Many aches and pains associated with gardening may be relieved using home-made herb oils, which are great for massaging into tight muscles.
Comfrey ointment can be used for relieving pain from sprains, arthritis and inflammation, as well as rubbing into bruises. Comfrey is said to help scar tissue to form, so this ointment may promote the healing of cuts and bruises.
Before using any plant medicinally, do check it is correctly identified, especially if collected from the wild. Don’t use if you’re in any doubt, as wrongly identified plants can be poisonous.
Follow these easy steps to create your own soothing comfrey ointment.
You Will Need
Comfrey leaves (150g fresh or 60g dried)
Petroleum jelly (500g)
China bowl, to fit on top of saucepan
Square of muslin, or jelly bag
Container, with lid
Wash and dry the leaves, and then roughly chop them. Melt the petroleum jelly or wax in a china bowl over a pan of boiling water.
How to make comfrey ointment – chopping the leaves
Once the wax is melted, add the comfrey leaves and simmer for one hour, stirring continuously. Check the saucepan occasionally to make sure the water does not boil dry.
How to make comfrey ointment – mixing leaves with wax
Wearing rubber gloves, as it will be very hot, pour the comfrey mixture into a jelly or muslin bag. Squeeze as much of the mixture as possible through the bag into the bowl.
How to make comfrey ointment – straining the mixture
Pour the hot liquid into a clean jar before it starts to set. Place the lid over the jar, but allow the ointment to cool before finally sealing. Label and date the ointment and store in a cold larder or refrigerator for up to three months.
How to make comfrey ointment – pouring the mixture into a container
A natural alternative
If you’d rather not use the petroleum jelly, a mixture of beeswax, olive oil and coconut oil is a great, natural alternative. You can make this by combining eight tablespoons of olive oil and eight of coconut oil in a pan on a low heat. Then add the comfrey as directed in step 2. Once the mixture has been strained, return to the pan on a low heat and melt in four tablespoons of beeswax pellets. When all melted, you can pour the liquid into a clean jar as directed in step 4.
Forming beautiful rosette patterns, this colourful collection of sempervivums (houseleeks) is a must-have for any garden. Native to alpine regions, they're tolerant to extreme temperatures and drought.