A good friend of mine sent out a cry for help this week: ‘I personally would be interested in a post about selling your excess comfrey for fun and profit. Or giving it away. Or paving over it before it takes over the neighborhood.’ So let’s get to it!
Comfrey is a very prolific plant and will just grow and grow and grow. This is also what it does to our body when we ingest or use it topically. There are some cautions around the safety of using comfrey internally so for this article we will not be discussing those uses. Comfrey can be used for a wide variety of things so let’s use up this beautiful medicine that is eating up our garden space.
First of all, if you are trying to reduce the spread of your comfrey you want to be use the root. There are some excellent uses for the root. I would make sure to not be spreading the root as fertilizer however. Pop the root in a blender, throw it out the window, and watch it grow and take over! Don’t use it as a fertilizer if you are trying to get rid of it.
Preparing your Roots:
- When you harvest the root be sure to clean it thoroughly before it is dried. This can be done by soaking the roots for an hour and then rinsing them off. For larger roots you may want to scrub them with a brush.
- Chop your roots into very small pieces. Spread them out on a clean baking sheet. You may choose to use parchment paper under your roots. Bake them at the lowest temperature your oven allows until dry. Every 30-45 minutes I recommend shuffling your roots around on your tray and checking to see if they are dry. You do not want to cook your roots.
- If you need a powder of roots, directly after drying, put them into a high-powered blender or a coffee grinder that is just for your herbs to powder your roots.
Using your Roots:
- Make an infused oil for use on bruises, scars, and wounds.
- Turn your infused oil into a salve.
- Store powder in the freezer so you can keep it fresh longer. Use small amounts of powder as a poultice directly on wounds.
- Make into a tincture to use as a liniment on sore muscles and bruises. I recommend 40% alcohol at a 1:8 extract.
Comfrey root oil and alcohol extracts will be very sticky. This does not mean it has gone bad but that the medicine is in there. Be sure to check back next Thursday for how you can use comfrey leaf. If you are interested in learning more about herbal preparations you may want to consider an internship with The Dancing Herbalist or a private class session. If you would like to see if using comfrey is right for you on a regular basis be sure to contact us for a consultation with one of The Dancing Herbalist’s Herbalists.