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Comfrey Root in a salve

 
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I have come up with a backyard salve that I use for all our first aid needs. Cuts, scrapes, bug bites, bruises, punctures, and a ruptured abscess on the cat. Since it has worked well for everything, I used to refer to it as “snake oil” harkening back to the olden days, when a salesman rolls into town in a wagon, claiming that this or that potion is a cure-all for whatever may ail you. Honey put an end to that suggesting I may be veiwed as a charlatan. Sigh. I really liked that joke. Ah well. He had a point though. Somebody who actually used my salve wanted to know where I got the snake oil to put in it. Oooops.

I use dried herbs of equal parts of Wide Leaf Plantain, Yellow Dock Leaf, and Mullein.

Is there a reason to use any of these leaves fresh instead of dried?

I will be making an additional salve that includes Comfrey Root, as it contains more allantoin (the cell proliferate) than the leaves, to be used on non-puncture wounds. Should I measure an equal amount of comfrey, or would a stronger portion be a better plan?

Or perhaps I should keep the Comfrey completely separate?

 
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Hello again Joylynn,

Here are my two cents about this.

Plantain leaf leaf can be used dry to make oils for salve. I only use fresh, young  unfurled, mucilaginous leaves as a healing remedy from Yellow Dock as I am not happy with the older or dried leaves. The mucilage disappears once dried and that is what I want. I use it as an outdoor first aid item.  So, I have never made oil with it to advise you. You did not mention what part of Mullein you are using but I assume the flower. For flower it is usually used fresh, right off the plant and I cook it low and slow personally.  There are oils that have to be made from fresh herbs and that is the only time I make a fresh oil since they are much more complicated to make. If I can make a dry oil and get results, I do. Regarding Comfrey, it is hard to extract the root into oil. I found over the years that the leaf, using big ribbed (ribs have more allantoin in studies) leaves actually made a really good salve and better than the root since it was harder to extract the root into the oil. Personally when I use Comfrey root, I prefer it fresh. It is such an amazing plant. With these four ingredients, I would personally go with more Plantain and Comfrey myself, then Mullein and last the Yellow dock. However you know what you will be using it for and will know best. I have not used mullein flower oil for years as I usually use either Calendula or Saint John's Wort oil for anything I would use Mullein oil for. They are both easier to make as far as I am concerned. SJW has to be made with a heated oil extraction too.

My favorite salve is plain Calendula. It does everything I want a  healing salve to do and it is easy to extract into oil. I use to make more complicated salves when younger, but I have simplified things in my old age. It was really fun experimenting when younger and I use to like to make complicated mixtures. Now I am more practical.


 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I use Mullein Leaf in my salve. I have used the fresh flowers for infused oil for earaches, it works wonders!

Regarding Comfrey, it is hard to extract the root into oil.


Okay. I'll save the roots for propogation. Yay! More plants!

I have not used mullein flower oil for years as I usually use either Calendula or Saint John's Wort oil for anything I would use Mullein oil for. They are both easier to make as far as I am concerned. SJW has to be made with a heated oil extraction too.  



I'll keep that in mind. I've had trouble establishing theese at my place. I'm sure it is due to inattention. Mullein, Dock, and Plantain require no help to florish in my yard.

My favorite salve is plain Calendula. It does everything I want a  healing salve to do and it is easy to extract into oil.


I'll put growing this higher on my list of priorities. Do you use all arial parts, or just the flowers?

I use to make more complicated salves when younger, but I have simplified things in my old age. It was really fun experimenting when younger and I use to like to make complicated mixtures. Now I am more practical.  



Ha! My first herbal salve I made had 18 different things in it. It was someone else's recipie. I was delighted to discover simplicity was possible!






 
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Hello Joylynn, good for you making salves!

When i went on holiday for Christmas, i dug out a Comfrey root for a friend, because she has a shoulder that's very badly affected by arthritis. I used to cut it up before, but she found out grating it is so much easier. That was true, as well it increases the surface area, so the exchange rate is higher.
Make sure to get it under the oil, when you put it in the pot, muslin or panty on top with marbles or stones does the trick, i use sunflower oil, because it's cheap and it goes into the skin quicker than say olive oil, which is better for massage. Smell it regularly!
Comfrey is very potent! There are warnings never to use on dirty wounds because the dirt is growing into the dirty wound. Not very handy for the cat then for instance! I personally wouldn't mix it in my go-to balm. It helped someone i know with a psoriasis spot. Tendinitis it helped with. It's so potent in Europe it's banned (pyrrolizydine) internally and some herbalists say not to use it on wounds even.

Rosemary balm is so great for muscle ache and grow Aloe Vera (for burns and moisturizing) in pots!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Hugo Morvan wrote: Tendinitis it helped with



Was this a poultice, or a salve?
 
Sharol Tilgner
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The reason I don't use comfrey root as an oil is that the fresh plant oil molds pretty easy even if you use heat there are issues. Dry plant does not extract as well as I would like. However, this is just my opinion. If you make fresh oil, be very careful as if you have a product starting to mold and putting it on a wound that will make the wound worse. I have seen fresh plant oils and glycerites that people are using that have went bad and they don't even realize it.

Regarding the Calendula, I collect the flowers including the green sepals. They are popped off prior to opening, as they are starting to open. The petals are pointing upward and out. They are dried completely before making an oil out of them.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Joylynn, it was a salve, no poultice.
Sharol Tilgner, i left mine longer than recommended, it didn't smell very good, strong though and there was no mold. I don't care to smell a bit weird for a bit haha and neither did the people it helped.
Maybe it would be possible to make a tincture with the roots or the leaves?
 
Sharol Tilgner
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I make tincture of Comfrey with the root. Low alcohol. The alcohol should be around 25%. Don't go over 30%. This will get the mucilage. It is very hard to press and you need to press it by hand even if you own a press. It is a slow process and I suggest using a fine cheese cloth mesh with multiple layers to press it out by hand. Make sure you mix the water and alcohol before adding to the comfrey in your blender. I had someone tell me they added alcohol first and of course the comfrey turned into a  big solidified ball of mucilage when it  mixed with straight alcohol.
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