My Grandmother swore that these were the best thing going when faced with a nasty cold, but since we were just little, we weren’t subjected to the mustard plaster. Instead we had to endure the “Vicks Vapo-Rub” session, which being quite ticklish was always very amusing to Gramma I’m sure. I can remember her saying “settle down now” as she rubbed us down with Vicks before tucking us in for the night! Hah! Settle down indeed.
For the grown-ups, my Grandfather in particular, it was the mustard plaster. Don’t ask me if and how these things work, but supposedly, they are great for relieving chest congestion.
A mustard plaster recipe usually includes powdered mustard and flour combined with water or egg white. This is then spread on a cotton or flannel cloth and placed on the chest. Some old sources suggest that the mustard powder be blended with egg white rather than water to prevent blistering of the skin, and from what I have read, it is imperative that the mustard itself not touch the skin itself, as it is an irritant.
Call me new-fashioned, but I won’t be using a mustard plaster anytime soon. What was good for us as kids, is surely good for us as adults. Pass the Vicks, I’ll save my mustard for proper cooking 😉