For a couple of years now I have hosted crafternoons in my garden on the first Saturday of the month. I am a bit of jack of all trades, so like to learn to make something, and then move onto to something else. I like what I make to be useful, so making something in one afternoon suits me, and the friends I invite. This last Saturday we made comfrey salve, or comfrey ointment.
I grow comfrey in my garden as it is a great compost accelerator, and comfrey leaves can make a great home made fertilizer. Another name for comfrey is knitbone, and in the past when I had a sprained ankle I placed a leaf over my ankle and then bandaged it. I do believe that magic leaf accelerated healing! You don’t always want to walk around with leaves bandaged to different parts of your body though, so I researched comfrey ointment. It fast became a firm favourite, so I thought would be a fun thing to make at crafternoons.
I had just divided up my clump of plants, leaving one plant in the pot and spreading a couple more around in the ground. I picked about eight leaves and washed them and left them on the counter overnight to dry. In the morning I placed these into the crockpot with 600ml of oil. I kept that on low for a couple of hours – the comfrey went quite crisp, and the oil a lovely green.
Once everyone arrived we fished out the comfrey, (which went into the compost) and then added 60g of beeswax and and turned the heat back up to low. Once that was melted in, I turned off the crockpot and added a couple of drops of vitamin e and about a tsp of tea tree oil. Then I poured the mixture into four sterilized jars and left to cool. It will keep in the cupboard, as the vitamin e and tea tree oil act as preservatives, but you can store them in the fridge just in case. I live in a hot climate, so tend to go with the fridge option. My hubby has a damaged tendon in his ankle and I wanted to try this to see if it would help him heal. So guess who is going to get a foot rub every evening!
While we sat in the garden and enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of my wonderful vegan chocolate cake we realized how much we had missed spending time together while in isolation. Now at least I can have a few friends over and we can make things, and nurture our souls.
I will leave you with this lovely American Indian tale:
“ Grandma how do you deal with pain?”
” With your hands, dear. When you do it with your mind, the pain hardens even more.”
“With your hands, grandma?”
” Yes, yes. Our hands are the antennas of our soul. When you move them by sewing, cooking, painting, touching the earth or sinking it into the earth, they send signals of caring to the deepest part of you and your soul calms down.
This way she doesn’t have to send pain anymore to show it.
” Are hands really that important?”
” Yes my girl. Thinking of babies: they get to know the world thanks to their touches. When you look at the hands of older people, they tell more about their lives than any other part of the body. Everything that is made by hand, so is said, is made with the heart because it really is like this: hands and heart are connected. Masseuses know this: When they touch another person’s body with their hands, they create a deep connection. Thinking of lovers: When their hands touch, they love each other in the most sublime way.”
” My hands grandma… how long haven’t I used them like that!”
” Move them my girl, start creating with them and everything in you will move. The pain will not pass away. But it will be the best masterpiece. And it won’t hurt anymore. Because you managed to embroider your essence.”
~ Elena Barnabé