Comfrey in Water
Comfrey in Water
Water extracts many important plant constituents including minerals, proteins, sugars, starches, polyphenols, volatiles, and vitamins. Some alkaloids are extracted by water, including allantoin and PAs.
Water-based remedies include, teas, infusions, decoctions, poultices, compresses, soaks, baths, and fomentations.
I use comfrey leaf internally and externally.
I use comfrey root externally only.
Comfrey Leaf Tea: steep 1-3 teaspoons of fresh or dried comfrey leaf in a cup of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Sun tea, made by steeping herbs in a glass jar placed in the sun for hours, breeds nasty bacteria in protein-rich teas like comfrey. Add honey to increase soothing qualities.
- Tea is brewed for too short a time to extract minerals.
- Sun tea - made by putting herb and water in a clear glass jar which is left in the sun - is not a safe method for high-protein herbs like comfrey. Avoid.
- Drying breaks the cell walls, allowing minerals and other nutrients to infuse into water. A cup of fresh comfrey leaf tea has about 5mg of calcium. A cup of dried comfrey leaf infusion has about 250mg of calcium (50 times more).
Comfrey Leaf Infusion: Weigh out one ounce/30grams of dried herb and place in a quart/liter canning jar. Fill to the top with boiling water and cap tightly. Steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain, retaining wet comfrey leaves for rebrew. Refrigerate the liquid. Enjoy it chilled or warmed, with honey or miso.
Rebrew: Cold/hot Method - Put wet comfrey leaves in a saucepan snd add 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover and steep 3-4 hours. Strain, squeezing well. Refrigerate. Add rebrew to infusion or drink alone. Cold/cold Method: Return wet comfrey leaves to jar. Fill with cold water. Place in fridge. Ready to use in 6-8 hours.
- Weigh the herb when making infusion. The volume of one ounce varies enormously. An ounce of home-harvested comfrey stalk/leaf/flowers cut in two inch pieces nearly fills a 4 cup jar. An ounce of commercial cut & shift comfrey leaf is less than a cup.
- A quart of nourishing herbal infusion a day provides all the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants you need, plus lavish amounts of vegetable protein.
- Replacing the water you drink with nourishing herbal infusion will supercharge your energy and your health.
- Drink infusions hot or cold, seasoned with honey or miso. Great iced. Add other liquids to them, and them to soups.
EXTERNAL USES OF COMFREY
External applications of comfrey leaf or root hasten healing and help remedy both acute and chronic distresses such as bee and wasp stings (spit poultice), itchy bites and eye problems (vinegar poultice), broken bones and bruises (compress), wounds (fomentation), bed sores (comfrey and honey poultice), bleeding, swelling (ice poultice), and pain (soaks).
- Use your hand, other plants, a bandaid, compression bandage (Ace wrap), or piece of fabric to hold a poultice in place.
- If repeated applications are needed, you can reuse your poultice or compress if there is no infection.
- Even wounds that require medical care benefit from external applications of comfrey to help control pain, staunch bleeding, and hasten healing.
Comfrey Leaf Spit Poultice
Chew a fresh comfrey leaf until juicy. Spit onto bite, or spit into hand and apply.
- Ideal for dealing with stings, bites, burns, minor wounds, pain, itching.
Comfrey Leaf/Root Poultice
Moisten fresh or dried comfrey leaf or roots by pounding, crushing, or boiling. Spent herb from infusion can be used. Apply room temperature Herb directly to sprain, strain, bite or wound.
- Best for larger wounds and abrasions, swelling, burns.
- Ice poultices counter swelling. Heated poultices ease pain.
Ice Comfrey Poultice
Freeze ice cubes of comfrey leaf or root infusion. Apply directly to the distress or wrap in a wash cloth and apply. Or jelly-roll spent comfrey leaf from infusion/rebrew in a kitchen towel, freeze slightly, and apply.
- Handy for sprains, contusions, pulled muscles, broken bones.
Heated Comfrey Poultice
Boil fresh or dried comfrey leaves (or mast from infusion) in a little water for 10-20 minutes. Apply wet comfrey directly to desired area. Cover with water-proof material; and cover with a heating pad.
- Deeply relaxing and soothing to deep pain, contusions, digestive pain, lung woes.
Combine fresh comfrey leaves or roots with honey in a blender or food processor and apply immediately. Dr. Christopher claimed miracle cures of severe burns using comfrey blended with honey.
Or chop enough fresh comfrey leaves or roots to fill a jar. Add honey to completely fill jar. Best after six weeks, but May be used immediately if needed.
- Avoid raw honey as it contains contaminates and may encourage infection.
- Comfrey/honey is used to heal burns, ulcers, wounds, cold sores, pimples/acne.
- Moisten affected area with water and apply comfrey honey.
Comfrey Leaf/Root Vinegar Poultice or Fomentation
Use the comfrey leaves or roots from a previously-prepared comfrey vinegar as a poultice, cold or hot. (To make comfrey vinegar: Chop fresh comfrey. Fill jar. Add pasteurized vinegar. Lid, label. Ready in 6 weeks.) Or make a fomentation.
Instead of bringing the herb to the distress by poulticing, we can also bring the distress to the herb with soaks and baths, fomentations and compresses.
Immerse distressed area directly in a basin or tub of comfrey leaf or root infusion or tea.
- Warm or cool, as you wish.
- A short soak (3-5 minutes) is just as effective as a long one.
- Comfrey "bottom" soaks are a soothing, healing favorite after birth.
- Pour a gallon of comfrey infusion into a cool bath to deal with extensive rashes. Into a hot bath to deal with trauma.
- Avoid essential oils in baths.
- Herbal baths are an important part of herbalism in Central America.
- Be diligent about hygiene when dealing with infected wounds, or wounds that could easily get infected. Scrub tub or container before and after use. Use soak liquid and herb only once. Do not reuse soak or herb when infection is present or lurking.
Soak an old, stained -- but freshly-washed — cloth napkin, kitchen towel, thin bath towel, shirt, leggings, or piece of flannel in comfrey leaf or root infusion or tea. Apply to the distress. Cover with water-proof material, like a thick plastic bag. Add a heating pad if desired. Chill before applying if desired.
- The abundant tannins in comfrey stain exceedingly well. Protect your clothes snd sheets.
Comfrey Leaf/Root Compress
Add wet plants to your fomentation and you have a compress.
- Spread comfrey leaf from infusion - or crushed fresh comfrey leaves - evenly across a ratty kitchen towel. (Comfrey stains.) Roll up and place in freezer for one hour. Apply to broken bones, concussions, sprains.
- Spread herb strained from comfrey root or leaf oil, honey, or vinegar onto a wet, hot cloth. Fold or roll and apply. If desired, cover with a wool pad or a heating pad.