External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Farmer's Cheese (Quark) Compress

Kind of substance

Low-fat farmer's cheese (quark)

Guiding principle

Quark is made in acidified milk when the liquid whey separates from the quark, which is becoming increasingly firm. This process continues on the skin during a quark application. While the quark is drying on the skin, whey continues to separate from it. This results in a gently sucking and freeing effect, which relieves watery stasis and enables metabolic toxins to be removed from the body; inflammatory substances are flushed out, leading to a cooling and pain-relieving effect; excessive metabolic processes are subdued. The effect of quark can be intensified in specific ways by adding essential oils.


  • Activated arthrosis, also with effusion
  • Blunt injuries such as contusions and bruises
  • Bursitis
  • Haematoma (see example case 2)
  • Hardening of breast tissue during nursing and breast engorgement (see example case 1)
  • Hot, moist pneumonias
  • Lymph stasis after gland removal
  • Lymphoedema
  • Mastitis
  • Phlebitis, also after a vein catheter
  • Rheumatic complaints (acute)
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen cheek after a pulled tooth (with arnica essential oil)



  • A quark compress that is too cool causes reactive overwarming when placed on a local inflammation. That is why quark must never be applied directly from the refrigerator. It should be lukewarm.
  • Remove the liquid whey using a sieve before the application
  • Arnica essential oil, for example, can be drizzled onto the prepared pack (as explained below) if needed

  • Quark = only pure low-fat quark, organic if possible
  • A waterproof underlay to protect the bed from liquid whey (it is very wet)
  • A wooden board or tablet and dough scraper or large knife to spread out the quark
  • Hot water bottles (not boiling water, otherwise the protein curdles) to warm up the quark to body temperature, e.g., for moist bronchitis
  • An inner cloth of the appropriate size
  • An intermediate cloth and outer cloth (thick flannelette cloth or a bath towel for a chest compress)

Applying the compress
  • Spread the inner cloth out on the board/tablet
  • Spread the quark about 1 cm thick on the inner cloth, with an area corresponding to the area to be treated, then fold the cloth in from all sides
  • If needed, an essential oil or other medication can be drizzled onto the side of the pack that will touch the skin and spread lightly
  • Lay the single-layer cloth side of the quark pack on the area to be treated and cover it with the intermediate and outer cloths

Duration of the treatment:
  • Cool applications (such as for mastitis, distortion, acute arthritis): remove the compress when the quark feels unpleasantly warm
  • Pre-warmed applications (such as for moist bronchitis): the compress can be left on for hours until the quark dries out and starts to crumble. Warmth accumulates from this point onward, leading to the opposite of the desired result.

During the application the patient must remain well covered in bed.
  • Then rinse the skin with lukewarm water and dry it

  • Rinse the cloths, dispose of the quark

Instructions to download

Case example

Example case 1
A young woman, nine days after a C-section delivery. The baby is drinking well and is fully breastfed. It reaches birth weight by the 6th day. For three days there is suddenly increasing engorgement in the right breast, with hardening and pain, slight reddening, no overheating of the tissue.
A quark compress is applied based on the symptoms.
During and after the first application the redness diminishes, the tissue becomes softer, the pain recedes and the milk flow improves.
The baby nurses at the other breast parallel to the treatment.

Example case 2
An 87-year-old female patient after a fall, with a femoral neck fracture and wrist fracture on the right and a large haematoma on the hip to the sacrum, as well as on the right arm and shoulder. She undergoes an emergency operation.
Despite pain medication, the strong pain in the bruised areas of her body prevents her from settling down. The haematoma are treated with cool quark applications after the operation. On the third day a change can be made to 3 applications per day. The patient feels better each day and the pain diminishes.


Red., IH, TB