The Fall - Brings Root Medicine
Why do we call October the start of “Root Medicine Month”?
It’s when all the energy starts going back down to the roots of the plant.
It’s when the cycle of the herbaceous, or the deciduous perennials is finished blooming. They die back beginning in October or the first frost, bringing all the plant's energy back down their roots.
In this blog, you’ll learn about the history and folklore of Comfrey and its many therapeutic actions.
Let’s take a look at what’s in Andrea’s Garden that she digs to make tinctures and other herbal medicines out of.
Today let’s talk about Comfrey, one of my favorites to have in my garden.
Everyone should have this herb on hand in their herbal arsenal.
Latin name: (Symphytum officinale) Symphtum - “means to make grow together”
Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
This plant is known by many names, Boneset, Knit bone, and slippery root and it does just that, they're many different varieties, so choose the one for your climate and soil.
They grow anywhere and once established and can become very unruly, very hard to get rid of.
Height is from 3-6 feet with long lance-like leaves, that are bristly and hairy. Comfrey has beautiful bell-like flowers which range from dark purple and fad to pink, some even white.
Comfrey contains allantoin, rosmarinic acid, tannins, and a chemical called
*Pyrrolizidine alkaloids*. Known as PAs
For this reason, is why Comfrey has been banned in the US for oral use. It is believed to cause liver damage.
When made into a salve and used externally PAs are not an issue.
What is Comfrey and what’s it used for?
Falls, blows, scraps, cuts, wounds, fractures, sprains, muscle aches, back and joint pain, boils, and much more.
These are all part of our daily life experiences, especially here where medical treatment is 35 minutes to an hour away.
Comfrey tea, made from the leaves, roots, and flowers is still being used in the UK and by many healers, for upset stomach, ulcers, heavy menstrual periods, diarrhea, persistent cough, pleurisy, bronchitis, angina are just some of the uses.
As a gargle for gum disease and sore throat.
***Consult a medical professional before using internally***
Applying the large leaves as a compress directly to the skin for sprains, bug bites/stings, bruises, back pain, and burns, but my favorite way to use Comfrey is as a salve Get the salve here: https://www.aromatherachi.com/collections/herbals-teas-tinctures/products/comfrey-root-powder-organic-symphytum-officinale
See my how-to-process Comfrey from harvesting it and making it into a powder.
Testimonial of how Comfrey worked for her; read here:
Recipe: Comfrey Salve
What you will need to infuse your Comfrey oil?
1 QT. Canning Jar
Leaf, root, and flower of the comfrey plant, fresh or dried
- Chop and put in Qt. Jar cover with oil of choice, I use Jojoba, but some other oils you can use are: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond and Avocado Oil.
- Let stand for 6-8 weeks shaking every day or a quicker way to infuse your oil is to heat it in a double boiler or slow cooker. In a double boiler, just simmering don’t boil for a least 8hrs. In a slow cooker over night, Strain. You now have infused Comfrey oil.
2 Cups Comfrey Oil
½ Cup bees wax
25 drops of one of the following E.O.’s or mix several of your favorites.
(Lavender, Marjoram, Helichrysum, Yarrow, Black Pepper, Lemongrass, Juniper)
- Heat in a double boiler till all melted, pour into Jar or Tin
- Let cool
- All set and ready to use.