A few days ago someone asked me for some information on using beeswax to make salve. My quick response was to refer them to our blog here, specifically to the article on Comfrey Salve. An article that I never actually got around to writing! I’ve taught a workshop on making comfrey salve, gone on and on to all my friends and family about how great it is, but have yet to share my recipe with the rest of the world here on this blog. So without further ado…
Comfrey is a vigorous perennial that grows in clumps, reaching 3 feet tall. It is beneficial to not only insects and it’s many companion plants, but it also contains allantoin, which is thought to stimulate cell growth and repair wounds while simultaneously depressing inflammation. One of the old-time common names for comfrey is “knit-bone” because it is known to have great healing properties for broken bones.
A salve is a great way to use comfrey in a topical manner. It is super easy to make and can be made in big batches to share with friends and family. It’s safe to use on babies and kids for diaper rash, bug bites, bruises, cuts, and pretty much anything. There are multiple ways of making salve, this is the one I prefer.
1. Gather your ingredients and equipment.
You will need fresh comfrey (you can use dried, but fresh is better), Beeswax (from a local beekeeper is best), Oil (you can use Almond, Olive, Grape seed, Jojoba, or any other high quality oil you prefer). I like to add a few other healing herbs to my comfrey salve including lemon balm, lavender, or rosemary.
Equipment: Food processor or blender, heat source, strainer or cheesecloth, small jars or tins, ladle, heavy pot/ double broiler/ crock pot (optional), mason jar (optional).
2. In a blender or food processor, stuff a bunch of comfrey leaf. Pour in the oil of your choice and pulse or chop the leaves until they are to the consistency of pesto. Add more oil or leaves until you get the right consistency.
3. Once you get all the leaves turned into an oily pulp, you need to gently heat the mixture for several hours, infusing the oil with the herbs. You can use the sun to do this, a fire, your stove top or a crockpot. The key is to not “fry” the herbs. My favorite method is to place the oil mixture in a quart mason jar, set the mason jar in a crock pot, fill the crockpot with water so that the mason jar is surrounded in a water bath, and turn the crock pot on low for a day.
4. When the oil is infused, it’s time strain out the pulp. This can be a bit messy, so have all your equipment ready and some towels to clean up if you need. Use a large bowl or another mason jar to strain the oil into. Use a wire mesh stainer or cheesecloth and slowly pour the warm oil through. If you get a let a bit of the plant material through, that is OK, but too much can cause the salve to go rancid because of the water content in the fresh herbs.
5 Melt the beeswax. I have a special pot that I use specifically for beeswax because it is a real pain to clean off. Equal parts beeswax to infused oil will give you a soft salve that is easy to remove from the jar. More beeswax will make it harder. I prefer it to be soft because I often use quite a bit at once. Beeswax that has a high honey content smells wonderful and adds another medicinal element to your salve.
6. Mix the beeswax with the infused oil. I have a special bowl that I use just for this job too, because once you mix the beeswax in, it is hard to clean unless you use boiling water.
7. Quickly pour the mixture while it is still hot into the jars or tins and place the lids on. Let cool.
8. Use and enjoy. Experiment with adding other herbs or essential oils. You can use the same basic recipe for any type of salve.
If you are interested in buying some salve already made up follow this link!
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- Fantabulous Comfrey!
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