It is inevitable if you are a gardener, spending time planting, weeding, thinning, pruning, hedging, mowing and generally working hard, that you will eventually come of second best and sprain or strain something. At the moment it is my wrists and forearms that are not faring so well and are aching after a day in the garden. The physio says it is an injury caused by over use of the computer, but certainly the gardening is exacerbating it.
So I did some research and according to everything I read comfrey salve is what I need to settle it down.
It has been used forever as a topical application for bruises, strains, sprains and fractures.
Comfrey contains a substance called allantoin which, according to all I have read is responsible for its healing properties. Not only is it reputed to help the healing of broken bones but it is also supposed to reduce swelling and inflammation in strains and sprains as well.
So I did some more research to come up with a recipe. There are plenty out there and what I tried was a bit of a hybrid of a number of recipes on the net.
What I needed.
• Large saucepan with a heat proof bowl to sit over it, to make a double boiler.
• Fine wire strainer
• Sections of the comfrey plant (I harvested about 12 leaves and a 15cm piece of the root.) I chopped the leaves and grated the root.
• 300ml of olive oil
• 30gms of bees wax grated
• 2 sterilised jars
What I did.
• In the bowl I mixed the chopped and grated plant parts with the oil.
• Placed it on top of the saucepan that contained 10cms of boiling water.
• Left it on low heat for 3 hours, topping up the water in the pot as necessary.
• Allowed the resulting comfrey infused oil to cool and then strained it through the wire sieve.
• Placed the comfrey infused oil back into the bowl, added the grated bees wax.
• Placed the bowl back on top of the saucepan of boiling water and stirred the oil till the wax melted.
• Allowed the mixture to cool slightly then poured the infused oil into the sterilised jars and allowed them to cool.
I have only been using the resulting slave /ointment for 2 days and so far so good.
I am finding the pain in my wrists reduces within minutes of application and I am hoping the long term benefits of my home made comfrey salve will be no pain at all. I will keep you posted.
The only down side is that I find it a bit greasy and after apply the salve and massaging it in for several minutes I then have to wipe the excess oil away, so I might try a different carrier next time.
So here is another use for the fabulous comfrey plant! where would we organic gardeners be without it!
Happy gardening Kathy