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Comfrey Salve for Injured Poultry.

In reference to the article Using Comfrey Salve for Injured Poultry in your September/ October 2018 issue, I agree that comfrey salve has many benefits for humans and animals. I have been studying and using herbal remedies for over a decade.

However, I completely disagree with using petroleum jelly. Has the author read the ingredient list? It includes petroleum by-products which are extremely dangerous to be used on humans or animals. The chickens ingest this nasty stuff and you eat it in the meat and eggs. I use only organic, GMO-free ingredients.

I have been using salves with comfrey and other herbs for almost 20 years. I use olive oil to infuse my dry herbs. I infuse them three to four hours over a double boiler or six to eight weeks in a dark cupboard. I strain through a white cotton fabric. Then I add beeswax to make it stiff enough to set up, but soft enough to rub on wounds. I also sometimes use calendula petals and/or lavender buds infused with the comfrey. I add dried yarrow and plantain leaf to my salves also for extra healing. I use four parts infused oil to one part beeswax.

Please remember that homemade salves are wonderful ways to heal, but using unsafe ingredients negates the health benefits.

In reference to the article Chicken Digestion--The Key to Happy and Healthy Birds, deworming can be done safely sans nasty dewormers. Raw pumpkin seeds are a great dewormer. No need to toss eggs and you aren't accidentally ingesting nasty chemicals.

I use the deep litter method in my coop. We gather tree leaves from our yard every fall. Dry ones are earmarked for the coop. While damp bags are used for mulching my raised beds, herb, and flower beds. Free and no chemicals.

I raise chicks from day one, never get them vaccinated, and never feed medicated feed. If I did all this, my eggs wouldn't be any safer than store-bought eggs. My chickens are always healthy and I don't ingest nasty chemicals.

I wish the author had given safer alternatives to raising chicks/chickens. Not everyone wishes to eat chemical-laden meat or eggs. There are safer ways.

In reference to the cover, that is a Giant Swallowtail butterfly.

--Deb Berning, Jenera, Ohio

Dear Deb,

Many respectable sources show both the safety and toxicity of petroleum jelly. The truth, perhaps, lies somewhere in the middle. That said, if you have made the choice to avoid petroleum products, you are right that there are many alternatives available. As you described, you can use olive oil. There are also products like Waxelene, which combines natural oils with beeswax much the way you are doing. Thank you for bringing these alternatives to light so that others can make the decision for themselves which base they'd like to use to make their comfrey salve.

Kindly, Erin Phillips

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Title Annotation:Country Conversation & Feedback
Author:Berning, Deb
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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