Claire's 18th century apothecary. Part 2: Comfrey- Guardian angel of travellers and thieves.

As you might know, I am a big fan of TV series Outlander. Set in the 18th century, Outlander tells us the story of Claire Fraser who uses an apothecary containing herbs and flowers to treat diseases and disorders. I wanted to know more about the healing powers of these herbs and went on a search. In this series you will find fables and facts about these herbs.
For every story I made a unique piece of jewelry.

 

Part 2: Comfrey - Guardian Angel of Travelers and Thieves.

The common comfrey is a plant with mostly white or purple bell-shaped flowers, which can be found in the Netherlands on verges, on dikes and along ditches. You recognize her, not only by her flowers, but also by the bristly leaves.

 

The Latin name of comfrey root is Symphytus officinale folia. Also referred to as knitbone, boneset, Bumblebee Root, Dog Strawberries, Throat Root, Tear Root, Barn Root or Carpenter's Root. Comfrey has been used for centuries for all kinds of purposes, Even ancient Greeks probably used the plant for healing wounds. The names Carpenter's root or Barn root could refer to this. But also back in Roman times and in the Middle Ages comfrey was mentioned as "medicine".

 

The officinale species designation, which is used in pharmacies, shows that the plant traditionally has had medical applications. Not only stored dried in pots, you could also find the plant in the pharmacy garden. Folia means leaf or leaves. The more you harvest this plant, preferably in early May, the more it will grow. You can collect the leaves and dry them if necessary, but it is better to use comfrey fresh.

The Latin name "Symphytum" means "growing together". Comfrey helps tissues and bones recover faster and therefore grow together again.

Wild comfrey contains the chemical substance allantoin, a compound that encourages growth and repair of connective tissue, skin, and bones. Comfrey helps wounds heal quickly, reduces scarring and has a long history of use in treating cuts, bruises, scrapes, rashes, and bone and ligament injuries.

The high slime content smoothed the skin and therefore comfrey root was added to ointments and lotions for burns, bruises or scrapes. It could also be used in compresses for fractures and strains and to reduce swelling due to any cause.

 

A great remedy that was most likely to be found in Claire Fraser's apothecary. However be always careful, even when it is used external, because it can actually make the surface heal faster than the lower part of the wound, causing abscesses. Make sure a wound has been thoroughly cleaned before applying comfrey, so as not to seal dirt inside the wound. Unless  of coure, you had dark intentions,  which we better not discuss here. Comfrey root for internal use is restricted or even prohibited in many countries due to risks of, among other things, liver damage.

 

Comfrey is also used in protective magic for the traveler and to protect against theft. Try placing a comfrey leaf in your luggage to make sure it isn't lost or stolen. Use comfrey root in sachets for protection while traveling, and to keep your lover faithful while you are gone. Also use it in sachets to protect vehicles. Hang from your rearview mirror or hide it under a seat. Wrap your money in a comfrey leaf for several days before going to a casino or poker game. It will help keep your bets coming back to you.

 

Comfrey is not only to protect “the honest”, a certain type of criminal is also protected by comfrey, although you can hardly call the members of these gangs criminal; they are bees and bumblebees. Bees and bumble bees have short tongues and to get to the nectar, these little criminals bite a hole in the flowers. Dutch naturalist Jac. P. Thijsse called this "theft after burglary". Research has shown that this form of nectar robbery is passed on from generation to generation; bees and bumble bees learn each other to steal, after which the apprentice thieves practice what they have learned. Fortunately, other insects also benefit from the burglary holes. In short, comfrey is a plant that can be used for many purposes.

 

The earrings that I made with this story have the colors of the flowers of the purple comfrey. I made only 1 pair of these earrings, so they remain unique and special. These unique earrings have beautiful lampwork glass flowers, that are handmade glass beads, made by Alla Funktikova, an artisan from Russia. Beautiful drops of ceramic made by artisan Petra Carpreau from Scorched Earth from the UK.