the pot and replace the lid. Put over the head, with the wet portion on the ears. Cover with a dry towel and leave in place until cool. Do this several times. The treatment should last 30 minutes and the skin should be red. Be careful not to burn yourself or the one being treated.

The compress can also be placed on the liver area and on the spine for back pain. 

In order for me to know if I was making progress with my children’s ears, I bought an inexpensive plastic otoscope from Mothering magazine. I spent time looking in healthy ears to know what a healthy middle ear should look like. I saved a lot of money doing this, and today I own a better quality otoscope, which I bought on-line. It continues to serve our family well.

Recently one of us felt that hearing was diminished. I looked inside and it was clearing plugged with wax. It had been going on for sometime, so the wax was blackened and right near the eardrum. The least invasive way to handle this was with the Ear Wax Removal that we sell in the store. It was used successfully, and a few days later when I looked in the ear again, it was gone. And hearing was restored!