"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Comfrey Balm ~ Green Goo of Goodness

 Step into my herb garden and you'll see my blue-bottle tree , a blue bird bath, a dovecote my husband built me that houses a pair of white doves, and many herbs that grow abundantly all year long with little tending. Comfrey is one of those herbs. Sometimes it is considered almost a weed for it's ability to thrive and take over a flower or herb bed. I don't have a problem with that though because any comfrey I don't keep for our pantry or medicine chest is promptly pulled up in the fall and fed to our sheep and chickens. They LOVE it ! We can't grow enough for them.
 
 Comfrey ( Symphytum officinale ) ointment for bruises and cuts. It encourages the growth of scar tissue. " 'New Book of Herbs ' by Jekka McVicar.   Here is a comfrey plant that grows in the shade of the dovecote. You can see the slugs love to eat it too. I am going to show you a simple healing balm recipe using comfrey. First I cut baskets' full of comfrey, washed it and then dried it all in my small dehydrator. After I had a few gallon ziplock bags full I stored most in my pantry for future use, then I began to make my healing Comfrey Balm. You will need 1 pound of petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax  and 2 ounces of dried or 5 ounces of fresh comfrey leaves.
 Melt the petroleum jelly in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add the comfrey leaves and simmer, stirring constantly for about an hour.
 Here you can see the petroleum jelly is dark green and the simmered comfrey leaves look like spinach.
 Pour the mixture into a jelly bag or strainer , squeezing and smashing the leaves to get as much liquid out of them as possible, after all, it is the healing properties of the comfrey you're after for the balm.
 I poured the comfrey balm into the jar the petroleum jelly came in and store it labeled and covered in the refrigerator. It can be kept and used for about 3 months. So there you go, some wonderful Green Goo of Goodness !

I use this balm all the time for my feet. I have always had very dry feet that crack and bleed all year around and this truly soothes and heals them. I also use the balm on my other cuts and bruises. For years before I made a balm I would cut the comfrey, chop it up and simmer in a pot of boiling water, cool a bit, and soak my hurting feet in it. You can do that too, but this balm is so simple and affordable, much better than so many other healing creams you pay a lot for in the stores.  Comfrey grows very well in city lots and suburban yards too.
 A baby comfrey plant popped up in the oregano & thyme.
Comfrey : " This invasive plant may be considered a weed by many, but the nutrients it contains are useful to an organic gardener. The leaves are naturally high in protein, potash, and potassium, and make a wonderful mulch or liquid fertilizer. Medically, its potential for healing external wounds and broken bones is unchallenged, hence its common name "knitbone" and "boneset". Currently one of the key constituents ,allantoin, which stimulates the growth of new cells , is undergoing research. Do not take comfrey internally unless it has been prescribed by a qualified herbalist. "  'J McVicar  New Book Of Herbs '

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8 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Great post and so wonderful to read about a healing herb and a way to make a simple salve. Thank you.

FlowerLady

Blackberry Lane said...

How very interesting. I did not know anything about comfrey. Always a delight to visit you here, Kathy. I have a blog friend in Germany that I am going to share your post with. She grows a lot of herbs, too!

Buttons said...

The Goo of Goodness sounds just what it is I will look into growing this herb thanks Kathy. Love the pics. Hug B

Lynne said...

Hi, I'm Mildred's blog friend.
What an interesting post. I like your blue bottle tree. And I love your garden gate, just the sort I like.

Pondside said...

I have a big patch of comfrey and I will try this sometime this year. Thank you for the recipe and the lesson!

Daisy said...

This is a very interesting and informative post, Kathy. I have not heard of comfrey before.

Teresa Schubert said...

Kathy,
you live in such a magical place!! I love the bottle tree and thank you for sharing the balm recipe, I've always been interested in the medicinal uses of herbs I find it fascinating!
Teresa from
sugar,spice and whatever's nice

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Comfrey is one of my favorite herbs; isn't it also called bone set? Around here, it gets used a lot. Kathy, this was a great post, thoroughly enjoyable.