Making a comfrey salve was one of my first attempts at making a homemade healing ointment. It turned out great, but then sat unused in my cupboard for far too long.
I wasn’t sure how to use it, but once I started, I didn’t want to go back! We ended up using quite a bit, because it is so versatile.
Comfrey is a versatile and potent herb, well-known for its healing properties. Making a comfrey salve is an effective and natural way to harness these benefits for your own use.
With soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be a go-to remedy for various skin issues like minor burns, bruises, and insect bites.
We’ve used it for every little cut and scrape, as well as a soothing cream for chicken pox.
The process of making comfrey salve is fairly simple, requiring just a few key ingredients and some patience. The core steps that it takes to make comfrey salve can also be applied to creating different salves using other medicinal plants.
This newfound skill will truly be a game changer in the way you approach natural remedies. Not only can you make your own medicinal salves, you will realize how simple it is to se herbal remedies.
Learn the best methods for preparing your comfrey salve in the next few paragraphs, as well as tips for harvesting and using the plant effectively.
Create your own customized, all-natural remedy that can be tailored to your personal preferences and needs.
Understanding the Benefits of Comfrey
Comfrey is a valuable addition to your medicine cabinet due to its impressive healing properties.
As you discover more about the benefits of this healing herb, you’ll learn about its potential for promoting cell growth, soothing osteoarthritis, and more.
As always, it’s crucial to be aware of its potential side effects as well.
Effective Healing Properties of Comfrey
The main reason comfrey is so well-regarded is its high allantoin content. Allantoin promotes cell growth, facilitating quicker healing of skin injuries and even encouraging new skin growth.
It’s used in a lot of skin care products, and for good reason. Applying comfrey salve to wounds, bruises, or skin irritations will offer soothing relief and help your body’s natural healing process.
Comfrey has been praised for its potential in treating osteoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief from joint pain and may even help soothe inflamed tissues.
Including a comfrey salve in your health routine will help you harness the power of this herb.
Cautions Regarding Use of Comfrey
While comfrey boasts a lot of benefits, it’s still important to understand its potential downsides.
This herb contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which can cause liver damage when consumed in excessive quantities. To minimize the risk, use comfrey topically as a salve, rather than ingesting it.
Disclaimer: Comfrey is a potent healing herb with a host of benefits, from promoting cell growth to soothing osteoarthritis.
However, it’s crucial to use it responsibly, avoiding excessive consumption and choosing the right variety to minimize the risks of liver damage.
With caution and care, you can enjoy the advantages of comfrey in your natural medicine cabinet.
Materials Required for Making Comfrey Salve
To make your own comfrey salve, you’ll need the following materials:
- Comfrey leaves or roots: You will need fresh or dried comfrey leaves or roots. It’s essential that they are clean and free of debris. Comfrey is the star ingredient in your salve, so don’t skimp on its quality. Preferably you would grow some in your garden, but you can also order it here.
- Infused oil: For this step, you can either purchase a pre-made comfrey-infused oil or create your own by steeping the comfrey leaves or roots in a carrier oil like olive, coconut, or almond oil. This process can be sped up using a crockpot or done at room temperature, but remember, it may take a few weeks to infuse properly. I use olive oil.
- Beeswax or beeswax pastilles: Beeswax gives the salve its consistency and helps create a protective barrier on the skin. You can use either block beeswax, which needs to be grated, or beeswax pastilles for easier melting.
- Double boiler: A double boiler is essential for the gentle heating of your infused oil and beeswax. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create a makeshift one using a heat-safe glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Cheesecloth: This is a useful tool for straining the comfrey-infused oil from any residual comfrey plant material. A fine mesh strainer or even a clean coffee filter can work too.
- Salve tins or glass jars: You will need containers for your finished comfrey salve. You can use small metal tins or glass jars with secure lids that hold approximately 2-4 oz.
- Labels: Labeling your salve containers is helpful for remembering the contents and when the salve was made. This is especially important if you’re gifting your homemade salve to friends or family. Once you make this, you will want to!
Before you begin, make sure to gather all the materials on this list and have a clean, organized workspace. This will make the process of making your comfrey salve much more enjoyable and efficient.
Selecting Quality Ingredients
Benefits of Different Carrier Oils
When making a comfrey salve, it’s essential to choose high-quality ingredients. This is especially important when selecting a carrier oil.
A carrier oil helps dilute the comfrey and allows the salve to be easily applied to your skin. The different benefits of carrier oils such as olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are discussed below.
Olive oil is a popular choice for comfrey salve as it is readily available and affordable. It has a long shelf life and is known for its moisturizing properties.
Olive oil also contains antioxidants and vitamins, which can benefit your skin. And its also not too expensive, although you don’t need a whole lot.
Almond oil is another excellent option for a carrier oil. It is lightweight and absorbed quickly by the skin, making your comfrey salve feel non-greasy.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that promote skin health and help soothe irritation.
Selecting a carrier oil will ultimately depend on you and your needs. It is however, it’s crucial to creating an effective comfrey salve.
Each oil offers unique benefits, so consider your skin type and needs when choosing.
Experiment with different oils to find the one that works best for you and remember always to use high-quality ingredients for the best results.
Steps to Prepare Comfrey Infused Oil
To begin, gather your dried comfrey leaves. Choosing high-quality dried comfrey leaf ensures that your comfrey infused oil will be potent and effective. You will need:
- Dried comfrey leaves
- A clean, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Your choice of carrier oil (e.g., olive oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil)
First, fill your glass jar about halfway with the dried comfrey leaves.
