External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Farmer's Cheese (Quark) Compress with Arnica and Calendula Essence

Kind of substance

Quark with arnica and calendula essence

Guiding principle

Farmer's cheese is made in acidified milk when the liquid whey separates from the cheese, which is becoming increasingly firm. This process continues on the skin during a farmer's cheese application. While the farmer's cheese 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, subduing excessive metabolic processes.

In the case of edema in the lower extremities, which leads to inflammation, swelling and pain, arnica and calendula may be added to the farmer's cheese application. Farmer's cheese has a decongestive effect, removing degradation products and fluid from body tissue. Calendula und arnica have an anti-inflammatory effect. Arnica brings structure and order deep into the tissue.

Note: Farmer's cheese can have a very different consistency 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. What is important it not be too wet.


  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Edema with cardiac insufficiency
  • Edema with varicosity
  • Edema with ulcus cruris



  • For this compress, we add arnica and calendula essence to the finished quark pack
  • Farmer's cheese compresses that are too cool cause reactive overwarming when placed on local inflammations. That is why farmer's cheese must never be applied directly from the refrigerator. It should be lukewarm
  • Remove the liquid whey using a sieve before the application

  • Farmer's cheese, 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 the farmer's cheese
  • Hot-water bottles (not boiling water, otherwise the protein curdles) to warm up the farmer's cheese 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 farmer's cheese 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 essence 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 farmer's cheese 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 farmer's cheese feels unpleasantly warm
  • Pre-warmed applications (such as for moist bronchitis): the compress can be left on for hours until the farmer's cheese 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 farmer's cheese

Well-proven in many patients
1–2 x daily until improvement, then less often
Onset of effect
The swelling decreases already on the first day
Length of therapy
As long as needed
Other recommended therapies
Bind the lower legs with straps
Ulcus cruris must be covered with a sterile compress during the farmer's cheese application

Instructions to download

Case example

The patient suffered from heart failure, which led to congestive edema in both lower legs. An ulcus cruris with a diameter of 1 cm developed distally on the right tibia. The inflammation and swelling of the wound caused severe pain, which severely affected getting up and walking. After the first farmer's cheese application with the two essences, the patient said, “There is no such thing – my lower legs are no longer swollen!” In the course of one week, we observed a significant reduction of redness, swelling and pain, which improved mobility.


Red., BH