External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Rhythmical Thigh Embrocation According to Wegman/Hauschka with Turf Oil and Formic Acid

Kind of substance

Turf oil with formic acid

Guiding principle for the application

Rhythmical embrocation with peat oil and formic acid was chosen as an enlivening and warming support to dissolve nodules on a surgical wound.
"Wood ants take dead material from the plant and animal kingdoms and return it to nature's life processes. Ants actively fight against parasitic life forms and help to loosen, aerate and warm the soil.
Just as formic acid turns decaying substances in forest soil into something that can serve plant growth again, it also works in the human organism to counter degeneration and decay when they get out of hand." (Source: Vademecum Anthroposophische Arzneimittel)


  • Excessive granulation
  • Nodule formation after surgery


Rhythmical embrocation according to Wegman/Hauschka can only be learned by attending a seminar. For more information see  Rhythmical Embrocation
Nevertheless, even a simple, gentle application of some oil to the leg in the way described can help.

Case example

The elderly female patient had had increasing pain for 2 years after a thigh operation and was losing mobility. She decided to allow a femoral head revision, in the hope of being able to walk again afterwards.
In this situation the nurse was asked to give the patient rhythmical peat oil embrocations twice a week, which substantially reduced the pain (pain level 2–4). Her sleep improved too.
Unfortunately things were worse after surgery. The patient required strong pain medication, which did not help (high doses of Tramadol, morphine patches, etc.), causing her to become somnolent, and she was only able to walk 20 m at most, with assistance.
Nodules formed at the cicatrix after the revision surgery. The nurse decided to apply peat oil with added formic acid, because she thought that this added substance could eliminate residue. Improvement came after the third treatment, the nodules shrank, no new ones formed, but the pain increased again, as Solum uliginosum oil was not used during this time. The leg seems generally more enlivened to the patient.


Red., UT