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This sage and vinegar poultice is indispensible for easing the pain of sprains. Vinegar brings bruises to the surface of the skin, cooling and reducing swelling. Sage is used traditionally in compresses for the treatment of sprains.

  1. Bruise fresh whole leaves of sage by flattening with a rolling pin. Try not to break or tear the leaves.
  2. Put the leaves in a saucepan and pour in just enough vinegar to cover them. Simmer gently for 5 minutes over a very low heat. The vinegar should not boil, but steam to soften and blanch the sage.
  3. Working quickly and carefully, take the leaves out and place then on a cloth. Fold the cloth into a compress just big enough to cover the affected area.
  4. Apply as hot as can be tolerated and cover with towels to retain the heat. Leave on for an hour or until the swelling has gone down.

"Sage is singularly good for the head and braine; it quickens the senses and memory, strengtheneth the sinews, restoreth health to those that have the palsie, takes away shaking or trembling of the members." - John Gerard, The Herball or Generall Historie of Plants. 1597.

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