‘Tis the Season to make Christmas gifts, and Bea and I started yesterday morning, making another, larger batch of comfrey-rosemary salve. (Joining the KCCO today.)
Comfrey, also known as knit-bone, is touted as having strong healing properties. I have used it daily on my broken ankle once the stitches healed (don’t use the salve on open wounds), but it is also commonly used on bruises and other injuries. It is a soothing salve to rub onto bumps, bruises, sore muscles, etc – all of which are common place in a house with 3 roller derby girls and very active, energetic kids.
Bea and I made this batch early in the morning before the other kids woke up. At ten years-old, she can work with the hot wax and oil safely (with a little supervision, of course).
We have a $0.25 pot from the thrift store that is used only for beeswax-based projects. Most of the jars were also from the thrift store, as well as some baby food jars given to me by a friend.
I grow loads of Russian Bocking Comfrey in my garden because it is a dynamic accumulator and sequesters all sorts of minerals in its leaves – thereby making it a great fertilizer in the garden, as well as excellent duck forage. It has deep tap roots (up to 12 feet deep!), which help break up our dense clay soil, and its delicate purple flowers are a favorite of bees – blooming for a long stretch.
I had picked the comfrey and rosemary a few months ago and dried them, but you can also order the dried herbs online if you don’t have a source in your yard.
Once you have the ingredients gathered, the salve takes only about 15 minutes to make. Here’s our recipe:
3/4 cup organic olive oil
4 Tbsp dried comfrey leaves
3 sprigs dried rosemary (you can substitute 2 Tbsp dried lavender if you prefer)
1 Tbsp vitamin E oil
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
6 Tbsp chopped beeswax
10 drops tangerine or 4 drops patchouli oil (if using dried lavender, substitute with lavender oil)
– Infuse the dried herbs in the olive oil. This can be done two ways: either place the herbs and oil in a double boiler and heat gently over water (do not boil the oil over direct heat) for 30-45 minutes, or place dried herbs in the oil, cover and store in a dark place for 3-4 weeks. (Note: Do NOT use fresh herbs – the water in them will cause your oil/finish salve to mold. Herbs must be thoroughly dried.)
-Strain the dried herbs from the finished olive oil and discard them in the compost.
-Place the chopped beeswax, infused olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil in a pan. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are completely melted.
– Immediately remove from the heat, and stir in the tangerine oil.
– Pour into jars, and let cool with the lids off. Once thoroughly solidified, the salve will keep in a dark place at room temperature for 6 months or more. (Our kitchen was very cold when we made the salve, and it cooled very rapidly, resulting in cracks on the surface of the salve. Next time, I will wrap towels around the jars or perhaps cover them with a pot so they cool more slowly.)
Back tomorrow for the Yarn Along!