Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Comfrey Ointment for Granny K

One or two people have expressed interest in the quantities for the comfrey ointment. It takes 1 pint of sweet almond oil packed with as many torn comfrey leaves as you can get in there, 4 hours in the oven on the lowest possible heat - you are warming it to extract the goodness from the leaves not cooking it:) Melt 2oz of beeswax in a bowl over a pan of hot water then stir it thoroughly into the strained still warm oil. Pot it into little amber glass pots as fast as you can as it starts to set incredibly quickly. This amount will fill about 8 60ml pots. I get mine from Baldwins. Their service is fast and reliable.

Elderflower ointment is made in exactly the same way using the same quantities of oil and beeswax but using elderflower heads with the thick stalks removed. The elderflowers must be in perfect condition and picked late morning on a dry,sunny day.

It's possible to make smaller quantities if you keep the proportion of 1 pint of oil to 2oz of beeswax eg 1/2 pint of oil and 1oz of beeswax etc.

These receipts came from a book called Herb Sufficient by Christina Stapeley. She is the lady who taught most of the herb courses that I've done and is incredibly knowledgeable.


Lynda (Granny K) said...

Thanks Rowan! I made two little pots of Comfrey ointment, using what I had in my cupboard, which was 'some' almond oil and 'some' beeswax. It has worked well though and I am very proud of my efforts! Now I just need to try it out. The beeswax makes it smell so nice. I used two of those tiny jam pots like you get in posh hotels at breakfast) and sterilized them in the oven before I potted the ointment, to be on the safe side.
I melted the beeswax in a tin can on the stove, added the strained comfrey oil, stirred it and quickly potted it. It was already beginning to set as the oil had cooled down when I added it.
I'll need to get some more almond oil and pots for the Elderflower ointment.
Thanks again for this great post.

miss*R said...

i was one who asked too, so thanks for this.. I have so much comfrey right now!

RunninL8 said...

Thanks! I've been wanting to add some comfrey ointment to our "healing basket"! Now, to find the book you recommended and to figure out if I can go comfrey here in Alaska!

Leanne said...

Thanks rowan, i have been looking for her books second hand in charity sops etc for months, unsuccessfully so far but the search goes on!!

leanne x

Julie said...

Hi, Rowan,

I am just so glad you are back from your long absence and writing about the wonderful things you do!!!

PAT said...

Wonderful post, Rowan! Thank you for the "recipes". I wonder if I would be able to get all the ingredients together, to give this a try!!


Janet said...

Even though I'll most likely never make this it's still wonderful to know that the information is here for me. You are such a treasure trove of knowledge!

smilnsigh said...

Since it's called an ointment, I take it, that it's used medicinally... Not just as a nice smelling rub...


solsticedreamer said...

thank you rowan for that mini~lesson! i shall be having a go myself now :)

Lynn said...

Rowan, I love your blog! I was "referred" here by Mary from Across the Pond. I love to garden and am an aspiring herbalist.

I got an ugly reaction from brushing against some rue -- which I didn't realize my husband had trimmed -- and then working in the sun.

I'm putting a salve on it that's mostly sweet almond oil, olive oil, beeswax, vitamin E with some various other plant ingredients. I did not make it, but it seems to be working well to keep the skin moist and not so irritated.

I've been washing the burns in a wash I made from plaintain leaves. Any other ideas?

I look forward to using your recipes and reading more from your blog!


Mary said...

Hi Rowan - I told my friend Lynn in North Carolina about your wonderful blog and how you work magic with flowers, herbs etc., as well as your interesting travels around the countryside of England. She may be in touch as she has a rash caused by a run in with the rue in her lovely garden!!!

Lynn, an amazing woman who manages to so much in a day, is at

Thanks, as always, for sharing the countryside with us - I would love to be in a cool English meadow right now - it's going to be about 102 again today!

Hugs - Mary.

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks so much for this Rowan! I will bookmark it now! Thanks too for the mention of Baldwins, a great business. I use to live quite near the shop, it's wonderful

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

So glad you posted this Rowan. I`m going to save it and try it out someday :)
Oh....and Elvis did get a treat after his bath. I love that picture of him. It`s so funny!


kate smudges said...

Now if I can only get my hands on some comfrey. I have almond oil and beeswax. I'd love to try this. Thank you!