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Jasmine Flowers and Mastitis / Breast abscess
This is an oft-used and a proven herbal remedy.
Many mothers develop congestion in the milk ducts of one or both breasts within a few days of their delivery.
The breast becomes turgid, painful and tender.
Suckling the newborn becomes a torture.
Often, fever sets in, along with chills.
If regular feeding is not continued, secreted milk stagnates in the ducts, congeals and clogs them.
This exacerbates the inflammation, which then can progress from Mastitis to a Breast Abscess, spelling disaster.
If the situation is tackled before an abscess sets in, we can avoid using antibiotics altogether.
Once an abscess is formed, antibiotics become almost unavoidable.
In many parts of India, traditional practitioners and midwives use crushed Jasmine flowers as a local liniment application, in the early stages of mastitis.
Flowers are picked just before the buds bloom and are kept wrapped in a banana leaf which is then tightly rolled in a wet cloth.
( In modern times, we simply refrigerate them! ).
They are pounded and crushed coarsely and immediately applied in a thick layer over the affected area.
Relief is obtained within a few hours : the swelling reduces and milk begins to flow again.
The poultice is kept for about an hour and fresh poultices are applied every 3 or 4 hourly, usually for a couple of days.
I have witnessed very satisfactory results in most cases, provided the flowers are used before an abscess has formed, in which case, their action will only be palliative.
Turmeric powder is available in every Indian kitchen because it is an essential ingredient of our cooking.
Being always at hand, we often use it as a first aid measure for a fresh cut : it helps to stem the bleeding and to prevent and treat infection of the wound.
It doesn't sting too much, either.
Turmeric, called 'Haldi' in our language, is supposed to 'purify' the body.
So, we have a custom of applying turmeric water to brides and bridegrooms on the day before their wedding.
Today, this 'Haldi ceremony' has become an elaborate ritual of Hindu weddings and often requires 'Event Management'!
Last edited: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:12 pm
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I didn't realise that tumeric was quite so versitile as I've only used it in cooking up until now. I must try it out the next time I get a cut whilst gardening.
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