External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Horseradish Neck Compress

Kind of substance

Horseradish root

Guiding principle for the application

Due to the intense sharpness of horseradish, the local blood supply to the tissues becomes so strong that congestion in the head area can be prevented or eased in case of headaches or beginning migraines.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Headache
  • Migraine, starting



  • This treatment is very intensive. After a short time, the burning is so intense that the compress must be removed, otherwise damage to the nerve corpuscles in the skin can occur.
  • Danger of burns (1–2 min. maximum)
  • Exercise caution in case of skin diseases

  • 1 cotton cloth, ca. 20 x 20 cm
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of horseradish freshly grated or taken from a glass (unsulfured, without cream)
  • Outer cloth: dry washcloth or the like

  • Spread the grated horseradish over the middle of the cotton cloth about the size of the palm of your hand. Fold in all 4 sides of the cloth to form a small pack. Place the single-layered side of the pack on the neck, directly on the 7th cervical vertebra (which stands out strikingly). Cover with the outer cloth.
  • Leave on for 1–2 minutes, in consultation with the patient.

Cover the treated areas with a cloth for 10 minutes to keep them warm.

Has been very often used successfully
Only once a day, so that the skin is not irritated too much
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
Once, if required also over several days
Other recommended therapies
Mustard powder foot baths
  • If the compress is left on for too long (even for only 2–3 minutes), it can cause burns.
  • Care must be taken with skin diseases; this compress may be unsuitable!

Instructions to download