Whether you Knit, Crochet, Weave, Spin, Paint or make Pottery. There is a time of the day when your hands get achy and you feel as though you’ve lost your sense of time working your craft.
Sadhu Rose, helping me with a big knit project!
It’s true, time flies when you’re having fun!
Now you’re racing against the clock wanting to finish a project. Knowing you won’t have the same amount of time tomorrow as you have today.
Let’s be honest, when we are busy making and creating, all we want is to be able to do so uninterrupted for as long as possible.
So, overworked hands get achy, tired and wane. And that my friends, is why I made started making my Comfrey ointments in the first place. With my mum’s arthritis and my own RSI (repetitive strain injury), I wanted relief.
I dread the aches, especially when they get between me and whatever craft I happen to be working on.
The Birth of a new Floral Rose Scented Ointment
Sadhu Rose, Comfrey Ointment
When, a crafty friend, Juanita Tortilla, asked for a rose scented comfrey ointment rather than my walk in the woods version: Wayfarers Magic. Who was I to disagree?
And hence, Sadhu Rose was born, and the name kindly thought up by another dear friend. Where would we be without crafty creative friends ;-)
So what’s the difference between the regular Comfrey Ointment and Sadhu Rose?
One of the biggest questions I get at the markets is what’s the difference between the two ointments?
The only difference is in the Essential oils which do have their own set of benefits:
Wouldn’t be great if there was a solution for ailments – that was easy, affordable without any nasty side effects…
Imagine, a magical world. A world where we could walk outside to our small patch of earth and pluck a few green leaves such as Horsetail, and use those leaves prevent illness and heal ailments.
All we needed grew right outside our door, a magical green world of plants, herbs, and trees.
It sounds like we’d be living on Pandora the magical world in the film Avatar, or Rivendell the home of the Elves from Lord of the Rings…a mystical faraway place….
Or is it?
In reality, this magical kingdom already exists. It is just that we have lost our connection to it. And no longer see or recognize it.
It is my belief, that mother nature in her wisdom would not give us an illness without providing us with a solution. Whether we know or have found that solution or not, is another story.
They burned the Herbalists of old and their knowledge burnt with them.
And well let’s be honest – Nature and plants don’t have a big marketing budget a research lab or a PR team. And as they’re hard to patent (read: *sell*), we have teams of scientists around the world trying to mimic their magic.
Yet there are clear examples, of how, if we work with nature we can prevent, support, provide relief or in some cases even cure illness.
One good example landed in my inbox yesterday. So, I’ve included the video below, in which the Health ranger (Mike Adams of Natural News) educates us on the benefits of Horsetail (Equisetum arvense).
Mike explains that through making a tea or infusion that it binds with the toxic aluminum in your system, and works to naturally remove it.
As research clearly shows aluminum to be linked to Dementia and Alzheimer’s, what better way to remove it by using a prehistoric plant that grows easily, cheaply and naturally.
While I use Horsetail, in my Comfrey ointment as part of my magic Comfrey blend for the healing, strengthening effects of the Silica, I am thrilled to see there are other benefits too. And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.
And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.
So you don’t ingest Aluminum??
For those of you, who might be thinking you don’t have any aluminum in your system… I hate to give you a bit of a reality check, it is near impossible to avoid it within our modern society.
It’s in everything from the air we breathe, the water we drink, our food and medicines that we ingest. A small example: Cans, smog, aluminum wrap, vaccines, deodorant, cosmetics, baking powder (goods cooked with baking powder, salt.
While you can’t avoid it, you can minimize it’s use by cutting it out where you can, and watch the video to learn more about Horsetail and how to use it:
To use or not to use? Is something that I had asked myself, when I started on this journey. Knowing my use of beeswax would be questioned, and vegans would not buy my Wayfarer’s Magic and Sadhu Rose Comfrey Ointments.
For a start, I don’t eat unethical animal products or support the treatment and misuse of animals for our consumption, production or testing. So how, do then carry my values over into my products and business?
To answer this, I set about researching the question, is beeswax ethical? And should I be using it?
