An herbal pack is simply a sack filled with aromatic herbs and dried rice or lentils. When heated, the scents of the herbs permeate the pack and often help soothe a number of conditions. There are several different kinds of herbal packs available for sale, each designed to treat specific parts of the body. When choosing an herbal pack, the consumer should consider what the pack is to be used for, what kinds of herbs are in it, and the materials used to make the casing.
One of the first things to consider when choosing an herbal pack is the shape. Packs for the neck are often U-shaped to accommodate the curve of the neck and shoulders. Some have a square back that lies on the tops of the shoulder blades while others are simply a thin, U-shaped tube. These packs can be wrapped around the arms or legs to soothe muscles there too.
Flat, rectangular packs may also be used on a number of different body parts. These herbal packs lie easily on the abdomen, thighs, and upper or lower back. Packs with straps attached to them work especially well for the back because the wearer can snug the pack against his or her body. Small, rectangular or oval packs are usually meant to treat the eyes and sinuses. They can also be placed on the wrists or draped over a sore shoulder.
The second thing to consider when choosing an herbal pack is which herbs are contained inside it. Most packs have an ingredient label, so make sure there are no herbs that may cause an allergic reaction. For instance, those allergic to ragweed may want to avoid chamomile packs, but could find packs containing stinging nettle soothing. People with sore muscles might try a ginger and cinnamon pack, while those with colds might gravitate toward mint-based packs. Lavender, rose, and citrus are all typically soothing, which makes them good choices for those with high stress.
A third factor to consider involves the casing. Herbal packs often lie on the skin for long periods of time. Typically, an ideal herbal pack casing should be made of a soft and sturdy fabric, like flannel, canvas, or denim. Some outer casings come off of the pack, revealing an inner sack filled with the aromatherapy materials. This is often a plus because the user can disinfect the outer casing after using the pack to soothe an illness.