Next, pour your chosen carrier oil into the jar, making sure to completely cover the comfrey leaves. It is important to leave a small amount of room at the top, as the dried leaves will expand as they absorb the oil.
Once your jar is filled, seal it tightly and give it a gentle shake to ensure that the oil and comfrey leaves are well combined.
Now, it’s time to let the comfrey infused oil sit and work its magic. Place your jar in a warm, sunny spot, such as a windowsill that receives plenty of sunlight.
This will help to gently heat the oil and encourage the comfrey’s healing properties to infuse into the oil. If you can’t find a sunny spot, you can also store your jar at room temperature in a dark cupboard.
Allow the mixture to infuse for at least 2-4 weeks, but you can let it sit for longer if desired. I let mine infuse closer to 6 weeks.
Setting it on my window sill at my kitchen sink helped me to remember to shake it. Remember to give your jar a gentle shake every couple of days to help with the infusion process.
After the infusion period has passed, it’s time to strain your comfrey infused oil.
Place a cheesecloth, muslin, or clean tea towel over the mouth of another clean, dry jar, and carefully pour the mixture through the cloth to separate the oil from the comfrey leaves.
Squeeze out as much oil as possible. Once all the oil has been strained, discard the spent comfrey leaves and seal the jar with your freshly made comfrey oil.
Now, you have a homemade comfrey infused oil ready to be used as a base for creating your comfrey salve.
Making the Herbal Salve
To make your comfrey salve:
- Gently heat the infused oil in a double boiler over low heat.
- Add approximately 1 ounce of beeswax per cup of infused oil, stirring until it is fully melted.
- Remove the double boiler from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- Add approximately 10-20 drops of essential oils (if preferred) per cup of infused oil. Stir well to combine.
- Carefully pour the mixture into clean, sterile jars or tins.
Allow your comfrey salve to cool and solidify completely before sealing and labeling the containers.
Store your newly crafted herbal salve in a cool, dark place. Enjoy the soothing and healing benefits of your homemade comfrey salve!
Using the Salve for Various Conditions
Comfrey salve is known for its ability to support the healing of various skin conditions. One of my favourite reasons to use comfrey salve is because it doesn’t sting.
As a mother with five children, having a non stinging ointment ready for cuts and bruises is very helpful.
Wounds & Injuries: Gently apply the comfrey salve on minor cuts, bruises, and sprains to facilitate healing and relieve pain. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing swelling and inflammation.
Rashes & Skin Irritations: For rashes, including diaper rash and insect bites, the salve soothes itching and irritation. Pregnant women and children can benefit from its gentle formula, which helps alleviate symptoms without causing further irritation.
Burns & Sunburns: Comfrey salve is excellent for minor burns and sunburns, quickly reducing redness and discomfort. Its skin-calming effect also helps ease stings from insects or plants.
Chapped Skin & Itches: Apply the salve to chapped or dry skin, assisting in skin rejuvenation. It also helps with various itches, calming the irritated area.
Muscle & Joint Pain: After a long day or strenuous exercise, massage the salve into your tired or strained muscles and joints. Its anti-inflammatory properties alleviate pain and discomfort, promoting relaxation and recovery.
Remember, comfrey salve is an excellent addition to your medicine cabinet. Use it for various conditions to help soothe, heal, and provide relief.
Do keep in mind that while it is generally safe, some individuals might have allergies or sensitivities, so it’s always best to do a patch test before using it extensively.
Additional Tips and Precautions
When making your comfrey salve, consider adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to the mixture.
This oil not only aids in natural healing but also serves as a preservative, extending the shelf life of your salve. Additionally, explore using essential oils for fragrance or added benefits.
For instance, adding plantain infused oil or calendula can be great options.
If you’re looking to create a poultice, try combining comfrey with other healing herbs such as mullein.
This blend can be applied directly to the skin or used as a tea (if you’re comfortable consuming it).
Ensure you clean the area you’re treating beforehand and apply the poultice to a cloth, then secure it in place with a pin.
When using comfrey for healing sores or windburn, remember that this plant boasts remarkable properties for promoting new skin and cell growth.
This makes it an excellent ingredient for moisturizing salves. Moreover, comfrey is often nicknamed “knitbone” due to its bone, joint, and tissue healing capabilities.
It’s always important to consider your safety as well when creating topical comfrey preparations. Avoid using comfrey on deep wounds and never use on infected sores.
Always do a small patch test to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction before applying the salve widely.
Get creative with your comfrey salve by incorporating other beneficial ingredients and combining it with healing herbs for optimal results.
Don’t forget to exercise caution and patch test the final product. Enjoy the process of creating a natural remedy, and trust in the power of comfrey for healing.
By now, you’ve learned all the necessary steps to make your own comfrey salve at home.
This guide to making a homemade comfrey salve will help you use the comfrey plant and benefit from its various healing properties.
Remember to always start by collecting fresh comfrey leaves if possible, ideally from your garden or a trusted source.
Then, proceed with the process of drying comfrey leaves and then create an infused oil.
As a final reminder, always store your comfrey salve in a cool, dry place to maintain its potency.
With this easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating a healing and soothing comfrey salve that can be used for numerous skin conditions and injuries.
Enjoy the benefits of this natural remedy and feel confident in your ability to make it yourself.