External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Lavender 10% Oil Chest Compress

Kind of substance

Lavender 10% oil

Guiding principle for the application

Lavender oil compresses have a calming and anti-cramping effect and they warm the chest region.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Bronchial asthma (see example case 1)
  • Bronchitis/ Tracheobronchitis
  • Nervous heart complaints
  • Dry cough, especially at night
  • Dry cough after bronchoscopy (see example case 2)
  • Dry cough caused by lung metastasis
  • Pseudocroup


Can also be used in combination with thyme 5% oil.
Use lavender 5% oil on babies and toddlers


  • Cotton inner cloth, ca. 15 x 20 cm when doubly folded (for adults)
  • Lavender 10% oil
  • A plastic bag (food-safe)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Outer cloth made of cotton or wool, somewhat larger than the inner cloth

  • Drizzle 2–3 ml of oil onto the inner cloth
  • Warm up the folded cloth in the plastic bag with the hot water bottle
  • Remove the warm cloth from the bag while standing beside the patient and place it on the sternum.
  • Cover it with the outer cloth
  • The compress can stay there until the coughing subsides and there is an improvement (usually ca. 30–60 minutes)
  • Post-treatment rest 30 minutes

The inner cloth can be reused over several days. Drizzle a few more drops of oil onto it each day.

Well-proven in many patients
1 x daily
Onset of effect
The cramp subsides after a few minutes
Length of therapy
As long the symptoms require it, usually 1–3 days
A dose that is too strong can itself cause irritation, dilute it with olive oil if necessary

Instructions to download

Case example

Example case 1
A mother (38 years old), developed asthma for the first time, which she was unable to overcome for weeks, following an infection and previous years of hay fever. She was very exhausted from caring for her 3 ill children. The asthma cleared up within 2 weeks when she applied a nightly LAVENDER oil compress to her chest and has not returned to this day (14 months later). The treatment was calming and enabled her to relax well.

Example case 2
In a lung clinic patients often suffer from torturous, unproductive coughing after a bronchoscopy. After a lavender oil compress has been placed on the upper breastbone, the coughing stops within 10 minutes, the patients are less fearful and they can relax again. They feel seen and valued.


Red., US, UT


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  • Vademecum of anthroposophic medicines. 3rd English ed. with CD. Munich: Association of Anthroposophic Physicians in Germany; 2017.