External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Eucalyptus Oil Bladder Compress

Kind of substance

Eucalyptus oil

Guiding principle for the application

Eucalyptus oil bladder compresses:

  • relieve cramping by warming through, relax the bladder muscles
  • are anti-inflammatory
  • improve nocturia (i.e., less frequent elimination of large amounts of urine)

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Acute and chronic cystitis
  • Nervous irritated bladder with nocturia
  • Nocturia with prostate cancer (see example case 1)
  • Urinary retention (see example cases 2 & 3)
  • Urinary tract infections



  • Caution during pregnancy, breastfeeding and with infants (consult a doctor)

  • Eucalyptus 10% 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
  • 1 hot water bottle
  • A plastic bag (food-safe, such as a freezer bag) for warming up and holding the inner cloth

  • Drizzle ca. 30 drops of oil onto the inner cloth, fold one more time and place in the plastic bag (add a few more drops before each subsequent treatment, depending on the aroma)
  • Fill the hot-water bottle with warm water, place the bag with the oil-imbued 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 bladder region. Place the warm padding on top and wrap the outer cloth around the abdomen.
  • Variation: for outpatients the oil cloth with the warm padding can be placed directly in the knickers over the bladder region)
  • 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 for several applications.

Proven with many patients
1 x daily
Onset of effect
Improvement often comes during the first application
Length of therapy
For cystitis: days to weeks
For prostate carcinoma with nocturia: weeks to months
For urinary retention: once
Other recommended therapies
A chamomile steam bath for cystitis, if the symptoms do not subside (for cystitis it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor)
Do not use if there is known hypersensitivity to eucalyptus oil or cineol, the main component of eucalyptus oil

Instructions to download

Case example

Example case 1
A 56-year-old male patient with bladder-infiltrating prostate cancer with bone metastasis, diagnosed one year previously.
During admission the patient reports that he has urinary incontinence and must urinate hourly. For this reason a eucalyptus oil bladder compress was prescribed. The first night he was already able to sleep 3 hours straight. During the rest of his stay his nightly urinary incontinence improved.

Example case 2
A 24-year-old female patient with severe autism, auto-aggressive symptoms, mental impairment, admitted with Aripiprazol, Risperidon and anthroposophic medications, among others, develops severe urinary retention: no urination for up to 30 hours. In recent years it had been "normal" for her to urinate only 2-3 x daily, voiding large amounts. At night she was dry. She also had a tendency to obstipation, with stool retention for up to 6 days. My prescription: a eucalyptus bladder compress nightly (10 x 10 cm), during the day 1 bag of Movicol junior® (a very small dose, the patient weighs about 60 kg).
Report after 3 weeks: 7 urinations per day already after four days, since then 6-7 urinations per day. At night the patient wears a diaper: first because of the compress and second because she now urinates at night too. Her stool has become normal.
The prescription was now changed: bladder compresses only in the mornings for 2 hours, between the first and second urination.

Example case 3
A 3-year-old restless and boisterous male patient with severe abdominal pains was brought to the emergency room by his parents. The clinical examination and ultrasound revealed urinary retention. Based on positive experiences with previous similar cases, a moist-warm cloth drizzled with eucalyptus 10% oil was placed on the abdomen. Within a few minutes the bladder emptied uncontrolledly, the bed and floor were wet and the patient was free of complaints.


Red., CW


  • Fingado M. Compresses and other therapeutic applications. A handbook from the Ita Wegman Clinic. Edinburgh: Floris Books; 2012.