Sunday, June 5, 2011

Herbal Juices

Comfrey is ready for harvest here!  In fact, I've been cutting back the blooms to help the plants bush out a bit and prolong harvesting - as it is best to harvest before blooming.

Comfrey is a member of the Borage and Forget-me-not family, Boraginaceae. Comfrey thrives in almost any soil or situation, but does best under the shade of trees. Michael Phillips (author of The Apple Grower) tells us to plant comfrey under our fruit trees to attract bees to improve pollonation.

Comfrey should be harvested before it sends its vital energy into producing flowers. An established comfrey is a robust plant and will grow over and over again throughout the summer so you can enjoy multiple leaf harvests by cutting back the plant to keep it from flowering until later. For Mrs. Grieve's overview of comfrey and its medicinal properties, visit There are also a few other links in my sidebar with great herbal info.

Herbal juices allow us to extract the entire wealth of vitamins and minerals from nutrient rich herbs because we are consuming the entire harvest in its most vital state. In a past herbal class, Savayda Jarone of Mayflower Herbs had us in the garden picking 4" baby comfrey leaves to make herbal juice. I was shocked at the lovely light cucumber flavor of this mild slightly green drink!


1/2 cup chopped fresh herb
1 cup water

Blend in food processor or blendrer until pureed and frothy.
Strain and serve.

To preserve herbal juices longer, put unstrained juice in a sterile glass jar and add 1 cup apple cider vinegar and cover. Shake daily for 2 weeks then strain. Take 1 tsp in water, 1 or 2 times daily. The shelf life is about 3 months.

If you are not familiar with this wonderful garden specimen, give it a try. It will thrive in partly shaded areas of the garden, it produces gorgeous texture with its large leaves and it attracts beneficial bees with it's striking blossoms.

Originally posted: May 12, 2010

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