External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Chamomile Oil Abdominal Compress

Kind of substance

Chamomile 10% oil

Guiding principle for the application

The characteristic that distinguishes German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) from others is the air cushion between the flower heads and the receptacle. The delicate, white radiating ring around the golden-yellow flower head, the receding leaves and the branched stems give the whole plant an airy appearance, which we can recognize again in its healing effect. It acts mainly on the air organs, such as the stomach or the air trapped in the intestine, the bladder or even the nose if it is blocked.

Used externally as an oil, chamomile has an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory effect and counters flatulence. It also has a wide range of applications in gynecology. Chamomile oil has a warming, enveloping and soothing effect on babies and small children.
Oil applications – administered as dry, mild warmth – are particularly suitable for children, the elderly and people who are weakened. “Oils warm people up” (Reinhard J. Sanfte Heilpraxis, atVerlag (2019), p. 171).

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Dyspepsia (full feeling)
  • Colicky dysmenorrhea
  • Gastritis
  • Intestinal gas
  • Umbilical colic in children
  • Summer diarrhea in children
  • Spastic states of the digestive tract
  • Somatic abdominal discomfort
  • Agitation in children



  • Chamomile 10% oil
  • Hot-water bottle
  • Outer cloth
  • Intermediate cloth
  • Inner cloth (folded double to the size of the area to be treated)
  • A freezer bag (food-safe) for warming up and storing the inner cloth (the same cloth can be used for 2–3 weeks)

  • Sprinkle the inner cloth with the oil (sprinkle evenly for the first applications, adding only a few drops before each further application), fold once and place in the freezer bag
  • Fill the hot-water bottle flat with hot water at approx. 50°C (122°F)
  • Place the freezer bag with the substance cloth on the hot-water bottle
  • Place the intermediate cloth around the hot-water bottle and freezer bag
  • Let everything warm up for at least 5 minutes

  • Have the patient sit up in bed, place the outer and intermediate cloths on the bed so that they lie at the same height as the patient’s abdomen when he lies back down on them
  • Have the patient lie down
  • Unfold the inner cloth and place it on the patient’s abdomen
  • Wrap the outer and intermediate cloths as snugly as possible around the patient’s abdomen.
  • Duration: 1 hour or longer, as long as it feels comfortable to the patient (e.g., overnight)

  • Remove the intermediate and outer cloths
  • Fold the inner cloth once and place in the plastic bag (reuse several times)

Well-proven in many patients
1 x daily
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
Depending on the therapeutic goal, the compress may be applied over several days or weeks

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