External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Lemon Wrist Compresses

Kind of substance

Lemon slices

Guiding principle for the application

Lemon juice has an astringent and structuring effect, it makes a congested fluid organism flow again.
Patients with cardiac congestion experience relief when lemon compresses are applied to their wrists. The lemon’s forces reach the heart from there.
The refreshing aroma of lemon, as well as its centering and regulating power, is experienced as helpful in freeing oneself from oppressive experiences that have to do with the accumulation of liquids.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • Decompensated heart failure
  • Shortness of breath with cardiac insufficiency
  • Cardiac congestion
  • Vegetative heart complaints



  • This application can be carried out without much effort or strain on the patient.

  • 1–3 freshly cut lemon slices per wrist (not directly from the fridge)
  • Elastic bandages or something similar, to fix the compresses in place

  • Place the lemon slices on the inside of the wrists, fix in place with the bandage and press down so that some lemon juice escapes
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • The lemon slices can also remain longer in place if the patient falls asleep during use.

Alternatively, the compress can also be made with lemon water, see “Applications for Fever” no. 4. In this case, the temperature of the compress must be lower than for fever patients (lukewarm) and the hot-water bottles must be omitted.

Well-proven in many patients
1 x daily, repeat if needed
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
As needed
Other recommended therapies
  • Aurum-lavender heart compress
  • Arnica heart compress
  • Rhythmical embrocation of the upper arms with citrus oil, and rhythmical embrocation of the legs with Prunus oil
  • Formica heart compress

Instructions to download

Case example

A 76-year-old patient with severe weight gain, leg edema and shortness of breath, with lip cyanosis and decompensated heart failure experienced the use of lemon slices on his wrists as relieving and facilitating.


BD, Red.