Thursday, June 12, 2008

Comfrey and Chamomile

Since the cold snaps finally seem to be over, I planted this weekend. All are in containers on our patio. Most of what I put in are the sorts of plants lots of people put in, pretty annual flowers and culinary herbs. But I also put in a large pot of comfrey, which is one of the best external healing herbs I have ever worked with. It can help heal damage to skin and bones quickly. I use the leaves of the plant to make a salve. One of the old fashioned names for it is "knitwort" because it helps so well to knit things back together.

My sister went to the doctor because her foot was hurting. He took an x-ray and told her that she had a hairline fracture. She was in constant discomfort with it. And there are obviously downsides to simply relying on pain killers. She started applying my comfrey salve and immediately got relief. Next time she went back to the doctor, there was no more hairline fracture showing on the x-ray!

Next, I used an old bird bath for a planter, just for visual variety, and filled it with Roman chamomile plants. They will probably cover the top surface of the planter this season. This is, of course, the key ingredient in Sleepytime Tea and other similar herbal tea combinations blended to aid in getting a good night's rest. The sweet, immediately soothing fragrance is a delight to the senses, so it doesn't take much imagination to know why it is also good for upset stomachs, headaches or stress. In addition to tea, it makes a very aromatic bath ingredient, and also chamomile water makes a good hair rinse.

A very effective way to learn about working with herbs for healing is to work with just a few plants at a time, plants that you really wnjoy, and learn all the ways of working with them. A few simple herbs can do a lot of good. So I am glad to have these two magnificent and effective healing plants in my garden once again. It's sort of like having old friends come to visit.

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