External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Rosemary Arm Compress

Kind of substance

Rosemary Bath Milk

Guiding principle for the application

The processes activated by rosemary have a stimulating and harmonizing effect on the encounter between the soul body and the physical and etheric bodies. This affects the patient’s circulation, especially the arterial peripheral vessels. By deepening the patient’s breathing, they also have a balancing effect on all life processes.
The plant’s bitter substances and tannins also awaken and strengthen the patient's vital forces. Rosemary therefore has a strong, overall incarnating effect.

This compress is always applied on THE side of the body on the arm or leg that is OPPOSITE the site of the pain.
Any cramping of the coronary arteries should be pulled away from the pain site, as if drawing congestion away from the heart area. This results in rapid pain relief.

This compress was originally an idea of Dr.med. Hans Klett, Heidenheim, Germany.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Angina Pectoris, also in acute cases



  • This compress should be applied as hot as the patient can tolerate it.
  • For plethoric patients who have a congested upper body, the compress is always applied to the leg diagonally opposite the pain site. The same applies to hypertonic patients with bright red faces.

  • Standard-sized compress cloths, if available, or: 1 fabric strip each approx. 25 cm wide, 150 cm long, made of cotton material and wool
  • Medium-sized basin
  • ½ liter very hot (not boiling) water
  • Rosemary Invigorating Bath Milk (also sold as Rosmarinbademilch), 2 tablespoons

  • Roll up the compress cloths
  • Heat the water to a max. of 60°C (140°F)
  • Pour 2 Tbsp. Rosemary Invigorating Bath Milk into the basin
  • Add hot water
  • Place the inner cloth in the solution
  • Take it to the patient
  • Uncover the patient’s arm
  • Wring out the substance cloth
  • Starting at the base joints of the fingers, unroll the substance cloth around the hand and then further up the arm, wrapping snugly, up to and including the shoulder joint
  • Wrap on the outer cloth in the same way
  • Leave the basin with the rosemary solution at the patient’s bed (to allow the rosemary scent to spread)
  • Duration: 30 min., then remove all the cloths
  • Post-treatment rest: 30 minutes

Was used to successfully treat many patients
For acute cases of angina pectoris
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
This application is especially for acute cases (“emergency compresses”). It may be used 1 x daily for several days if the symptoms persist.
Other recommended therapies
If rosemary bath milk is not available, you can also use rosemary tea or homemade rosemary essence
  • If the patient has varicose veins, do not apply this compress to the leg.
  • This compress can therefore not be given to plethoric patients who have varicose veins!

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