Friday, June 23, 2023

How to Make Comfrey Oil

Discover the benefits of comfrey oil and learn how to make it at home. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating comfrey oil, a versatile and nourishing oil for topical use.  You'll also learn how to use comfrey oil and its benefits for natural beauty.

Comfrey Infused Oil Recipe

What is comfrey oil? Comfrey oil is a herbal oil derived from the comfrey plant, known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

By infused the dried plant with a carrier oil, you get the benefits of both the herb and the oil for natural skin care.

Benefits and uses of comfrey oil for the skin include promoting cell regeneration, reducing inflammation, and soothing minor skin irritations. 

Comfrey oil is able to promote healing and reduce inflammation due to its high content of allantoin, a compound that aids in tissue repair.

For more ways to use herbs, check out these posts:

Keep track of your natural recipes with this essential oil journal.  You can print the pages and create a binder to store your recipes and other information.

If you want to learn more about using herbs in natural remedies, I highly recommend The Herbal Academy courses.  They have several courses from beginner to advanced.

The Science Behind Comfrey Oil

Active compounds in comfrey leaves, such as allantoin and rosmarinic acid, contribute to its healing effects. 

Research studies have shown the efficacy of comfrey oil in wound healing, reducing inflammation, and alleviating symptoms of conditions like eczema. 

However, it's important to note that comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can be toxic when ingested or used on broken skin. Therefore, comfrey oil should only be used externally, and prolonged or extensive use should be avoided.

Choosing the Right Comfrey

Different species of comfrey plants can be used for oil extraction, including Symphytum officinale and Symphytum uplandicum. 

When selecting comfrey leaves, you can choose between fresh or dried ones. Fresh comfrey leaves are ideal if you have access to the plant, while dried comfrey leaves can be readily purchased. 

I buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, or Grassroots Herb Supply.

When sourcing comfrey, it's advisable to opt for organic and sustainable options to ensure the purity of the plant material.

How to Make Comfrey Oil

The extraction process involves infusing comfrey leaves in a carrier oil. Various carrier oils can be used for making comfrey oil, such as olive oil, almond oil, or sunflower oil. 

Each oil has its own properties, and you can learn more about carrier oils and their benefits for a quick guide or read more in the book Carrier Oils.

I recommend using one of the following oils:

  • Almond oil is a wonderful all purpose oil.  It's not too heavy, and it moisturizes the skin well.  
  • Avocado oil is a nourishing oil that's great for dry skin.
  • Grapeseed oil is a dry oil, so it soaks into the skin quickly.  It's good for lotions so you don't feel oily after using it.

I recommend buying oils from Mountain Rose Herbs or HB Oils.

The infusion can be done using the hot or cold process, each with its own advantages. The hot infusion method involves gently heating the oil and comfrey leaves together, while the cold infusion method relies on time and the natural heat of the sun to extract the beneficial properties of comfrey.

You can also use these methods to make calendula infused oil or plantain infused oil.

Ingredients and Supplies to Make Comfrey Infused Oil

To make comfrey oil, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Comfrey leaves 
  • Carrier oil of your choice
  • Glass jars or bottles for infusing and storing the oil.  I use mason jars with plastic lids.
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer for straining the oil,
  • Funnel for transferring the oil into storage containers
  • Labels and markers for proper labeling and dating

Comfrey Infused Oil:  Hot Infusion Method

The hot infusion method involves gently heating the carrier oil and comfrey leaves together to facilitate the extraction of the plant's beneficial properties. To perform the hot infusion method:

  1. Fill a jar about half way full with dried comfrey leaves.  Cover with a carrier oil making sure you cover the herbs completely.  
  2. Then either place a towel on the bottom of a slow cooker and add several inches of water and place the jar in the crock.  You can also fill a pan with water and place the jar on a canning lid to elevate it from the bottom of the pan.  
  3. Gently heat the mixture on low heat for several hours, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  4. Once the infusion is complete, strain the oil using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove the comfrey leaves.

Comfrey Infused Oil: Cold Infusion Method

The cold infusion method is a slower process that takes advantage of the sun's heat to extract the properties of comfrey. To perform the cold infusion method:

  1. Place the comfrey leaves in a glass jar and cover them completely with the carrier oil of your choice.
  2. Secure the jar with a lid and place it in a sunny spot for 4-6 weeks.
  3. Shake the jar gently every few days to promote the infusion process.
  4. After the desired infusion period, strain the oil using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to remove the comfrey leaves.

Straining and Storing Comfrey Infused Oil

Once the infusion process is complete, it's time to strain the comfrey oil to remove any plant material. Place a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer over a clean glass jar or bottle, and carefully pour the infused oil through the strainer. 

Gently squeeze the cheesecloth to extract as much oil as possible. Properly label the container with the name of the oil and the date it was made. 

Store comfrey oil in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to maintain its freshness and extend its shelf life.

Comfrey oil has a shelf life of approximately 6-12 months, depending on the carrier oil used and storage conditions. 

To ensure the oil remains fresh for as long as possible, store it in a tightly sealed, amber glass bottle in a cool, dark place. Avoid storing comfrey oil in the bathroom or near any heat sources.

How to Use Comfrey Oil

Comfrey oil can be used in various ways to promote skin health and address specific concerns. It can be applied topically as a moisturizer, massage oil, or spot treatment for minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

Additionally, comfrey oil can be incorporated into skincare recipes such as creams, lotions, and balms, providing nourishment and supporting the natural healing process of the skin.

You can use comfrey infused oil in place of a carrier oil in your favorite recipes.   I like to use it to make a DIY comfrey salve recipe.

Try using comfrey infused oil in one of the following recipes:

Where to Buy Comfrey Oil

Don't want to make your own comfrey infused oil?  You can buy it instead.  You can find it at Starwest Botanicals or on Etsy.

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