Comfrey Comfrey Comfrey aka Knitbone or the mender of broken bones, and how lucky we are, it grows naturally in North America, as a beautiful honey bee loving plant, but MORE, and so much more. I used to write Newsletters over 20 years ago, about all my herbs, I see there is now so much available, but everything write about I USE and make myself, and it has worked.
ALWAYS ALWAYS have this in my garden. I have seen amazing things happen with this plant, with people, pets and animals in general. Lots of controversy when something really works and its worth is never praised and since my use of this plant for decades with no ill affects, but Comfrey does contains alkaloids, which can build up in the liver to cause permanent damage and sometimes death, which is the reason Comfrey preparations are not sold for oral or internal use in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada or Germany. I have never used it orally but many do.
She is prickly, like a cats tongue, she can be large, she flowers, she is beautiful. The honey bees love her and so do I. How sad again, there are so many warnings out there about this plant. I have been using Comfrey for over 40 years, on myself, my children, my parents, my pets, our horses, all external use, so I will stand up for this plant and believe in it, as another wonder of the plant world. However not everyone can use the same things with no reaction, so everyone is responsible for doing some research to add to the knowledge everyone who has used alternative, has shared, and most important always make sure you know what plant you are identifying, as there are many look a likes.
From a small piece of root, this plant blooms, and her promise to come back every year, is true to her nature. Every year and bigger each year, and she spreads. I always cut my leaves off, to use, and then it will grow some more, and endless supply from just one plant. I love the look of this plant in my gardens and I love her purple flowers. Prickly and a sun lover, I have found this plant will mould somewhat is shade, and always pick the plant when the sun has the leaves the driest.
Known as knitbone by the Native American Indians, I have used this when I broke my ankle, had a severe bruising injury, when our horses strained their muscles, when our dogs had an open sore, and so many other things, and I add another favoured herb and I make a universal cream out of this.
Comfrey leaves are a much valued external remedy for sprains, swellings, bruises, poultice to severe cuts, as well they promote suppuration (puss formation) of boils and abscesses, and gangrenous and ill-conditioned ulcers bringing it to a head. As a whole plant, raw, it can be beaten or mashed to a pulp and applied hot as a poultice, are exceptional for soothing pain in any tender, inflamed or puss area.
I like to take the leaves from a dry plant, cut off what I need, (which also keeps the plant healthy and promotes new growth), and I either mash them or cut leaves up, let them seep in boiling water for a few minutes, and this produces a mucousy textured mix, that I either put on the skin as it is, or I put in between gauze and wrap it with a bandage to leave on.
I also make a plantain, comfrey cream with coconut oil that just about heals everything, and that is always on hand for my heal oil, it is always my base and then I add in other medicinal herbs depending on cause and cure.
It has become a wonderful healer for horse strains, pulled anything, and it is a house hold name here.
It has been noted that the pyrrolizidine alkaloid content of the leaf varies throughout the seasons, and early spring harvests reveal the highest alkaloid content in the leaves, however I use it from from spring to fall.
ENSURE when using comfrey for anything you can positively identify the plant. Comfrey can be confused with the deadly foxglove and can lead to accidental and fatal poisonings.
Again READ, EDUCATE and make your own decision.
As always, until my next wonderful natural remedy or story.