External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Ginger Kidney Compress

Kind of substance


Guiding principle

The external application of ginger to the kidneys stimulates vigorous inner warmth in the body, which can spread to the periphery. The soul is invited to join more intensively with the body, which can be seen in deepened breathing, among other things. The patient can calm down. Emotional and physical tension can be released.


  • After early childhood trauma, such as with fibromyalgia syndrome
  • Bronchial asthma
  • COPD
  • Depression
  • For constitutional kidney treatment in cases of chronic kidney disease
  • For patients who are restless and irritable, possibly with a tendency to excessive intellectuality
  • For patients who have difficulty starting the day (treatment in the morning)
  • Low blood pressure and vegetative disturbances
  • Release of physical and emotional tension
  • Systemically for rheumatic diseases (osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, etc.)
  • To stimulate a deeper connection between the soul and the body
  • To stimulate the warmth organism, especially in cases with tumours or sclerosis



  • The kidneys are each about the size of the palm of your hand and are situated in the area of the lower ribs on either side of the spine. The positioning of the kidney compress is not to be confused with an application to the LS area (lumbar spine).
  • The desired warming effect of the ginger compress may be delayed, beginning only after several applications
  • The feet must be warm before the compress is applied, otherwise the warmth of the compress goes to the head
  • In the first phase of the application there may be increased sensitivity to external disturbances – this calls for special protection against noise, light, smells, etc.
  • Towards the end of the application the patient may want to resume being active. The duration of the post-treatment rest should then be adapted to the individual person (shortened)
  • In rare cases there may be itching or a reddening of the skin. Then less ginger can be used to prepare the next application

  • Inner cloth, intermediate cloth, outer cloth
  • 2 level tablespoons of dry ginger powder
  • A basin
  • About 300 ml of hot water (ca. 60°C)

Applying the compress
  • Place the outer and intermediate cloths ready in the kidney area on the bed and warm them up with hot water bottles
  • Fold the inner cloth to the size of the kidney area (to cover both kidneys)
  • Put ginger powder in the basin, pour hot water over it and stir
  • Dip the inner cloth into the basin, wring it out thoroughly and place it on the kidney region
  • Lay the intermediate and outer cloths quickly and closely over the area
  • Remove all of the cloths after about 30 minutes
  • Post-treatment rest for a maximum of 30 minutes

  • Rinse out the inner cloth, which can be reused

Instructions to download


Red., MR, FS, HR


  • Therkleson T. Ginger compress therapy for adults with osteoarthritis. Journal of advanced nursing 2010;66(10):2225-2233.
  • Fingado M. Compresses and other therapeutic applications. A handbook from the Ita Wegman Clinic. Edinburgh: Floris Books; 2012.
  • Glaser H, Heine R, Sauer M, Simon L et al. Ingwerstudie, Praxisintegrierte Studie zur Darstellung der Frühwirkungen von Ingwer als Äußere Anwendung. Verband für Anthroposophische Pflege 2001.