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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Comfrey, Plantain and Yarrow Salve Recipe

This salve is reputed (please see the disclaimer at the bottom) to reduce a variety of skin irritations and encourages cell growth. Combined, these herbs can be a perfect remedy for hard to treat diaper rash, eczema, burns and psoriasis.

Please note: A comfrey-based salve should not be used on deep and/or puncture types of wounds. It is said to have the power to regenerate new cell growth over the top of the wound before it has time to heal the deeper tissue. It is kind of like a cat when the cat gets an abscess, healing over too quickly and getting all... nasty.

I made a small batch. My original recipe makes a lot of salve. You can adjust the recipe up or down to suit your needs. I made the fast version by infusing the herbs in a jar in the crock pot.

Oh... I had some dried yarrow on hand and added it to the herb blend. I love yarrow and thought it would be a great addition. You can omit the yarrow if you wish, adjusting the olive oil if needed. Infusions are adaptable and not written in stone.


Comfrey, Plantain and Yarrow Salve

24 to 32 oz. olive oil (3 to 4 cups)
6 oz. dried comfrey leaves
3 oz. dried plantain leaves
3 oz. dried yarrow, leaves
     (and flowers, if possible)
4 to 6 oz. beeswax (I prefer the smaller amount)

Herb Infusion Slow Version
Combine comfrey and plantain leaves in a quart-sized glass jar. Pour enough olive oil over to cover the herbs, leaving 1/2" head-space. Cap with a plastic lid. Leave on the counter for 4 to 6 weeks, stirring every day or three. You can repeat this procedure once or twice more to really get a strong blend. Your choice.

Herb Infusion Fast Version
Make the same as above, except: Put a washcloth on the bottom of your crock pot. Sit your jar inside, then fill the crock pot with enough water to match the depth of the oil in the jar, but not high enough to reach the lid. You do not want water inside! The plastic lids are notorious for leaking if you shake the jar vigorously. Place the lid on your crock pot and set to high for one hour, then turn it down to low for 4 hours or more. Watch your water depth, in case. I have infused oils for days using this method for really strong infusions.

Herb Infusion No-Patience Version
Put herbs in a double-boiler (or pan if you do not have a double-boiler pan). Cover with 24 oz. to 32 oz. (3 to 4 cups) of olive oil. Simmer over low heat for one hour, checking the water depth in the bottom pan of the double-boiler (if using) to be sure the water is not simmered away. (It is an unpleasant experience you do not want to have, and possible fire hazard.)

After the oil is infused to your preference, strain well into a large measuring cup to see how much oil you have (it varies- sunspots play into it, I think). If you want to cut the recipe down, measure out what you need for your adjusted recipe and put the remaining oil in a glass jar and cap the jar. Label and date and put away in a dark place until you need it.

Now...

Over low heat, (double-boiler... again), mix together the oil and the beeswax. Normally, you use 1 oz. to 2 oz. of beeswax to each 8 oz. of oil for a salve. It is better to start with the smaller amount and adjust to your preference of how hard you like your salves.

When the beeswax is melted and blended into the infused oil, pour into jars or tins. I like to stir with a metal lace knitting needle, wait 5 minutes, then stir again until creamy. I prefer the texture. You can pour the salve and let it set up without fussing with it too, like I did with this particular batch (I was doing other things and forgot). It is said this salve will keep for up to 5 years if kept in a cool, dark place.

To use: Do I really need to tell you how to get some on a finger and how to rub in a salve? No? Good.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or claim to be one. This recipe is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Always see your favorite Medical, Voodoo, Hoodoo or Witch Doctor/Practitioner, Old Man Tree, Mr. Toad, etc., when you are sick, broken or having a bad day. Always research something on your own. I claim no responsibility nor can be held accountable for any reactions and/or any other undesirable results one may have if they follow and use this recipe, including zits, warts, smelling funny, and so on.

2 comments :

  1. Did you use fresh herbs? Or did you dry them? Did you dry the comfrey and use fresh plantain and yarrow? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I dry mine. Any moisture in the oil ruins the salve, in my opinion.Others simmer their herbs in the oils fresh. Theirs tend to have a shorter lifespan than using dried.

    Use the method you prefer. THAT is what counts. ;)

    ReplyDelete