Friday, May 7, 2010

Comfrey Salve

E takes part in an online wild foods conference for homelearners.  He decided to make a how-to demonstration of his salve making to share there.  I thought it would be fun to share it here as well so without further ado...salve making by E.

This is some comfrey. I am going to make a salve with. You can do this the same way with lots of different plants like calendula, plantain, chickweed and lots more.
This is me chopping some fresh comfrey leaves that I am going to use.
I have chopped them smaller.
Here they are in our chocolate fondue pot. I have used a crock pot when I made calendula salve. You can also use a regular pot but you have to make sure it does not burn because my mom did that once with calendula. The oil is really fast at heating up so you have to watch the temperature. This chocolate fondue pot uses a candle tealight for heat and so it never burns.
This is a picture of a big tub of olive oil.  We use olive oil usually, this time we used grapeseed oil.
This is the comfrey with the oil poured in.
Here is the candle. I heated it for about 5 hours. If you are using a pot on the stove you don't heat it so long. In the summer we use a glass jar put in the sunshine instead, the sun heats it and we leave it for weeks.
Here is the comfrey after a few hours. See that the oil is green.
Here it is being poured into a jar. It is being strained so there are no leaves in it.
Here it is strained and green. This can be used like this as an infused oil.
I have chopped off some of my beeswax. This will make it thicker and creamy. If you add lots of beeswax then it will be pretty hard. I like adding not that much because I like it creamy and easy to spread.
I melted the beeswax in a pot.
Then I poured in the comfrey oil. I mixed it together for a few minutes on very low heat.
Then poured it into jars. It still looks green and liquid but not for long.
Here it is all hardened and ready to use. Sometimes you can add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to make it smell nice and help preserve it.
Have you ever tried making a salve? If you have I would like to hear what kind and what you used it for. I have only made comfrey and calendula salve.


Katherine said...

Well done, E! Your salve looks great and I like how you explained each step so clearly. What will you use your salve for?

Erin said...

That finished color looks gorgeous! We have comfrey up around the farm...if it lasts I would like to try this. (Many community gardeners here use it for compost tea on a first-find-first-use basis!).

I understand it should be good for healing the skin, because of the comfrey. Is that how you would recommend using it, E?

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Heather said...

Hi Katherine and Erin
Yes, he did make it for using on several kinds of skin problems - ezcema, bug bits, scrapes, cuts, rashes, etc. He has already tried it out and it works well. He made some to give away so now he wants to make another batch to be sure we have lots on hand. (we all tend towards lots of scrapes and bumps around here) ;-)

Hi Nichola,
Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. Glad you are enjoying reading. :-)

Justine said...


I was wondering about the online wild foods conference that you mention E taking? My oldest is still too young for that I think (she is just turning 5), but I'm always on the lookout for different and interesting home learning opportunities out there...

Thanks also for even keeping a blog; it is great to know what other BC home learning families are doing...:)


Heather said...

Hi Justine. The wild foods conference is part of the online homelearning community we are involved with called Selfdesign. They have an online "village" and there are loads of different conferences families can take part in if they like.

Justine said...

Thanks for letting me know, Heather. We are enrolled in SD for September...we are really looking forward to it!

Gallifreyan Witch said...

A month of so ago I managed to make my first salve - Comfrey and Aloe Vera. I used a similar method to you, but used water instead of oil and boiled the ingredients multiple times to get as much out of them as possible, then boiled the infused water down into a white-ish looking salve (using emulsifying wax).
I'm really glad I found your site as I need to make some more (I've just cut back the overgrown comfrey so its good timing) and I was wondering how other people made their salves. Thanks.

Kirsten said...

What's the best time of year to harvest the comfrey and infuse the oil?