External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Aconite Nerve Oil Shoulder-Neck Compress

Kind of substance

Aconite Nerve Oil (Aconitum/ Camphora comp. oleum)

Guiding principle for the application

Fatty oils, such as peanut oil as the carrier of an oil mixture, form in plants through the light and warmth of the sun, they store forces of light and warmth in their substance. During an oil application this warmth can mildly and beneficially spread its influence, both locally and via the senses throughout the body; a gentle, encompassing mantel of warmth can warm chronically cold, sclerotic processes, for instance, or have a generally calming and relaxing effect.
The combination of aconite, lavender, camphor and quartz has a specific therapeutic effect.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Cervical vertebrae syndrome
  • Herpes zoster neuralgia
  • Myalgia
  • Nerve irritation
  • Acute nerve pain in connection with viral infections
  • Neuralgic pain
  • Sciatica (applied to the lower back)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia



  • Aconite Nerve Oil
  • Inner cloth (folded 4 times to the size of the area to be treated)
  • Warm padding: if possible use raw wool or a wool cloth of the appropriate size (ca. 1 to 2 cm larger than the inner cloth)
  • Outer cloth
  • Hot water bottle
  • Plastic bag (food-safe, such as a freezer bag) for warming up and storing the inner cloth

  • Drizzle about 30 drops of oil onto the inner cloth, fold it 1 time more and place it inside the plastic bag (apply a few more drops before each further application, depending on the aroma)
  • Fill the hot water bottle with warm water, place the bag with the oil-soaked cloth on top of it (to warm up the cloth)
  • Place the warm padding around the hot water bottle (also wrapping the outer cloth around the hot water bottle for bedridden patients)
  • Let everything warm up for at least 5 minutes

Remove the inner cloth from the plastic bag, unfold it and place it with the oily side directly on the skin over the painful area. Place the warm padding on top and wrap the outer cloth around the shoulder-neck area.
  • The patient's feet must be warm before the treatment starts (otherwise place the hot water bottle on them)
  • Duration of the treatment: at least 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of post-treatment rest

  • The oil cloth can be stored in the plastic bag after the application. It can be reused over a long period.

Has worked well for many patients
Place on the painful area 1–3 x daily
Onset of effect
The effect can be immediate, or only after several applications, and anything in between
Length of therapy
As long as needed
  • In very rare cases the treatment can cause reddening of the skin or a rash.
  • Aconite Nerve Oil (Aconitum/Camphora comp. oleum) should not be used on children under 5, according to the manufacturer

Instructions to download

Case example

A 27-year-old female patient with severe depression, in the psychiatric ward for 8 weeks of in-patient treatment, suffered from:

  • intense neck pressure and tension
  • alternating tooth pain and facial neuralgia

The patient was first treated unsuccessfully for 10 days with solum oil compresses on the painful areas, and additionally given pain medication.
This treatment was then replaced by aconite/camphor comp. oil compresses from the 11th day onwards.
The patient was free of pain within a few minutes and did not require any more pain medication. The oil compress was applied once daily, if needed, until the patient left the hospital.


Red., TB


  • Akonit Schmerzöl (pain-relief oil), in: Vademecum of anthroposophic medicines. 3rd English ed. with CD. Munich: Association of Anthroposophic Physicians in Germany; 2017.
  • Reinhard J. Sanfte Heilpraxis mit selbstgemachte Medikamenten. München: AT Verlag; 2008.
  • Girke M. Schmerzverständnis und Schmerztherapie in der Anthroposophischen Therapie. Der Merkurstab 2008;61(5):419-434.