I came to the decision to use Beeswax, and here’s why;
1. Ethical Beeswax does exist;
I get my beeswax from a local beekeeper – it’s a beekeeping family, their native bees and are wild and are free here in central coast wilderness of New South Wales. It’s an excess bi-product of the honey that is ethically sourced; meaning there is always more than enough for the bees. Unlike in hives that are in mass production, and they are not tricked of forced to produce honey/ wax in excess. Happy bees = Happy Honey = Ethical Beeswax.
2. Beeswax is also healing
Beeswax itself it uber beneficial to the skin and the healing process. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-bacterial. Due to this, it contributes to the healing quality of the ointments. It soothes and softens the skin, and forms a protective layer that still allows the skin to breathe and heal. It is also a ‘natural’ product, that has not undergone industry processing.
Bees Natural Green Home turf
Since I’ve moved to the Central Coast I’ve also been using the wax from the same local beekeeping family that I get my honey from ‘Suesse Honey‘. If you are ever at the Entrance market be sure to buy some of their honey! Their ‘Raw honey Lemon, Ginger and Cinnamon’ blend – which also has Lemon Myrtle – tastes as good as it is healthy – I am completely unshamedly addicted.
For those that aren’t aware, Raw honey is packing with nutrients, it contains; 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. If you add to this the benefits of Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle, you have a most delicious healthy treat.
I do empathise with the dilemma of using or not using animal products.
I remember the moment, that I learned the big-eyed gentle cow in the paddock could end up as a steak dinner. It’s the same moment I secretly vowed to never eat animals again. As soon as I grew up and left home, that’s what I did and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.
Though, I am not a vegan, and I do have a few pair of leather shoes and a jacket. Which I often get flack for funnily enough from meat eaters. However, as one wise friend once said, ‘is it more ethical to have a sturdy jacket that lasts you 50+years that is biodegradable, or a jacket that is made from synthetic material, that has gone through industry processing to be created and then never degrades and pollutes the environment?’
Tough questions, that we need to face and ask ourselves when we aim to live a conscious life.
While I abhor the way humankind treats the animals on the planet, and how they are treated as a commodity rather than a sentient being. It’s good to see that research is now supporting what many of us already know, that insects have emotions and sentience, as do plants and trees.
I do believe that as Robin Wall Kimmer states so wisely in her @onbeing interview, we should be aiming for a reciprocal relationship with the world around us. I love that idea! It takes sustainability to the next level.
If we work to look after bees and their environment, it becomes a collaboration with them. In taking this reciprocal approach, we can create a better world, for everything – plants, animals and humans. We just need to start asking, how can we contribute – what do we have to give?
When we are not doing this, which we can see reflected in much of the world around us right now, we are out of balance with the natural world around us.
I am thankful for my Ethical Healing Beeswax, from happy bees that share their wares with us. And I hope that we, in turn, can share and work to protect them and their environments and well-being.
We can do this, by asking ourselves how we can contribute to living in a ‘Reciprocal’ way with the world around us. Can this be reflected in our daily decisions i.e. buying heritage seeds, not supporting/using monsanto products, doing bio-dynamic gardening, growing flowers and plants that bees love.
In doing so, we take conscious steps, to live in a conscious way – in balance and harmony with the world around us.
So once upon a time, I was busy travelling around Australia, when I had the opportunity to spend some time on a Comfrey Farm on French Island. And it was here that I learnt, saw and experienced first hand many of the benefits of comfrey. From being used in permaculture as a companion plant or fertiliser to brewing ointments that relieved me of my long-standing RSI (repetitive strain injury), insect bites, calluses and muscle strain (yes, farm work is hard).
I literally saw bruises, strains and muscles heal overnight and the more I read the research I realised how miraculous this plant was, and I was surprised at how little was known or published about it.
As I left the farm, I was enthralled and went on to study more herblore to better understand what else would relieve Arthritis, which my mother has, as well as keep my own RSI and varicose veins at bay. In an all natural – ‘no need to see a doctor kind of way’. I also researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the
As well as this I researched the essential oils, as well as the properties of Cocoa and Shea Butter, all which make up the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment product that I have today.
