22 Nov 2019

Elite Equine and Using Poultices in Pain Management


For centuries man has effectively been treating Inflammation, itching and pain by grinding up plants and herbs, forming them into poultices, and applying it to affected areas of the body.  The same results have been found in the treatment of horses.

A poultice is used to draw out infection, reduce inflammation, ease bruising and cleanse wounds. As one of the most versatile first aid products, a poultice can be used hot and wet, cold and wet or as a dry dressing, depending on the particular situation.

A hot, wet poultice increases the blood supply to the injured area, providing more oxygen and infection fighting blood cells. The improved blood and lymph flow promote the resorption of blood and fluids from the damaged tissue. At the same time, the warmth helps to relieve the pain and provide greater comfort for the horse.

Applying hot poultices has been proven helpful in the following instances:

  • bruises,
  • infected and dirty wounds,
  • cracked heels,
  • mud fever,
  • laminitis,
  • abscesses,
  • foot punctures,
  • thrush and
  • sand cracks.

A cold, wet poultice is generally used to relieve:

  • bruises,
  • sprains or strains,
  • swelling
  • sore shins,
  • capped hocks,
  • splints and
  • laminitis.

To maximise the effect, cold poultices can even be refrigerated before application.

Used as a dry dressing, the poultice can be applied as pressure padding after strenuous exercise to prevent or relieve inflammation. It can also be applied directly to a wound as an absorbent low adherent dry dressing.

Delivering medications directly to the tissues directly under the skin application area can be an advantage. These types of applications can be safely added to an existing pain treatment plan without worry about drug-drug interactions with other body-wide (systemic) painkillers.

Because it is not uncommon for pain patients to require several pain medications, the flexibility to add poultices to the mix is helpful as the risk of unwanted body-wide side effects is significantly reduced. A case in point would be painkiller-related peptic ulcers further delaying healing. [1]

Elite Equine 100% Organic Rosehip Powder is the ideal base for an analgesic and anti-inflammatory poultice to soothe swollen fetlocks and ease the pain of inflammation and infection.

To place an order, please visit our website at


[1] Argoff, C, Professor of Neurology, McCleane, G, Consultant in Pain Management. Pain Management Secrets, 3rd Edition. Elsevier Inc., 2009.

Image by Patricia van den Berg from Pixabay