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post #61 of 358

Comfrey

Just wondering, do you all use comfrey leaf internally?
I have a bunch that I dried from my garden to use in salves and stuff, but I'm wondering about drinking it in infusions???
TIA
post #62 of 358
Subbing!

Great thread!! I am making a bunch of tinctures for the upcoming fall.winter.spring/flu season.
post #63 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyMom View Post
Just wondering, do you all use comfrey leaf internally?
I have a bunch that I dried from my garden to use in salves and stuff, but I'm wondering about drinking it in infusions???
TIA
I do. I add it to my nourishing infusion blends.
I know some ppl don't take it internally b/c of reported liver toxicity. But I think that's the root, not leaf.
fp
post #64 of 358
Herbs & vitamins are my passion!
ALL drugs, OTC & prescription are evil, at leaast thats how we run our home
post #65 of 358
hey just came across this thread today- wanted to make a note so I could find it again.
sometimes I have used comfrey internally- but since all the PA info came out I have been very selective when I have used it and usually have found something else to use= like plantain or ... that way I don't have to think about the PA risk at all-
externally as a skin healer still use it and the thing is that because it heals things so fast you don't use much of it.
post #66 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs View Post
hey just came across this thread today- wanted to make a note so I could find it again.
sometimes I have used comfrey internally- but since all the PA info came out I have been very selective when I have used it and usually have found something else to use= like plantain or ... that way I don't have to think about the PA risk at all-
externally as a skin healer still use it and the thing is that because it heals things so fast you don't use much of it.
What's PA?
post #67 of 358
so I had to look it up to spell it right - it stands for pyrrolizidine alkaloids- the toxic ones get trapped in the liver and act sort of the way that asbestos acts in the lungs- the body can't easily get rid of them and the attempts to do so make for more toxicisity ...
post #68 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs View Post
so I had to look it up to spell it right - it stands for pyrrolizidine alkaloids- the toxic ones get trapped in the liver and act sort of the way that asbestos acts in the lungs- the body can't easily get rid of them and the attempts to do so make for more toxicisity ...
There's some good info on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Comfrey here:
http://www.comfreycentral.com/research/comfrey_pa.htm
Loads of great info on comfrey in general.

fp
post #69 of 358
I have made tinctures before using brandy as a mentruum. I would like to use glycerin as my family objects to the alcohol.

On the topic of making an herbal tincture in a menstruum of glycerin, what ratios do you favor, as far as glycerin to water goes?

Some sources I've consulted indicate 60% vegetable glycerin to 40% water. Rosemary Gladstar (from her website) suggests 1 part glycerin to 2-3 parts water.

Any other suggestions? What have you found works well?

From Rosemary's site, she points out that glycerin does not draw out the resinous or oily components of herbs as well as alcohol does. Any opinions regarding this or herbs that do better in glycerin than others?

Thank you for your input. I am looking forward to making some lovely tinctures again before the flu season begins in earnest!
post #70 of 358
I'm subbing! I'm big into herbal and homeopathic remedies for illness in our home. Its mainly focussed on childhood illnesses for the kiddos, but my husband is coming around as he sees me using things that work. My favorite is a fever reducing tea that I discovered doesn't have to be ingested to work. Soaking in a bathtub with it brings down a fever quickly. Off the top of my head, I'm trying to remember: lemon balm, peppermint, echinacea?, and something else. Wow, that's not helpful. I pretty much always have to look stuff up. I use Susan Weed's for the childbearing year and "Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child/Healthier Living" I've considered an herbalism degree (I live in Seattle afterall, home of Basytr) but its $90,000! No thanks! I like the idea of mentoring/apprenticing with a wise herbal woman, or book learning on my own.

I am lucky enough to live a few blocks away from a store called the Herbalist, so I can get lots there.

I have also tried some Ayurvedic herbs which I get from the Ayurvedic Health Center down the street.
post #71 of 358
My sweetie thinks it's strange when I make things instead of buying otc products too, but he's gotten used to me doing it, and sometimes takes the herbal capsules from the stores. He's starting to understand about the difference between treating and over-medicating.