Comfrey is much more than just a traveller’s talisman. Hence I’ve given the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment the term ‘All-purpose’, this is largely thanks to my own testing of it on everything and anything that might come up.
I’ve relieved and helped heal my aching and tired Muscles, Insect bites, Burns, RSI, Varicose Vein and Trauma injuries. When I fell off my bike I raced (well ok, cried all the way home) covered the injuries with Comfrey and the next day I had no pain or swelling at all. When I’d splashed boiling oil onto my wrist – I was dreading the blisters and scars it might leave as my skin turned a shocking red, I quickly
One day, I accidentally splashed boiling oil onto my wrist, I was dreading the blisters as I saw the skin starting to swell, and scars it might leave, I quickly slathered on the comfrey ointment, intermittently exchanging it with a cooling leaf of Aloe vera for half an hour – covered again it in comfrey, before applying a bandage and cooling pack. The next morning there was no sign I’d been burnt – not the slightest of marks. This to me gives new meaning to the term ‘All Purpose’.
Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment
The biggest thrill for me is seeing and hearing the stories from people who have bought and are using the ointment, telling me of their relief from Arthritis, Back pain, Fractures, Broken bones, Tennis elbow, RSI, Plantar Fasciitis. One lady uses it as a hand cream saying she loved it as it felt great and significantly reduced her age spots. Another told me that it’s provided relief from Psoriasis, (to heal psoriasis the diet and stress management also needs to be addressed), it can calm the pain, irritation and inflammation of the skin.
I also have to give each herb in the Wayfarer’s Magic: Comfrey Ointment some deep love and appreciation, while Comfrey is just magic; there are some other key players I’d also like to introduce you to, as my Comfrey Base blend also consists of:
Yarrow: The lovely herbs claim to fame was that Achilles reputedly used it to heal his wounds after battle, with the nickname of ‘nosebleed’, for you guessed it stopping nosebleeds. No doubt thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and astringent properties.
Burdock: Is one of the most detoxifying herbs, and has both Antiseptic and antibiotic qualities. Particularly renowned for skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis for it’s calming and detoxing effects. Also has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing as it also supports the cell rejuvenation.
Devils Claw: has been used to provide relief internally and externally for Gout, Arthritis both rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis as well as Swollen inflamed joints. And externally for Boils, Skin sores and Skin cancer.
Horsetail: Has incredibly high silica content it is also reputed to speed up the repair of damaged tissue and skin elasticity, providing relief and healing of arthritic problems, eczema, psoriasis, sprains and fractures.
Calendula: Another amazing little herb that is a must in any herbal medicine cabinet. It is an ideal remedy for inflamed skin, and has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. Traditionally used to speed up the healing of or sooth; cuts, scrapes inflamed skin, sunburn and minor burns.
Essential Oils that I’ve chosen (Frankincense, Juniper, Cedar wood, Rosemary, Bergamot, Clary Sageand Lavender) are all beneficial for the skin in that they protect, embalm, disinfect sooth, calm, moisturise and are both anti-spasmodic and anti inflammatory.
Together this blend of organic herbs and healing local beeswax and organic Cocoa and Shea butter, works to provide relief on all levels be it as a simple nourishing hand cream to speeding up the recover of a traumatic injury or irritated inflated skin or joints – it supports the bodies natural healing process.
I always suggest it best to apply a few times during the day, and especially at night before going to sleep. This is the 8 hours our body uses to heal itself and I believe these herbs work with our body while it’s sleeping to hasten the healing process.
“I have been using the Comfrey Ointment for my Plantar Fasciitis for over 7 weeks now, together with the ice packs, stretches and massaging the ointment in both morning and night. My doctor told me it would be a long healing process that could take up to 2 years. I’ve had it since the beginning of October and now in mid-January all the pain, symptoms and discomforts have disappeared. I am normally very suspicious about this claims or testimonials, however this comfrey ointment has certainly worked miracles for me.”
Yet, I’d prefer to prevent Arthritis than manage the symptoms of it. Wouldn’t we all prefer a happy pain-free world for everyone at whatever age?
