External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Chamomile Abdominal Compress

Kind of substance


Guiding principle for the application

The warmth of this wrapped chamomile tea abdominal compress relieves functional disorders in the metabolic area, such as cramps, flatulence or dysmenorrhea. It has a shaping, calming and antispasmodic effect on the autonomic nervous system, as well as an anti-inflammatory effect directly on the organs. Wrapped, hot-moist chamomile tea compresses relax both body and soul.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Dyspepsia/ feeling full
  • Colicky dysmenorrhea
  • Gastritis
  • Intestinal gas
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (Example case 1)
  • Overstrain at school (Example cases 2 & 3)
  • Somatic abdominal discomfort (Example case 1)
  • Summer diarrhea in children
  • Spastic states of the digestive tract


Do not use in cases of acute abdomen and fever


  • ½ tbsp. chamomile flowers
  • Outer cloth
  • Intermediate cloth
  • Inner cloth
  • An aid for wringing out the hot compress
  • Hot-water bottle, filled flat, vented
  • Medium-sized basin
  • Chamomile tea: scald ½ tbsp. flowers with 300 ml boiling water, leave to stand for 1–3 minutes, then strain immediately into a thermos flask.

  • Lay out the warmed outer and intermediate cloths on the bed at the level of the abdomen
  • The patient lies down on them
  • Fold the inner cloth to fit the abdomen and place it in the bowl
  • Pour tea over it
  • Wring it out well! Initially, fan the body with the hot cloth, until the heat is bearable, then place the inner cloth on the abdomen
  • Mold the intermediate cloth over the inner cloth from each side, then quickly wrap the outer cloth around everything
  • Place the hot-water bottle on the abdomen and cover the patient, including the shoulders and feet
  • After 30 minutes, remove the compress and the hot water bottle, cover the abdomen again (e.g., pull down the T-shirt that had been pushed up)
  • Insist on 30 minutes of post-treatment rest

  • Rinse out the inner cloth and hang up all the cloths to dry

Well-proven in many patients
1x daily, for severe complaints also 2x daily
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
Depending on the therapeutic goal, the compress may be applied over several weeks
Other recommended therapies
Alternatively, wrapped yarrow liver compresses can be applied to the abdomen, especially for colicky dysmenorrhea.
Do not use in cases of acute abdomen or fever.

Instructions to download

Case example

Example case 1:
A 33-year-old female patient with a post-traumatic stress disorder has suffered for several years from irregularly occurring flatulence with irritable bowel syndrome.
The warm wrapped chamomile abdominal compress causes her to feel “enveloped and accepted”. The warmth of the application radiated into her sacrum and pelvic area. She fell asleep during the compress. Her symptoms were significantly alleviated, painkillers could be discontinued.
The patient learned to apply the compress independently at home. Used in the evening, it released tension and stress from her everyday work and thus promoted sleep. She used the application regularly for about ¾ of a year, then as needed.

Example case 2:
An 11-year-old girl, the oldest of 4 children, was constantly tormented by fears of failure at school. On school-free afternoons, her mother gave her chamomile abdominal compresses after lunch. After receiving the compress, the girl immediately fell asleep for approx. 1 hour. Afterwards she could spend the afternoon and evening stress-free. The compress was used for about 6 months. Receiving this regular attention from her mother also gave her soul warmth and trust.

Example case 3:
A schoolchild, 1st grade, was socially completely overwhelmed by the many children. He absorbed all the impressions so intensively that he could not “digest” them. Already in the morning he complained of stomach pains, which his mother interpreted correctly, that he was afraid of the challenge. When he came home at noon, his mother first made him a chamomile abdominal compress, during which the boy usually fell asleep and then woke up happily rested. After a few weeks the child managed the challenges and the compresses were no longer necessary.


Red., TB, US


Sonn, Annegret. Heilpflanzen in der Pflege. Bern: Hans-Huber-Verlag; 2004.