External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Farmer's Cheese (Quark) Chest Compress

Kind of substance

Farmer's cheese (quark)

Guiding principle for the application

Moist-warm wrapped farmer's cheese compresses put patients, especially children, into a state where they can relax and fall asleep. The mild acidity of farmer's cheese has a dissolving effect on mucus in the bronchi.
Farmer's cheese can have very different consistencies in different countries. Its fat content also varies. For a long time, low-fat farmer's cheese was regarded as the substance of choice for compresses. Recent experience shows that farmer's cheese without reduced fat content is more suitable, because it is less crumbly when drying out. The important thing is that it not be too wet.
Itching may occur with several farmer's cheese applications, this is not important, especially as the itching quickly subsides again.

Guiding Principle for the substance



  • Obstructive bronchitis due to mucus and swelling of the respiratory tract

  • Bronchopneumonia
  • Moist pneumonia
  • Highly acute, feverish, productive pneumonia
  • Pneumonia with pleuritis and pleural effusion



  • The prerequisite for this compress is that it be properly applied, i.e., warm, but not too warm (coagulation of the milk protein) and under no circumstances too cool, as then an additional cooling could occur with corresponding consequences.
  • NOTE: Children with bronchitis often have only a moderate fever and therefore do not appear as ill as they are.

  • 250–500 gr. farmer's cheese, room temperature!
  • Bed protection
  • Terrycloth towel or bath towel
  • Substance cloth: thin cotton cloth (e.g., torn cloth) or gauze diaper, slightly longer than the child’s chest circumference and twice as wide as the distance from the armpits to the lower rib arches. Adults may need one cloth each for the chest and back under certain circumstances.
  • 2–3 hot-water bottles (warm, not hot) for further warming of the quark
  • Plastic bags to protect the hot-water bottles
  • Baking sheet
  • Spatula

To administer to children:
Spread out the substance cloth. In the middle third, coat the length with farmer's cheese as thick as the back of a knife. First fold in the ends of the cloth, then the long sides from above and below so that you get a long pack.

To administer to adults:
If you don’t have a cloth long enough for an adult’s upper body, you can use two cloths to prepare individual packs for the chest and back. The length of the substance cloths must then be correspondingly shorter than with a compress wrapped right around the body.

The farmer's cheese pack must be warmed up to body temperature:
  • either 15 min. on several hot-water bottles
  • or on a tray in an oven preheated briefly to 100°C (212°F) and then turned off for 5 minutes

The farmer's cheese must not become too hot, otherwise the protein coagulates!

This compress releases a lot of liquid; therefore, the bed must be protected against moisture. Place a terrycloth towel or bath towel folded double lengthwise on a water-repellent sheet. When the compress is warm enough, the patient undresses his upper body. Place the farmer's cheese pack, with the folded fabric side downwards, on the terrycloth towel (heated if necessary). The patient lies down on it and the farmer's cheese pack is pulled up around his chest from back to front. Then quickly wrap the patient with the terrycloth towel, finally covering him with the blanket up to over the shoulders.
If two farmer's cheese packs are used for an adult, the patient first lies down on the back pack, then the second pack is placed on the chest.

Duration: The compress remains on for 1 hour and is then removed, followed by rest for one hour. This rest is very important and should take place in bed.
  • Dispose of the farmer's cheese in the compost and rinse the substance cloth thoroughly with cold water. Never put the cloth with farmer's cheese in a washing machine, unless you want to enjoy having farmer's cheese in the rest of your clothes for a long time ;-)

In the case of bronchopneumonia and moist pneumonia (rattling noises), it is better not to administer a large-area application. Instead, place local packs on the affected area. The other cloths can be left away according to the individual situation, but the cheese packs need to be covered!

Well-proven in many patients
1–2 x daily in the acute phase, then daily until improvement
Onset of effect
Improvement already occurs during the compress application
Length of therapy
Until the cough is better
Other recommended therapies
See Vademecum of Anthroposophic Medicines
Never apply cold!
Contraindicated in cases of cow’s milk allergy and/or neurodermatitis

Instructions to download

Case example

This compress has been successful with so many patients that no individual case will be described here.