As Hippocrates, once said ‘Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food’, and there was never truer words spoken. And it’s these words that play in my mind as I continually educate myself on good health and well-being.
When I volunteered at an aged care home in Buenos Aires, I was in charge of Friday’s bingo and had the honour of meeting Betty* (* name has been changed to protect the not so innocent). Betty had been married, must’ve and still was a stunner – she captured my imagination with the stories of the wild escapades of her youth. Sure, skinny dipping in the river with a bunch of girlfriends might not be shocking now, it certainly was back in the 1930’s.
Betty had been married, must’ve and still was a stunner – she captured my imagination with the stories of the wild escapades of her youth. Sure, skinny dipping in the river with a bunch of girlfriends might not be shocking now, it certainly was back in the 1930’s.
She was independent, strong and positive, the only thing that bothered her was her Rheumatoid Arthritis. She often spoke of her inability to hold a pen to write to her 3 grandchildren living in the USA, and wasn’t able to knit as she’d done all her life.
I wish I knew more about Arthritis then, and if she were still around this is the advice I’d be giving her:
Manage and Prevent Arthritis by following these simple steps:
Keep hydrated, drink water – this is what keeps the fluid in our body well oiled, and rids our body of waste products that otherwise contribute to the Arthritic inflammation.
Make sure you are getting your Omega 3-6-9, either through eating Fish, Flaxseed/ Olive Oil or Udo’s 3-6-9 Oil which is the best oil for all three Omegas.
Eat enough veggies & Fruit: Preferably organic or home grown, especially berries for antioxidants, citrus fruit or kiwi for vitamin C, broccoli, dark green veggies as well as squash, carrots and apricots:
– Organic is preferred, as it is free of chemical pesticides, it also has more nutrients and minerals from the soil for our body so it can more readily renew our cellar tissue.
Avoid Coffee, Alcohol, Smoking, food additives and Sugar- – These either stop the nutrients you need from being absorbed in your body, which you need for cell renewal, or they directly help to cause the inflammation.
More than that, I’d have like to see her on a healthier diet that was able to manage/prevent the pain caused to her by Arthritis. If nothing else so she’d be able to write her grandchildren without needing to dictate her innermost thoughts and affections for them through another.
Let’s be honest there can never be enough good said about this most humble of plants, however I am always thrilled to read and share good news that I find. And this latest one that I stumbled upon is from the Online Chiropractic community website, and it shares some great research results.
Before I get onto that I will add, that I personally believe that while I am not at all a fan of big pharma the fact that Merck has added comfrey into its back pain remedy cream after, this in turn has lead to further research especially in Germany the home of Merck. Of course I wish educational/ research centres would do more study of the benefits of plants, especially whole plants – however the funding at this point isn’t there to do so. I am appreciative though that right now there are people out there studying up on Comfrey – and even more appreciative that it’s being recommended as a healthy (side effect free) remedy to Chiropractors, to assist in the healing and relief of their patients. As the article, written by Holly Lucille, which can be found here states:
Why Topical comfrey deserves a spot in your chiropractic practice:
Aside from soothing inflammation, comfrey treats many conditions life can throw your way, including open wounds, muscle pain, and knee and ankle sprains and strains.
Topical comfrey in practice
In a controlled, double-blind, randomised, multi-center study after using comfrey, patients suffering from acute ankle sprain and pain saw a 50- percent reduction of pain in just three days.
In another study, bruised and sprained knees were treated with Trauma comfrey cream within 12 hours of the injury. Intensive treatment with comfrey and gauze wrapping was performed for four days. By that stage, pain and swelling had dropped considerably. At day seven, no patients reported any knee pain while at rest, and most were completely pain-free by day 10. All were pain free by day 14.
None of the patients noted any reddening, itching, or dry skin. The study author noted that the quick drop in pain levels allowed the patients to move their knees sooner, diminishing the possibility of further muscle damage due to immobility.
