Do your hands get rough and dry from gardening or other outdoor work? Comfrey ointment might restore your skin quite effectively.
It is easy to make yourself. If you have comfrey in the garden, autumn is the best time to dig up some of the roots to use together with leaves for your comfrey ointment.
Comfrey roots and leaves contain allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow and keeps skin healthy. In spring or autumn the allantoin levels are the highest.
Chop off some leaves and dig up some chunks of the root. Clean and allow them to dry over 4 to 7 days and grate the cleaned comfrey root. For about four or five 60ml pots you will need 50 to 100g of fresh herb material.
Pour 350ml of sunflower or olive oil into a small saucepan and add the dried comfrey leaves and root (one or two handfuls). Gently heat the comfrey containing oil over a low heat until the oil has turned green.
Then strain off the plant material. Repeat this infusion process with similar amounts of leaves and root each time either once or twice more for double or triple strength ointment.
Now add 30 to 35g of beeswax (needed to get the ointment texture). Cooling of this mixture progressively solidifies it, so you need to pour it carefully into clean glass jars while it remains liquid. Once cooled, close each jar tightly.
Label and store the filled jars in a cool and dry place. The shelf life is about 8 to 10 months. A pot of homemade comfrey cream makes a lovely present.
Luzia Barclay DBTh MIRCH Registered Medical Herbalist