Poultices are a staple in our homemade first aid supplies. I like to keep a few homemade comfrey poultices on hand for when we need them and I’m going to show you how you can make them in advance too.
A few years ago our oldest daughter bruised her big toe at dance (pointe ballet). She has no idea how it happened, it looked like someone dropped something heavy on it, the entire toenail was purple and blue.
And it hurt.
You know, the kind of hurt that when someone accidentally bumps it you start doing that silent cry that just won’t stop. Yep, that kind of hurt.
We don’t normally treat bruises in our family, especially since they are usually from a bump or playing paintball. But this one was different than most bruises, so after reading up on bruises, I decided that we needed to try a comfrey poultice.
Fortunately, I just happen to grow comfrey in our garden. So, I headed out to the garden and picked four comfrey leaves and then got to work. I knew that she would need to keep up the comfrey treatment for a few days but I didn’t want to make it each time she needed it.
I decided I would make some small poultices and freeze them. Comfrey is best used fresh, but when it’s a choice between using frozen comfrey poultices regularly or using fresh comfrey poultices irregularly, the choice is easy. The convenience of frozen comfrey poultices outweighs the benefits of fresh comfrey poultices for me.
How to Make a Comfrey Poultice
To make a comfrey poultice for the freezer, you’ll need….
- comfrey leaves
- cutting board
- wide mouth mason jar
- immersion blender
- phyllium husks
- gauze pads
There’s a printable page at the bottom of the post that you can print out and put in your wellness notebook. The printable page has all the instructions and ingredients for making a comfrey poultice.
Once you have the comfrey leaves, rinse them off under cool water.
Roughly chop the leaves and put them in a wide mouth mason jar.
Add enough water to just barely cover them and add a tsp of psyllium husks to thicken it up so that it doesn’t just slide all over the place.
Used an immersion blender to blend it all up and make a paste.
Open up some gauze pads and put a small spoonful of the comfrey poultice on each one. Once they were all full close them up and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours.
When the comfrey poultices are frozen, put them in a freezer container and put them back in the freezer.
When one is needed, we can just pull it out and let the body heat thaw it out.
How to Use a Comfrey Poultice
Whether you’re using a fresh comfrey poultice or a frozen one, once they’re made, you use them exactly the same. You’ll take the poultice and put it on the affected area – bruise, sprain, bee sting, etc.
I like to cover the poultice with a waterproof gauze pad and tape it securely. If the affected area is on a wrist or ankle we usually just wrap the area with a roll of gauze instead of using tape.
Change the poultice several times a day.
Comfrey Safety Precautions
Comfrey has been used for hundreds of years both internally and externally. However, it’s been found that comfrey can cause liver damage when used internally, so don’t take comfrey internally. That also means, don’t use comfrey on an open wound as it can more easily seep into your blood stream.
I realize that there is some controversy over the studies that lead to the recommendation to not use comfrey internally. If you are comfortable using it internally, that’s your business. However, I choose to err on the side of caution, especially when there are other herbs that are safe and can be used for the same concerns that comfrey can be used for.
Don’t use comfrey on small children. Their smaller bodies have a much harder time processing toxins than larger bodies.
It’s best to only use comfrey for 4-6 weeks in one calendar year.
It’s also best to also take some liver supporting herbs while using comfrey, like drinking moringa tea or adding moringa to smoothies. Other liver supporting herbs include valarian, dandelion, burdock root, lemon balm, milk thistle, turmeric, and yellow dock, be sure to do your research before taking medicinal amounts of any herb.
Of course, I think the best place to get your comfrey is to grow it yourself, you can get quality root stock from Buy Comfrey. It’s a super fast growing plant but if you just can’t wait you can order it.
If you’re interested in studying herbs in depth, I highly recommend the courses from The Herbal Academy.
How to use a comfrey poultice: Put a frozen or slightly thawed comfrey poultice on the affected area - bruise, sprain, bee sting, etc. Cover the poultice with a waterproof gauze pad and tape it securely. If the affected area is on a wrist or ankle we usually just wrap the area with a roll of gauze instead of using tape. Change the poultice several times a day.
How to use a comfrey poultice:
Put a frozen or slightly thawed comfrey poultice on the affected area - bruise, sprain, bee sting, etc.
Cover the poultice with a waterproof gauze pad and tape it securely.
If the affected area is on a wrist or ankle we usually just wrap the area with a roll of gauze instead of using tape.
Change the poultice several times a day.
Tell me, do you use herbal poultices? If so, what do you use and for what?