October 1, 2020

How To Make a Comfrey Salve

Several of you have wondered what happened to my "How To Make a Comfrey Salve" post. It showed up on feed readers, but the link rendered a "not found" error. That was because I accidentally hit "publish" before it was ready. I quickly reverted to draft, but feed readers don't make retractions, so that's what happened. Here it is with a slightly different title, in hopes it will hit the feed readers afresh. UPDATE: apparently the feed reader didn't recognize it, even with a new title. 😖 So I changed the title back again.

In my "Peppermint Tea" blog post, I mentioned that autumn is my time to work on many of my herbal preparations. Recently, I finished a batch of comfrey salve.

Of the 90 comfrey roots I've planted over the years, only
 a dozen survived. They seem to like it under my fruit trees.

Comfrey is also known as knit-bone. Modern science cautions against taking it internally, but it makes an excellent salve for muscle or bone bruises. It can be used on cuts and scrapes too, with the precaution not to apply it to dirty or deep wounds. 

The recipe is simple. It requires dried comfrey leaves, a carrier oil such as olive oil, and some beeswax. It can be picked fresh and partially dried. The high water content of fresh leaves can shorten shelf life, so wilted or dried leaves are recommended.

I dehydrated my fresh leaves for a couple of hours.

Recipe from my herb notebook.

The first step is to make an infused oil.

Enough olive oil to cover the comfrey.

The healing properties are extracted from several hours of low heat. Then it's strained.

Isn't that a lovely green!

Next, the oil is returned to the pan and the beeswax added.

Adding shredded beeswax to the infused oil.

Just enough beeswax is added to give the oil a spreadable but still soft consistency. To know if I've got that, I drip a little of the melted mixture onto a spoon and place the spoon in the freezer for a minute or so. That gives me an idea of what it will be like after it's cooled.

A good consistency. If the salve is stored in the fridge,
then it will be stiffer until warmed to room temperature.

Then the melted salve is poured off into a jar and allowed to cool.

Half-pint jar is perfect for a small batch.

Then it's lidded and labeled.

The same recipe can be used to make a variety of herbal salves, which are very handy to have around. Which makes me think this is the perfect time to run a special on one of my little eBooks, especially since it's been newly revised.

How To Make An Herbal Salve: an introduction to salves, creams, ointments, & more from The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos. Updated with more information and new photos. Available in a variety of e-formats. $2.49. You can find out more about it and where to find it at this link.

Now through Sunday, get it free at Smashwords.com with coupon code RG76E (expired).

How To Make a Comfrey Salve 
© Oct. 2020 by Leigh at


Rosalea said...

Thank you Leigh. I was wondering what happened to that post. Wish I'd remembered to dig up my comfrey root when we moved. It was growing, but poorly, under the trees at the back of our old yard.

Leigh said...

Rosalea, that isn't the first time I've done that!

My comfrey hasn't done well over the years. Too hot here? So I pamper the few plants I have left!

Mx. Ó Néill said...

I'd been thinking about getting some Comfrey at some point and now this makes me want to get some even more. I love making things like this.

Leigh said...

Mx. Ó Néill, hello and welcome! Comfrey is a wonderful plant to have around. Useful and pretty too!

Mx. Ó Néill said...

Thank you! :) It really seems it.

Goatldi said...

I meant to ask where it went but got busy and lost track. Nice post I may give comfrey a place to grow here. Is the “wild” plant the same appearance as a yours?

Leigh said...

Goatldi, I know all about busy! The comfrey in the photo is the Russian hybrid. It's very similar to the wild variety, but I think the leaves are a little hairier and it seems to get just a tad bigger. Medicinal value is said to be the same.

Leigh said...

P.S. The goats love both. :)

Goatldi said...

Good to know for obvious reasons 😂

Leigh said...

I knew you'd find that tidbit interesting. :)