Comfrey has been prized for its ability to sooth the skin and to promote the healing of damaged tissue. It contains high amounts of a chemical compound called allantoin, which is known to encourage the proliferation of skin cells, strengthen the skin, help heal wounds, as well as reduce the visible effects of aging.
My grandmother grew up drinking comfrey tea with her sisters, but after the FDA warned of traces of PLA, they advised against using the plant internally. Unfortunately herbalists can no longer recommend the use of comfrey internally, even though it has a long history of successfully treating inflamed tissues, torn ligaments, strains, bruises, and injury to bones or joints.
Comfrey is a great addition to any salve, lotion, or ointment for the skin. It is easy to grow (if you can find it), but it can also be purchased commercially ready-to-use. Mountain Rose Herbs is a trusted source for Comfrey, or Heartland Whole Life Buying Club members can order from Frontier, another great source.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a lotion or a sunscreen:
¾-1 Cup Olive oil or Grapeseed Oil (Grapeseed oil will be lighter than Olive Oil)
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1 Ounce grated Beeswax
3/4 Cup distilled or purified water
¼ cup Aloe Vera Gel or pulp from an Aloe plant
Essential Oil of choice (I use vanilla essential oil) 10-15 drops
Grapefruit seed Extract, optional (to prevent the growth of bad bacteria)
Comfrey leaf, root, or both (if unavailable use Mullein, Calendula, Plantain, or a mixture)
To make this a sunscreen:
Add 2 heaping Tablespoons of Zinc oxide powder. (Find it here.)
Cheesecloth or Flour sack
In a double boiler, warm Comfrey and Oil over low heat for several hours. Strain the herbs from the oil using a stainless steel colander lined with a flour sack or cheese cloth (it will stain), squeezing out as much comfrey-infused oil as possible.
Wipe the double broiler clean with a paper towel, and re-add the strained oil. Add the beeswax and coconut oil and return to low-medium heat until ingredients have melted. Stir in Zinc Oxide powder if a sunscreen is desired.
Immediately pour into the blender. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Set aside.
If you are using an Aloe plant, cut two to four large leaves. Place the leaves upright in a bowl or cup and allow the yellow juice from the skin to drain from the plant (this is an irritant). Using a sharp knife carefully remove the flattest side of the leaf. Using the tip of a vegetable peeler, melon-baller, or spoon, scrape the pulp from the leaves.
Mix aloe pulp or store-bought aloe gel with water, essential oil, and grapefruit seed extract.
Pulse the blender a few times to create a cavity in the center of the oil mixture.
While the blender is running pour a steady stream of the water mixture into the oil mixture, stopping frequently to scrape the oil mixture from the sides. Continue to mix until the oil and water mixtures blend.
Scrape into jars and label. Store in a cool place.
This mixture has an approximate SPF of 20 and is not water proof. Reapply sunscreen as needed throughout the day for adequate protection.