DIY Topical First Aid
DIY COMFREY SALVE
Comfrey has been used medicinally for thousands of years to reduce pain and promote healing. Modern peer-reviewed studies are finding that topical comfrey preparations, such as comfrey salve and comfrey cream, are an incredibly effective herbal pain reliever.
Common comfrey (Symphytum officianale) and Russian Comfrey (S. uplandicum) are fast-growing leafy plants that are considered invasive in some areas. They spread rapidly, and are incredibly difficult to control because new plants can sprout from even tiny sections of root left in the soil.
They’re popular in permaculture gardening circles because of their ability to pull micro-nutrients from deep in the soil, and the tops are cut and applied in a number of ways as soil amendments.
BENEFITS OF COMFREY
Comfrey has been shown to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and speed skin healing. It contains allantoin, a substance believed to promote healing by stimulating the growth of new cells.
PRECAUTIONS FOR USE
Do not ingest comfrey! Comfrey isn’t for internal use and you should never ingest comfrey in any form. Older herbals recommended consuming comfrey to help with bone healing, but that’s no longer recommended due to the risk of liver poisoning (and death in high enough doses). Skin reactions have been reported in a small number of people in the clinical trials I mention, and there’s always the possibility of an allergy. I’d suggest doing a small patch test before using too much for the first time, just to be sure that you don’t have a reaction. That goes for any topical herbal remedy, not just comfrey salve.
Comfrey is for external use only, which is why a comfrey salve is an excellent way to use it. Since it’s potentially toxic taken internally, these days comfrey is only used topically as a herbal salve or cream. Salves are easy to make and require minimal ingredients and equipment. They’re also simple to use, and can store for extended periods (1-2 years) without spoiling or losing potency
Herbalists commonly recommend comfrey salves for sprains, strains, muscle pain, arthritis, bruises, and fractures.
HOW TO MAKE A COMFREY SALVE
4 oz Almond Oil
1-2 dropperfuls Richard’s Comfrey extract
0.5 oz Richard’s beeswax
3 - 2 oz tins (see our DIY Packaging)
Place Richard’s Comfrey extract, Almond oil, and Richard’s beeswax into a heatproof bowl and warm gently over a double boiler. Stir to combine and once melted, remove from heat.
Pour the comfrey salve into salve tins or small jars and allow the mixture to cool for a few hours before using.
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