Friday, September 21, 2007
drying comfrey leaves
Someone on The Essential Herbal list asked how to dry large-leaved herbs, such as comfrey. Here is my reply:
There are a couple ways you can go with drying comfrey. Firstly, be tender handling your comfrey leaves as they bruise quite easily. You won’t know it at first, but upon drying the bruised leaves will go brown rather than green. Secondly, comfrey leaves shouldn’t be touching when they dry. Again, browning rather than greening when dry. So, if you have lots of room, you can lay the leaves on screening. But, you can also hang them to dry. If you do bunches, like you can for so many other herbs, they tend to brown or mold. So get some heavy duty thread (more like crochet thread) and get it into a large eyed needle. Then, skewer each leaf near the fleshy bit where the stem attaches to the leaf. Thread on each leaf like that until you have several and then hang the thread up. Think stringing popcorn and cranberries. Leave a gap between each leaf and make sure you have good air circulation. You could also string up a clothes line in your house and clothes pin each leaf to it. Only clip the stem, not the leaf part. Make sure you wear gloves as those little hairs on comfrey can dig into skin worse than any splinter and be tougher to get out. (Then you would need my Grandpa Benson’s drawing salve.) www.GreenSpiralHerbs.com
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