Comfrey, My Favorite Herb

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Comfrey,

Symphytum officinale.

A few Common Names: Knitbone, boneset,

Why It’s My Favorite Herb.

This has got to be my favorite herb! Comfrey and I go way back! While yarrow was the first herb I was introduced to, Comfrey was the first herb I experienced. When I was younger I gashed open my knee while running around like a wild child. Most times I would just roll with it, no tears for this kid, especially not around the boys. But when I got a good look at this gash I was sure it needed stitches and the tears began to fall.

My dear friend and mentor took me into the house, cleaned up the wound and made me a comfrey poultice to place on my knee. Not only did the bleeding stop and the bruising disappear instantly but it healed remarkably well with just a few more applications. No stitches for this girl! And no scar!

Because this experience stayed with me, comfrey was one of the herbs on the top of my have to have list! This amazing herb gets used weekly at my house... we’re a bit accident prone.

 

What does Comfrey look like?

Comfrey has large, hairy, oval to lance like leaves. The hairs on the leaves are a bit prickly so use gloves when making your poultices or harvesting. The stems are juicy. The flowers are purplish to rosey white and bell shaped. This plant can bush out and grow very large.

 

Where does Comfrey grow?

Comfrey is a garden plant. It is not usually found in the wild. It should however have a place in your garden! It is a powerful plant that is not just good for medicinal uses but it is wonderful for your soil. It is a great addition to food forests. The leaves make a nutritional mulch for trees, gardens and other vegetation.

Choose where you plant comfrey wisely however. It has a tap root that can grow 10 feet deep making it impossible to move. If any of the root remains the plant will grow back. This makes it very easy to produce more comfrey if you feel you need more.

 

What’s Comfrey used for?

Comfrey is a fantastic herb from skin to bone. It works wonders at healing cuts and bruises. It soothes sore joints and muscles. It has been known to speed the healing of broken bones. Make sure all wounds are clean and free of signs of infection before using comfrey. It can heal the skin right over infection and debris causing an abscess if you are not careful.


If you want to dig deeper into Comfrey be sure to sign up for the Melissa and Yarrow Membership and check it out under Herbal Plant Profiles.


How have I used Comfrey?

Personally I’ve used comfrey to disperse bruises, heal cuts, encourage healing broken bones, and to gain relief from sore muscles, just to name a few.

  • After slipping and gashing open my foot in the yard it was an automatic bruise kind of wound, so tender and so painful! I made a quick poultice of fresh comfrey, taped it down and kept going. The pressure of the poultice was uncomfortable for a bit, but the bruise was gone quick and the wound healed up nicely!
  • Prior to and after my dad’s knee replacement surgery he was quite uncomfortable and still has some joint pain here and there. He’s always begging for a few of my frozen poultices. Says they work amazing. I even had him do a test, use just ice and then use the frozen comfrey poultice and tell me is there a difference? He said there was definitely a difference, the comfrey worked so much better! He was so thrilled by them he took them to work for show and tell...and share.
  • My nephew had a Bible Cyst and until he was able to get in to get it fixed he was using the poultices I had gave his sister to use for hip issues. Said it made it feel a lot better! His sister didn’t have much luck with the poultices but her injury was quite severe and required surgery.
  • I use comfrey in many of my homemade salves. It adds an extra punch to many of the salves!
  • I plan to start a fruit tree guild next year and comfrey will be planted all around my little peach trees! I can’t wait!

 

Have you ever used comfrey? If so what is your favorite way to use it?

If you haven’t, I hope you’ve decided to try it out after reading through this!

 

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