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I am a wanderer, learning and growing as I go

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France

Do you like to travel?  I think the world is such a magical place, that it’s one of our greatest privileges in this life to be able to explore it, and learn from all the incredible cultures and countries that we travel to.  Here are some of the things I learnt from a few of my adventures;

  1. Argentina:  that Whales are the Zen masters of the sea, and their song weaves such presence that you are immediately transported a new dimensions of wonder and being.
  2. Argentina: Yes the government is unstable, yes inflation is outrageous, yes crime is an issue – life is life, just get on with it, complaining will get you nowhere, laugh, enjoy, have fun, drink mate, stay up all night, dance the tango, create magic and know that today is today and tomorrow is a new day, with completely new opportunities.
  3. Thailand: truly a land of smiles, authentic ones at that! Did you know you can’t smile and be sad at the same time, so keep on smiling. And Thai food is the most delicious food ever (no doubt something to smile about).
  4. Laos:   Weaving and natural dying is long, hard yet happy work.  I will never look at the price of a hand dyed & woven fabric every again.
  5. Italy:  You can never have too much of a good thing…. Even if it’s ice cream
  6. France:  Life is to be enjoyed, don’t bother at all about what anyone thinks and it’s your right, and anyone else to strike – as long as you need to. Viva la revolution!
  7. England:  A good sense of humour is needed and found in all situations.
  8. Every where: Hotel toiletries are always below par, so I always have my own must have items, nowadays this also includes my own Wayfarers Magic Wayfarers Magic
    Comfrey Ointment, which is super all-purpose, I use mine as a day/ night cream, bumps, bruises, insect bites, cuts and hand cream. And in any other unforeseen emergencies.  Ancient Pilgrims knew to have a bit of Comfrey at hand.

Anything you’ve learnt? And love about travelling, or have a must have that you take with you?

Comfrey, new findings say it could be the elixir of life?

Interesting new article that investigates Comfrey’s use in beauty products, and that new research (thankfully someone is looking into its benefits) shows that worms being feed comfrey are living 22% longer and healthier.

Would like to add that I don’t doubt it for a second, This is also super exciting as I have been testing a face oil myself to see the benefits and is something I am looking to add to my product list in the new year, so will let you know when that gets out.

Please find the article here:  http://sbeta.iol.co.za/lifestyle/is-the-elixir-of-life-in-your-face-cream-1961242

Quote from article ” Worms that were fed the compound lived 22 percent longer. They also seemed to be healthy for longer, the journal Aging Cell reports. Dr de Magalhaes said: “Allantoin was the most interesting because it is already used in anti-ageing creams and cosmetics, so it seems to be extremely safe for human use.”

Why I make my own Body Oils & Ointments:

Comfrey Body OilFirst, let me ask you a question; would you drink petroleum??

Well, when I heard this question for the first time, my answer was an obvious NO. The question shocked me so much that I went and checked all my “all natural’ cocoa butter, and was shocked at the ingredients, it was a product I’d been happily using for years in the misguided believe I was using something good for me.  I know the skin is the largest organ of our body, and I’ve always known that it is important what we use on it.

And there to my shock were many ingredients that I didn’t recognise, and amongst them was also petroleum.

Petroleum is of course a dream come true for many beauty companies that are solely in the business to make money; not only is it a cheap by-product from the oil industry, it also like sugar makes you eat more to a company that sells food and wants to sell more, it’s a product that initially makes the skin feel moisturised, yet as it seals off the skin which means the skin doesn’t get to breath and hence it will eventually dry out and cause pre-mature ageing.  Do you know anyone addicted to lip balm, sadly it’s also overly used and is Vaseline, rosebud salve and paw paw ointment.

As I studied and learnt more, I realised I’d been duped, and started making my own body oil or ointments so that I could really see what was going in them. I’ve tried a wide variety of oils, however also learnt after investigations that some sadly were also just cheap by-products and not all as healthy as their markcomfrey_oileteers would have us believe.

So after some hit and misses, I’ve settled on organic sunflower/ safflower (and I used it infused with my own comfrey magic mix of herbs), organic coconut oil which naturally is protective of skin against UV rays, and is super moisturising as well as a few drops of Grapefruit essential oils, which not only smells delicious, it’s refreshing and is great for skin and cellulite.

Sometimes to live consciously takes a bit of study, learning from mistakes, and some effort – however in comparison to my own peace of mind, and velvety happy healthy skin it is more than well worth the effort.

I’d suggest you make some of your own, of if you’d like to try mine sometime, you can find it in my own shop under Comfrey Body Oil, click names to follow links.

P.s. and really I am a bit selfish, I’d like my body and the planet to be as healthy and able bodied as long as possible, I believe quality is as important as quantity. To do this we need to look after what we have, after all we only have one body/ planet – and it, she, we deserve looking after ;)

 

 

Top #3 Uses for the Herb Comfrey

comfreyWhile comfrey was mainly used in our history as a healing herb, and it’s from this history it gained its nickname ‘knitbone’ it also has a myriad of other uses as well.

# 1 Healing: it’s history speaks for itself and is knows to support the healing of bones and sprains, while Merck drug company is now also using it in their back pain cream, and it’s listed in the Cochrane review for both back pain and arthritis. To be honest as a easy growing little plant it hasn’t had the comprehensive research it deserves, as keep in mind most research is supported financially by companies that wish to benefit from that research, so my advice is test if for yourself – it supports me as the best all-purpose ointment I’ve come across, and I literally use it for everything….

