How to Make a Charcoal Poultice: The Ultimate Survival Anti-Inflammatory Paste

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While surviving it’s inevitable, bugs are going to bite. Injuries and infections are going to occur. You need to know how to make a charcoal poultice to help draw out the infection and reduce the swelling from minor injuries if you want to survive for an extended time.

By the end of the article, you will know the materials you need, the DIY process of making a charcoal poultice pad, and the injuries for which a poultice can be used. We will also cover other ingredients for natural remedies that can be used in place of activated charcoal to make a poultice.

Materials for an Activated Charcoal Poultice

  • Activated charcoal powder (Herbs, Epsom salt, and Aloe Vera can also be used we will discuss this in more detail below)
  • Warm water
  • Ground flaxseed/ Cornstarch/ Chia seeds
  • Cloth/paper towel
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ace bandage wrap and safety pin

The materials above are all ideal candidates to include in your INCH bag because they have multiple uses for survival. You can purchase them from a health food store or Amazon. 

The Process for Making a Charcoal Poultice

how to make a charcoal poultice with activated charcoal

Learning how to make a charcoal poultice is simple, it doesn’t take much time, but it can be messy! Follow the directions below to make one for yourself in under 5 minutes! Go ahead, break out your survival watch, and time it.

  1. Mix two tablespoons of charcoal with one-quarter cup of water. 
  2. Add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Add more flax seed if needed. If you don’t have enough water add more water. You are trying to make a jelly-like substance. 
  3. Lay the paper towel flat on the counter or table.
  4. Spread the jelly-like substance of flaxseed, water, and charcoal on the middle of the paper towel about one-quarter inch thick. DO NOT spread to the edge of the paper towel. Leave about one inch on all sides to fold.
  5. Fold the top, right, left, and bottom edges to help reduce the mess.
  6. Cover the affected area with the poultice. Cover the poultice with another damp paper towel if needed to keep the poultice damp. Wrap plastic wrap around the poultice to keep the mess to a minimum. 
  7. Lastly, wrap it all with a bandage wrap and pin it with a safety pin. Leave it on for three to eight hours and then allow the wound to breathe. You can leave the poultice on insect bites overnight.

What is a Poultice?

A poultice is a paste or gel made from plants, herbs, or other minerals that help aid in the healing process of minor injuries. The gel or paste is typically placed on a cloth and then placed on the injured area, some poultices can be placed directly onto the skin with no side effects. 

Injuries Healed by a Poultice

A poultice can help aid the healing processes for the following injuries-

  • Abscesses
  • Skin infections
  • Cysts
  • Diabetic Ulcers
  • Arthritis
  • Bug bites and bee stings
  • Inflammation
  • Poison Ivy rash
  • Snake bites (if venomous go to the emergency room)
  • Spider bites (if venomous go to the emergency room)

While a poultice can aid in the healing process of these injuries, you should take a trip to the doctor if your injury does not heal or gets worse within a few days. If you start to run a fever go to the emergency room immediately. 

A poultice is a useful tool for minor injuries. It is not a substitute for seeing a doctor, that is if doctors are still around.

Substitute Ingredients for a Poultice

Depending on the injury you might want to change the ingredients of the poultice you are making. Certain herbal remedies and home remedies have properties that make them a better choice than charcoal remedies for specific wounds. 

Common Home Remedy Ingredients

Common Herbal Ingredients

  • Dandelion
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric 
  • Eucalyptus

Don’t forget to store your ingredients out of the reach of rodents

10 Types of DIY Poultices:

  1. Potato poultice
  2. Flaxseed poultice
  3. Salt poultice
  4. Poultice of figs
  5. Activated Charcoal poultice
  6. Epsom Salt poultice
  7. Herbal poultice
  8. Bread poultice
  9. Baking Soda poultice
  10. Aloe Vera poultice

How to Make an Herbal Poultice:

how to make an herbal poultice
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Using some of the ingredients above you can make an herbal poultice that will help reduce inflammation.

  1. Place a pan on low heat on the stove.
  2. Add two teaspoons of coconut oil, one chopped garlic clove, one ounce of freshly grated or chopped ginger, one teaspoon turmeric powder, and one quarter small sliced raw onion to the pan.
  3. Allow the mixture to heat until it is ALMOST DRY but NOT BURNT.
  4. Take the pan off of the stove and move the mixture to a bowl so it can cool until it is warm to the touch. 
  5. Place a cloth flat on the table or counter top and add the mixture to the middle of the cloth. 
  6. Fold the cloth so the mixture doesn’t fall out and tie it off with a rubber band or string.
  7. Leave on the inflamed area for about twenty minutes.

How to Make a Baking Soda Poultice:

Making a baking soda poultice is similar to making other poultices such as flaxseed poultice and epsom salt poultice. 

  1. You will mix two or three tablespoons with cold water to make a paste.
  2. Put the paste on the minor injury to help relieve the side effects of sunburns and other skin irritations.
  3. Leave the paste on for a few hours and then wash off.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to make a poultice is a critical skill to learn for survival. An infection will not only slow you down but could bring you down altogether. That is why knowing the correct poultice to make and how to make it is so important. 

If we are going to survive we must possess the necessary tools and skills. 

If DIY activated charcoal poultices aren’t for you then you have the option to purchase charcoal poultice pads. However, if that option is not open to you, at least you now know how to make a charcoal poultice. 

Little things like this will mean the difference between simply surviving and thriving when the shit hits the fan. Do what you can to prepare yourself.