One young lady in my neighborhood was embarassed once when out for a walk with her mom (who doesn't speak English.) Mom saw the great stand of mint around my front step and wanted permission to pick some. I said of course, all she wanted!
post #72 of 358
I have found that glycerin turns to mold fairly rapidly- I would suggest making vinegars or elixirs out of honey, maple syrup or use teas/ decoctions and soups-- oils and salves
post #73 of 358
greenthumb3,
When using vegetable glycerin, I always dilute it with equal parts of water and it works well for me. Another alcohol-free option is herbal vinegars. I LOVE making and using herbal vinegars.
Here's a good article about making them:
Making Herbal Vinegars
post #74 of 358
FrannieP do you refrigerate your glycerins? or use them right away- I really have tried the 50/50 and have ended up with mold in this dry climate- I start with fresh herbs and they just haven't worked- tell me how you have done it please. and what you have made
post #75 of 358
I prefer vinegar over glycerine. Just remeber that you need to double your dose if you aren't using alcohol.
post #76 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs View Post
FrannieP do you refrigerate your glycerins? or use them right away- I really have tried the 50/50 and have ended up with mold in this dry climate- I start with fresh herbs and they just haven't worked- tell me how you have done it please. and what you have made
I do refrigerate my glycerines and vinegars.
I can't recall all of the glycerines I've made - I've made so many.
comfrey
chickweed
dandelion
cleavers
elder berry
hawthorn
echinacea
red clover
nettle
and blends like roots for iron/calcium etc.

As for mold.
Have you tried leaving an inch of glycerin above the plant matter?
Do you shake it daily?
Store in the dark?
Plastic lids - not metal?
What else?....
I use a chopstick to poke the plant matter around in the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
The only time I've had mold is if I've forgotten a jar in the cabinet and find it next year!

hth
fp
post #77 of 358
Thanks, everyone, for the input so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrannieP View Post
greenthumb3,
When using vegetable glycerin, I always dilute it with equal parts of water and it works well for me. Another alcohol-free option is herbal vinegars. I LOVE making and using herbal vinegars.
Here's a good article about making them:
Making Herbal Vinegars
Good to know what worked for you. I have one more recipe that calls for 50/50 water and glycerine. It is slightly frustrating as there are so many different recipes for glycerites (some herbalists say it needs more water, and another more glycerin, not to mention the ratio of menstruum to marc!!!).

I am a little nervous that I won't get the ratios right and then my tincture won't have the components in it that I want. Oh, well, I will just have to make some small batches and see what works.

I am going to check out the herbal vinegar link. Depending on the herb I am using, I may make some with glycerine/water and others with vinegar, so good to know. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post
I prefer vinegar over glycerine. Just remeber that you need to double your dose if you aren't using alcohol.
Yes, good reminder. I heard that the usual thought is that those two (vinegar and glycerites) equal about half the strength of the same herb tinctured with alcohol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrannieP View Post
I do refrigerate my glycerines and vinegars.
I can't recall all of the glycerines I've made - I've made so many.
comfrey
chickweed
dandelion
cleavers
elder berry
hawthorn
echinacea
red clover
nettle
and blends like roots for iron/calcium etc.

As for mold.
Have you tried leaving an inch of glycerin above the plant matter?
Do you shake it daily?
Store in the dark?
Plastic lids - not metal?
What else?....
I use a chopstick to poke the plant matter around in the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
The only time I've had mold is if I've forgotten a jar in the cabinet and find it next year!

hth
fp
Mm, good point. I made a glycerite tincture with a friend and we didn't know the bit about having the herb covered with glycerine, and that sometimes you need to "top it off" after a day or so if the herb soaks up the menstruum, which can cause mold if the herb is uncovered. I think I will go ahead and try it and see how it goes, remembering to shake often and make sure the herb is covered.
post #78 of 358

Herbal Tonic Soup

I made this yesterday and it turned out so good!
I left out the corn b/c of allergy. And I used dried shiitake mushrooms.
First time I ever cooked with astragalus root.
Herbal Tonic Soup Recipe
sandy
post #79 of 358
sandy,
where did you get the astragalus root?
post #80 of 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyMom View Post
I made this yesterday and it turned out so good!
I left out the corn b/c of allergy. And I used dried shiitake mushrooms.
First time I ever cooked with astragalus root.
Herbal Tonic Soup Recipe
sandy
looks good! (just got some shiitake mushrooms today...soup is on the menu!)
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