# 2 Gardening: In the permaculture world it’s most often used a companion plant and as a mulch, in winter while the leaves go dormant the roots get into full swing by pulling up to them the rich nutrients into the surrounding soil, this of course in turn creates a soil which also benefits all the surrounding plants.

#3 Fertiliser: On top of this the leaves are incredibly rich in nitrogen, so are often chopped up or turned into a rich mulch to be fed back into the soil around the garden, this is a sure fire way to give your plants and amazing boost.

There are event stories about farmers feeding the wilted leaves to their cows that improved their health and milk production – which makes it in my eyes a little strange that it is seen as a poison in Australia (one of only 2 countries that give it a bad rap) – while there is little evidence to support this, there is much more overwhelming evidence of the benefits, and no known cases to date of anyone or anything being poisoned by it.  So be sure to do your own investigations and make your own informed decisions.  I highly recommend having some in your garden, and planting some in and around your other plants and see them all flourish.

If you are interested in reading more, there is some permaculture related articles that explain the benefits in more depth, and a link to the Cochrane 60ml_ointment001review.

http://permaculturenews.org/2010/10/01/the-wonderful-multi-purpose-comfrey-plant/

http://permaculturenews.org/2014/03/18/comfrey-really-improve-soil/

https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-reasons-comfrey-amazing-permaculture-plant

Brewing up a Comfrey Storm

comfrey_brewingBrewing up a new comfrey storm, it’s quite a bit of work the most strenuous is making sure it doesn’t boil – the oil is infused with all the delightfully delicious herbs for many hours, and then carefully blended with the other ingredients to create the magical ointment.  All the real credit of course goes to the herbs themselves, without which there would be very little healing.

This batch will be my Rose Comfrey all purpose Salve, which is looking for a new name, not sure if the Comfrey Rose Ointment is enticing enough.  The Salve is incredibly healing to makers/ creative working hands as I know the crafters like myself sometimes are looking for something to recharge and heal our joints (well I am at least, call it age – or maybe just too much crafting J, so looking for a soothing, lovely inspiring name for that – anyone has any suggestions be sure to let me know. – and for now back to the careful brewing of my lotions and potions. brewing_comfrey

Comfrey: Proven relief from Osteoarthritis and Sprains

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.
30g_ointment
Graeme’s comfrey website
Find my own ointment online at Etsy here.
Or of course if you are in South Australia can also buy it via Pure Organic Ministry or give me a shout.
Market days in July are in the planning – will relay dates shortly.

The healing Magic of Comfrey

comfrey ointmentI for one, have this innate believe that whatever illnesses, aches and pains that we might have, there is a natural solution, just often times we may not know of it, it doesn’t quiet have the marketing clout or PR budgets that a packaged product might have, and lets be honest most research is paid for by pharmaceuticals, so more often than not natural products don’t quiet have the field testing or quantifiable scientific research behind it.

The reason I bring this up is, that in the past and often my favorite herbs of all times can been seen to get undeserved bad rap, please see sources articles at the bottom if you’d like some more information on all that.  Comfrey has a vast history, it was used to heal bones, bump and bruises by the gladiators, was used by wise women and healers in medieval times to the point it earned the nickname ‘knitbone’, which it is still know by today, and is still widely used.

While it gets an undeserved wrap for internal use, it is still a star for external treatments and highly recommended.  I personally use it for almost everything, I make my own organic ointments from an organic sunflower oil infused with comfrey, to which I add burdock, devils claw, calendula, lavender and horsetail as well as some all healing essential oils such as juniper, cedarwood, bergamot and frankincense – all organic and all natural ingredients (I love seeing and knowing what goes into my concoctions, as then I know what it is where it comes from). In the rose version I’ve used Rose geranium and Rose otto oils instead of the other essential oils, which smell incredibly delicious and great to use on your face at night.

comfrey ointmentIn my lip balms which are a new comfrey offshoot,  I add lemon balm, lemon verbena, calendula and camomile as well as peppermint essential oil for that hint of freshness.

My body oils are something I’ve been using myself for ages and really works a treat, it’s the same comfrey infused oil as listed above, only I’ve added sweet almond oil, coconut oil, arnica oil and grapefruit Essential oil which is a great start to the day and is great for the skin and cellulite too.  As you can tell, am loving comfrey and the products. I’ve tested it on any issues that come up for me, pulled a muscle in my neck last week and apply the ointment before going to be and voila, after two nights it’s gone, I use it on my RSI, burns and any achy muscles, I see it help my mum’s arthritis, and a friends eczema – I even use it as a night cream and am loving that too.  I suggest you try it, or look into what natural remedies and products work for you.

I recall someone asking me once if I would drink petroleum, to which of course the answer is no – however we do daily slather our skin, which is our largest organ in just that – I dare you to go and read the label of the product you are using. I was shocked that indeed my oh so healthy cocoa butter that I was using was also a petroleum based, nothing other than a bi-product from the petrol industry – of course from that day onwards I’ve stocked up on organic coconut oil and have been using my home made recipes ever since. You can make so much right at home and it’s equally as good, cheap and much healthier for you, your skin and the environment.

Anyway, if your looking for some healing you can drop me an email if your in Adelaide and would like to buy some, I can at times be found at the Flinders Street Market, or in stock at the Organic Ministry and online you can also find my products on etsy.com, click here.

Or would like to find out more, please feel free to check out some of these resources:
Comfrey website (this is the place in French Island that I first learnt all about the magic of comfrey )
Scientific Research  (although do look at whose funding the research, no all research is created equal – I wish it were)
Summary and a good detailed overview of comfrey
Herbs are Special website, more interesting information about comfrey

Another good source of information and uses