Trauma comfrey has also been tested for safety with children. In a German study, 386 children between the ages of 3 and 12 who had suffered bruises, sprains, strains, and muscle pain from playing sports were treated with Trauma comfrey. It was found to be effective for 90 percent of participants and, importantly, there were no adverse reactions or effects reported.
Why does it work so well? There are three compounds that provide major healing power in this type of comfrey: allantoin, choline, and rosamarinic acid. Each one facilitates the healing process in its own way.
Allantoin boosts the rebuilding of cells and regenerates damaged tissue.
Choline helps injured blood vessels and nerve endings recover faster.
Rosmarinic acid fights inflammation and reduces cell damage.
For more information, studies and side notes please go to the original article that can be found here:
Ah, I love Comfrey – don’t you! what a great article, and I do wish that more chiropractors or physiotherapists would look to natural solutions to provide relief and a speedier recovery… Natural herbs, with no side effects are out there, available and ready to be of service to us, all we need to do is ask.
Yet another Herbal addiction/ or confession to make I can hardly think of going to sleep without dabbing some of this oil on my wrists. It’s such magic – it’s relaxing and is one of those rituals that gives the day a perfect end, and that calming smell to the room before wafting off to sleep.
On top of this, Lavender Essential oil has a lot of benefits, you can use on cramped muscles as it’s anti-spasmodic, it a repellent for moths (which is why it can be found in most potpourri sachets for your wardrobe), it can be used to clean (the name comes from the Latin verb: Lavare, which means to clean), it calms the nerves, helps get rid of headaches, and even works as an anti-depressant. There really isn’t much that it can’t do.
It’s history is rich and deep, used by the Romans, Arabs, Greeks and through the ages, it was noted by Pliny the Elder. Can you believe King Charles VI of France had his seat cushions stuffed with lavender. And in 16th century France lavender was regarded so good against infection thanks to it’s antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities that glove makers who were licensed to perfume their wares with lavender with the idea of escaping cholera.
So now you can see why I always keep some next my bed, with me when I am travelling… and use it in my products. It can be found in my Wayfarers Ointment, and my Eternal Serenity Face Oil.
You can find easily locally, I highly recommend getting from Health and Happiness, a lovely local Australia supplier.
If you live outside of Australia, best place is iHerb Here.
Whether you are about to walk the Camino de Santiago, Appalachian Trail or do a local hike, you need to be prepared. And you know what it’s like, you’re
about to set off on the trip of a lifetime, and you have your must have list of what to take – there is the passport, ticket toothbrush – however there are always the hidden, last minute items that you are likely to forget and will wish you hadn’t, here’s my top #10 list:
Good broken in pair of Shoes (be in hiking boots or hiking sandals – whatever works for you and that you’ve already walked in for hours or days without getting blisters)
Walking stick – a good one, buy or find one on route as soon as
A good Backpack, while this sounds like a given, trust me, some weigh a ton even when empty or if you get one too big you are likely to fill it, so it’s a fine balance to find the one for you.
Water filter bottle (gentoo is my favourite – filters it well enough to make tap water digestible almost anywhere, so you can refill on route. Boil water first in some countries, then cool and add to bottle, trick I used in Thailand where I drank only tap water)
Real Woollen Thermals; nights and mornings can get cold and its must easier, smaller to take than jumpers, real wool will also wick sweat away from
Ready to go…
your body or keep rain out.
Rain poncho; it is likely to rain, somewhere, sometime, and somehow be prepared.
Earplugs; not every night is a blissful one, so be prepared to pull out and use as needed.
All purpose Ointment/ Salve; blisters, cuts, scrapes, bruises, aching muscles, dry lips – skin, are all but a few things that come up when you’re on the road all day, having something that works to deal with them is staple – I of course use my own Wayfarers Magic Comfrey Ointment.
A few band-aids, you just never know.
A positive attitude and some self worth; it’s not a competition – you don’t need to be the fastest, best or fittest. Enjoy, stop and smell the flowers, be present.
And be sure to leave; your troubles, your worries and your every day life. Just writing this list makes me hit the road. Anything I missed that you would add to my list???
