It’s been awhile since I’ve done an herbal post! Since summer is a prime time to photo some of my favorite herbs, I decided that I need to get a post up this week.
Comfrey is a plant that came to my garden by accident, thanks to some cows that chowed down on some. 😉 While I’d prefer to not have it come up in my green beans, I was super excited to transplant it to a better spot. (Comfrey spreads like wild-fire and will take over, be forewarned if you decide to grow it. Pick your spot carefully.)
Often referred to as bone-knit, comfrey, can do just that, it can help pull bones back together. Yes, you heard that right. Comfrey can help heal bones from a break. (All though I do suggest to seek medicinal assistance if dealing with a broken one, especially for placement)
We experienced our first broken bone early on in our parenting career. My little guy took a spill. Other than the initial cry, he didn’t fuss, but he also wouldn’t use his arm to crawl on it. I applied a comfrey poultice and decided to call the pediatrician’s office. By the time they called me back, he was already using his arm and there was no signs of bruising or swelling. They said then it’s not broken if he is using it but to call back if anything changed.
Two days later, I gave his arm a breather for a bit longer than I had been with the poultices. Would you know his arm started to swell? We went right to the doctor’s office and after examining it, she thought it might be sprained but for sure not broken.
Well, an x-ray confirmed a break! She was floored because he wasn’t in any pain and there was no bruising. It was the comfrey! His time in the cast was very short and he healed with no issues. I attribute much of that to the early use of comfrey.
Full of allantoin, comfrey helps the skin to regenerate as well. This makes it an excellent remedy for scrapes and bruises. It works so well that you should not use it in a wound that is deep or you are worried about infection because it will heal over too fast, trapping the infection in. (This is also why comfrey and plantain are often paired together so the plantain draws out the infection and comfrey heals the wound)
Comfrey also works to heal tendons and ligaments and even burns. This is just a great herb for skin and muscle ailments.
My favorite application is using it in salve. I make fresh every summer. (My recipe is for herbal salve is posted here.) If you can’t find comfrey or are nervous about making it, I like Dr. Chritopher’s comfrey salve.
I also try to dry large leaves over the summer as the are great to make a poultice by running them under boiling water to soften and then wrap around fingers and toes. You can also make a strong tea from the leaves, soak a rag in it and apply to wounds.
Comfrey has gotten a bad wrap for internal use due to people misusing it and consuming too much. While I prefer to use the homeopathic remedy of comfrey for internal usage, if you do your research you will see there are plenty examples of safe use of the herb. (The root has mucilage properties making it a good fix for lung ailments)
Comfrey is a wonderful herb to get to know and keep on hand, especially with active kids.
What’s your favorite way to use comfrey?