My daughter and I have started making comfrey salve - an essential in our home medicine cabinet.
We have an abundance of healthy looking comfrey growing throughout the garden and access to friend's beeswax, so we thought we'd give it a try. The result is a wonderfully soothing salve. There are so many uses, but we mostly use it on rashes, insect bites, bruises, sprains, backaches, dry skin, scars and minor burns. It's just as helpful for our animal friends too. Actually our inspiration was a Coco - a guinea pig with a sore on her foot that wasn't healing.
I'm writing first about making the comfrey oil - step one of salve-making. It was much simpler than I thought it was going to be. I'll share how we turn comfrey oil into comfrey salve in another post soon.
Our homemade cold-infused comfrey oil.
There are a few ways of making comfrey oil at home. We thought the cool infusion method would preserve more of the comfrey leaf's active ingredients. It's simple, but you do need to steep it for a month so patience is required. There is quicker method using heat and dried herbs.
So here's what we did to make our comfrey oil:
Find the nicest looking comfrey leaves in the garden.
Collect fresh leaves from the garden. We did not wash them - this adds extra moisture to the mix.
We chopped up the leaves.
We packed them into a dry sterilised jar...
... and filled the jar with olive oil to cover the comfrey leaves.
(Olive oil is commonly used as it offers some resistance to oxidation and rancidity.)
We steeped the comfrey in oil for a month (same process for calendula flowers).
After a month, we strained the leaves and oil through cheesecloth.
We've stored the oil in a jar and used wax paper to prevent contamination from the plastic lid.
We've stored the oil in the pantry while we source some little jars for the salve.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale
) is a common plant found around the world. It is very hardy and very easy to grow. For millennia it has been used as a potent healing plant - both the roots and the leaves.
I grow a lot of comfrey because it is so useful in the garden …
- as a mulch
- as a compost activator
- as a green in the layers of my no-dig gardens
- to make comfrey tea (liquid fertiliser)
For more information about comfrey visit the late Isabell Shippard's website