External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Oxalis Essence Abdominal Compress

Kind of substance

Oxalis essence

Guiding principle for the application

Moist-warm abdominal compresses have a generally relaxing and calming effect, especially when emotional strain affects the functioning of the stomach and bowels.
Essential oils belong to the "watery element" and thus primarily address the life process in the human being. They are used specially to enable congested processes to flow again, integrating them into the healthy circulation of blood and lymph.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Abdominal cramps
  • Ulcerative colitis (see example cases 1 & 2)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Spastic colon
  • Biliary colic
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Crohn's disease
  • After a shock



  • This application works with mild warmth, which enables oxalis to develop its specific effect.

  • Oxalis Essence
  • Inner cloth, intermediate cloth, outside cloth
  • Thermos flask with 250 ml of 40°C (104°F) water
  • A basin

  • Fold the inner cloth to the size required
  • Place the intermediate and outer cloths on the bed at the level of the abdomen ready to use
  • Pour water and 1 tablespoon of Oxalis essence into the basin
  • Dip the inner cloth into the basin and wring it out thoroughly
  • Quickly lay it on the abdomen
  • Place the intermediate and outer cloths wrinkle-free on the body, leaving no air pockets
  • Let it work for 30 minutes. If the compress gets cold before that, remove it immediately
  • Then remove all of the cloths
  • Always follow this with 30 minutes of post-treatment rest

Well-proven in many patients
1 x daily
Onset of effect
During the application
Length of therapy
Immediate effect; regular application over several weeks has a lasting effect

Instructions to download

Case example

Example case 1
A 42-year-old male patient experiencing an episode of ulcerative colitis described the effect of the oxalis essential oil compress to the abdomen as follows:
“I immediately experienced deep relaxation beginning with the first application. ... The compress relaxed me so much that I regularly fell asleep during the half-hour treatment, which I believe enhanced the effect still more. The effect lasts about 3-4 hours. My abdominal cramps are diminishing. Directly after the application they seem to be gone, replaced by a pleasant sensation.”

Example case 2
A 25-year-old female patient with ulcerative colitis, a nurse by profession, had been treating her abdominal cramps with hot-water bottles and cherry pit bags with little success. She was anesthetised because of great discomfort during a colonoscopy. On the following days she received regular oxalis abdominal compresses, during which she relaxed and fell asleep each time. This was something that she had not experienced before.


Red., BD


  • Therkleson T, Stronach S. Broken Heart Syndrome. A Typical Case. Journal of Holistic Nursing 2015;33(4):345-350.
  • Deckers B, von Schoen-Angerer T, Voggenreiter B, Vagedes J. External Nursing Applications in the Supportive Management of Prolonged Postoperative Ileus: Description of Interventions and Case Report. Holist Nursing Practice 2016;30(4):216-21