If I were stranded on a deserted island, this would be the herb I’d choose to have with me! Comfrey is the most amazing healing herb I know of and we never allow our supply to get too low. Although we often use comfrey as a poultice, I like to have a simple comfrey salve on hand for every day use.
What is Comfrey?
Comfrey is an herb that heals skin, muscle and even bone. We use it to heal cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, sore muscles and we’ve even seen it work wonders on a broken toe. It has trans-dermal healing properties, meaning that it soaks through the skin, into the tissue and bone. Whatever is injured, comfrey is our herb of choice to heal it quickly. I even used this salve to help heal things up after our second baby was born!
Although some people use comfrey root, I prefer the leaf. It is easier to work with and makes a beautiful green healing salve. We do keep some comfrey root on hand in case of major injury, since it is stronger than the leaf.
*Caution* Comfrey should never be used on an infected or dirty open wound. It increases healing so quickly that it could cause tissue to heal over the top of bacteria and leave an abscess. We always make sure to thoroughly clean any open wounds and use a natural antibacterial salve before applying comfrey.
What You’ll Need
To make a comfrey salve, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups comfrey leaf (add 1/2 cup comfrey root for a stronger salve) *DRIED* Fresh herbs may introduce enough water to the mixture to allow bacteria and mold to grow!
- 2 cups oil (grapeseed, almond or olive oil work well.
- 3 ounces beeswax pastilles (by weight)
- medium saucepan and large pot (a crock pot can be used in place of the large pot)
- clean dishrag
- 1 quart mason jar with a metal lid
- fine mesh strainer
- containers for the finished salve (jar, tins, etc.)
What To Do
- Before beginning, make certain that all your tools and containers are very clean.
- Put the comfrey leaf (and root, if using) into the jar and pour the oil in until the jar has just 1 1/2 inches open space at the top. Coconut oil will need to be melted, first.
- Apply the lid, tightly, and place the jar in the large pot on top of the dishrag (this keeps the jar from breaking).
- Fill the pot with water up to two inches from the top of the jar and turn the burner on low (if using a crock pot, turn it to low or medium).
- Allow the comfrey to infuse into the oil for at least 12 hours, up to 24. Do not allow the water to simmer and keep adding water as needed by adding hot water to maintain the water level.
- Once the oil is dark green, put the grated beeswax into the medium saucepan.
- Pour the oil through the fine mesh strainer and into the saucepan with the beeswax.
- Turn the heat onto low and whisk until all of the beeswax has melted.
- Ladle or pour the oil into your chosen containers and allow to cool for 24 hours, then apply the lids. (*note: I’ve noticed that if I leave the salve to solidify in a warmer room, it doesn’t turn out looking quite as smooth as when I put it in a cooler room. The effectiveness isn’t affected, either way.)
- Keep the salve in a cool, dark place.