Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Mashkiki-wan: medicinal plants #1: COMFREY: as an herbal?


This is part 1 in a 1 part series: Mashkiki-wan: medicinal plants

  1. COMFREY: as an herbal?

Mashkiki-wan is the Ojibwe word for medicinal plant. 

Ntam mashkiki: nbiish. 
Eko-niizhing: mashkiki-wan. 

First medicine: water. Second: medicinal plants 

This week, I harvested some comfrey plants, just as they were starting their spring growth, full of nutrients and growth power. 

Why comfrey?

The comfrey that I have in my yard is supposedly the clumping variety but it still spreads like crazy and Rick hates it. 

I think he hates it because he doesn’t know whether he should run it over with the lawnmower or if it is one of my precious plants. 

I have told him to just cut it down because the leaves will nourish the soil and nearby trees and it will grow back, but .. he still doesn’t like it. 

Comfrey has deep tap roots that reach down deep into the soil and bring the nutrients to the surface. 
The leaves, then, become wonderful compost for surrounding plants, when the plant dies off for the year. 

When I first heard an herbalist talk about the benefits of the comfort plant - from roots, to leaves, to flowers, I knew that I had to try drying it this year to use as a poultice. 

The main thing that was mentioned was the effect on cell rejuvenation, as in fast healing. Interesting - especially as, with an aging body that isn’t in great health, sores/wounds seem to take forever to heal! 

From that video, I went to PUBMED, my #1 source of medical information m, and I found that medical researchers are studying the use of comfrey for pain and skin issues, such as severely dry skin. 

Note: comfrey - not for internal use

I’ll let you do your own research.

My story

Working on my greenhouse last week, I really messed up my hip and it hurt!!
I used oils … I used pain creams …I used an “icy hot” pad, glued to my hack …  my hip still hurt. It was hard to sleep.

And then I remembered that I had harvested some comfrey to dry (and they were in the freeze-dryer) and I had some leftover leaves in the kitchen.

I took some of the leftover fresh leaves, crumbled them in my hand and put them on my hip, secured by the “icy hot” pad. 

It wasn’t long and I was asleep and my hip was so much better in the morning. 

Was it coincidence?

I don’t know if it was timing or if it really was the comfrey that helped.

What I do know is that I am going to be harvesting more, to make tinctures and compresses!
Infused Oil
Dried comfrey leaves
Covered with olive oil
Sit it in a dark space for two weeks
Drain and preserve the oil.
Apply to skin as needed.

Now .. what else is growing in my yard??
- Debbie

a simpler life