postpartum, Uncategorized

Comfrey Root, Postpartum

imageComfrey Root:

This is a staple in my home and that of many of my friends and family. Comfrey is a member of the borage family. It’s a strong-growing perennial so I like to get my roots from my parents garden. Traditionally called “knit bone” by herbalist. It’s been know for centuries to treat a wide array of ailments from broken bones, sprains, arthritis, burns, acne and other skin conditions. Whenever anyone has a bonk, bump or bruise this is what I turn to. If you put it on right after an accident happens, sometimes it prevents bruises from even forming.

After my first home birth, my midwife made me comfrey burritos to ease the pain and swelling of my lady parts, by that I mean vagina and perineum.  It was fabulous, so soothing. Here’s how to make them:

You will need:

2 cups dried comfrey root

Cheese cloth

Large muslin tea bags, if you can find.

Peri-bottle- if you deliver in a hospital, you can probably get one before you leave. Otherwise, check either on-line or maybe at Walgreens.

Extra-super jumbo overnight pads

To make:

Put one cup of comfrey root into a large tea bag (or two). If you don’t have large tea bags you can put 3-4 tablespoons of comfrey into some cheese cloth and secure at either end. You want it loosely packed with a little bit of freedom.

In a pot boil two quarts of water. Add the comfrey bundles and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Let cool.

Remove the herb bundles (don’t throw away) and either refrigerate or freeze the mixture.  Label it so you don’t accidentally drink it thinking it’s juice. It will last for about a week in the fridge, so freeze when it doubt. When ready to use just put it in your peri-bottle and use (at room temperature) while urinating to ease any discomfort from minor tears, bruising or swollen tissue.

The comfrey tea can be used to pour over jumbo night pads, placed on a cookie sheet and put in freezer. When slightly frozen rewrap pads in wrapper. Use after birth as ice packs.

You can also make your own comfrey burritos. They won’t have any weird chemicals that are in regular pads. Put 2-3 tablespoons of the cooked comfrey into 4×4 squares of doubled layered cheese cloth, fashion into a burrito shape. Wrap in plastic wrap (so they don’t stick). Put into freezer. When ready to use, remove the plastic and wrap in a washcloth and apply to perineum. After about 45 minutes remove. Do this several times a day for the first few days after birth.

Comfrey should only be used topically, don’t ingest it. I know some probably will say, you know what, I’m going to ingest it anyway. It’s just my option. It contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which could be toxic to the liver. Also, just to be safe you may not want to apply it to an open wound.

I have a package available to new or expecting mothers.  This contains 1 cup of comfrey root (about 5.5 ounces), a peri-bottle and a large tea bag for $18.  You can find it at my studio, I can mail it to you (add $5 for shipping and handling) or you can find me on Etsy.  If  you have any questions or would like to purchase, contact me.  Cheers, Gaia Grown.