Can Comfrey and other herbs be frozen for future medicine?

vickeym
vickeym Posts: 2,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

Wanting to preserve comfrey and other herbs for use during the winter. Some for poultices such as comfrey or plantain. Other herbs for tinctures, oils, etc.

Does anyone know if this will damage the constituents for the medicine?

Answers

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,354 admin

    Comfrey can. Most herbs probably can and freezing might be better for herbs with volatile oils. Drying is traditional, but modern freezing technology didn't exist a few generations ago.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,358 admin

    Comfrey & plantain can be frozen for poultice use later. This is what I plan to do with mine this year. Wash (always dust/dirt here), bag, freeze.

    Torey is very busy with the large fires in her area of BC right now. I'm not sure when she'll be available to give her opinion on other herbs. I am thinking as Judson though, that freezing others should be fine as far as constituents go.

    What I'd be most concerned with if you are going to use any of the frozen herbs for use in oil or alcohol is any moisture that will accompany frozen & thawed herbs.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,505 admin

    Interesting discussion.

    I've never frozen any of my herbs before but that's not saying it can't be done.

    For use in poultices, comfrey and plantain should freeze and hold up fairly well because of their structure. Not so much for delicate things like chickweed. I think it would turn to mush.

    I agree with @LaurieLovesLearning that there will be residual moisture that will affect tinctures and most certainly affect oils.

    When I have saved comfrey leaves in the past for poultices, I have dried the leaves whole and then carefully placed them in a plastic bag or tub of some kind. When you slide them into hot water, they reconstitute very well.

    If I have excess plant material that I can't use fresh (don't have the time to process), I will just dry it for later. During harvest season, I try to focus on making medicines with material that is best used fresh or freshly dried and then dry the rest to make medicines during the winter.

    This is a blog article from the Herbal Academy. I don't think it addresses the question completely but there are some suggestions.


  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all so much. This is wonderful information. I never really thought about being able to use dried herbs as poultices as well.

    With all our rain this year, I know the plants are full of extra moisture, so drying will probably be my best choice. Just so wet here I wasn't sure they would dry very well.

    @Torey Thank you for the link. I always forget about searching the blogs on these sites. Plus, I tend to get lost down the rabbit hole when I do.

    Found several already there that had my interest and will be helpful.