Use the word Camino in the checkout process for a 10% discount – and if you do use it on your pilgrimage/ hike drop me a line and let me know how you get on –
As someone that is against testing on animals I can at times be hard pressed to be able to trial my products on people and research the results. However I am lucky, that I have people close to me that have a variety of ailments to test it on. The latest human guinea pig (victim) is ineke, (who yes also happens to be my mum, not going to lie to you there), who thankfully is super active, and just completed a 880 kilometre walk of the Camino de Santiago, in Spain which consists of – a gruelling 10 miles a day, up and down hills come rain or shine. After walking the Camino and being on the road travelling for the latst 16 months she’s returned home with a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis. To which the doctor advised that there is little to no relief and that it would take 2 years to fully recover.
Seeing this as potential opportunity to test my Comfrey Ointment on a case of Plantar Fasciitis, we started massaging in the ointment, 2 x a day, when she got up, in the afternoon and before going to bed (I believe the body works it’s hardest to heal any issues that it may face while we are sleeping – hence I also believe this is the best time to rub in any ointment that supports the bodies own self-healing, so in silent collaboration the body and herbs can work together to get you back to being your healthy new self). And adding some stretches and occasional ice-packs on her feet there was already a vast improvement. In the first 2 weeks the pain had subsided, and she was able to walk again on the foot without any issues. However was noticing on the days that she wasn’t using the ointment that the pain was returning again, I see that as a subtle reminder of the body to keep using the ointment.
Its now 7 weeks later, and ineke is still doing the stretches, and just using the ointment now and again at night. The pain has gone, she’s back to walking a few hours a day whenever possible and would walk the Camino again tomorrow if that was an option. As a free additional bonus the Comfrey Ointment has also healed her cracked heels, not even something I had thought of using the ointment for, so always good to hear.
In her own words:
‘I have been using the Comfrey Ointment for my Plantar Fasciitis for over 7 weeks now, together with the ice packs, stretches and massaging the ointment in both morning and night. My doctor told me it would be a long healing process that could take up to 2 years.
Using Comfrey for Plantar Fasciitis and Cracked heels
I’ve had it since the beginning of October and now in mid-January all the pain, symptoms and discomforts have disappeared. I am normally very suspicious about this claims or testimonials, however this comfrey ointment has certainly worked miracles for me.’
You can find the Comfrey Ointments here, and if you are interested in ineke’s adventures on the Camino, Africa, Turkey or many other countries, you can find them on her blog here. As well as her art work which you can find here www.inekevandenhout.com
And of course should you be planning to walk the Camino in Santiago or other Pilgrimages, my Wayfarers Magic is the Ointment for you also works a treat on Blisters, Sore Muscles, Aches & Pains. It won’t be walking the Camino for you though, so do take enough determination, sense of adventure and good spirit to do that yourself.
If you are planning to walk the Camino or have walked the Camino and would like to try the ointment, drop me a line here for my special Camino de Santiago 10% off discount code.
Touched base on the weekend, with the lovely Graeme Little, who inspired my ointment making and education of the endless benefits of Comfrey. Graeme was recently featured in the weekly times, farming section be sure to check out the article by clicking here.
Graeme, also kindly shared some of interesting articles and research out there that supports the claims of comfrey and it’s healing effects on back pain, strains and osteoporosis – so check it out.
The last three are for fun and much more easy reading, the gist of it all though is comfrey works, with amazing results! Of course I know it works, however this is all great information and supports the our divine little comfrey – who has at time gotten a bad rap, how dare it grow like a weed, be un-patented, and free :)
Anyway, I also found it interesting that the Big German Pharma company Merck has ditched some of the drugs they were using for pain relief and replaced them with comfrey – in their own patented version. Pfff, so they can try to patent it, personally I much prefer my home cooked version. I am glad though with some big pharma behind it, that it supports more research and results, it may lead to further investigation to the more benefits and help it clear some of the not so true accusations that the plant has to deal with. Strange isn’t it that if its just good, and maybe miraculous no one wants to invest in research. I don’t mind though how it happens, just good to see Comfrey out there and happening, making a difference in the world.