Comfrey: An Herbal Profile
Delicate, lavender, bell-like flowers grace this magnificent plant called Comfrey. She grows quickly and fills whatever space she is planted in. She thrives under the shade of a tree. Her young leaves are slightly peppery tasting and quite enjoyable.
Used medicinally for more than 2000 years, Comfrey is quite the workhorse. There seem to be more uses than can fill a page! Recently vilified by modern medicine as a possible carcinogen and cause for liver disease, most herbalists trust her long, documented history of safe use and continue their love affair with her.
*There are warnings out there about internal use if you do your research, so I encourage you to indeed do research and decide for yourself how to use Comfrey.*
Comfrey is mucilaginous and wonderful for coughs or digestive issues. The root can be decocted into a tea and drunk for relief. The leaves can be eaten when they are young but get tough and lose flavor with age. They are full of vitamin B12, potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin C, and a host of other nutrients.
Often used in salves, Comfrey contains Allantoin which gives anti-inflammatory abilities and helps to renew cells. It can help relieve pain from sprains or strains as well. Comfrey poultices help reduce swelling and bruising. It is a must for broken bones and injuries! love to use it in my healing and pain relief salves.
Comfrey can help lower cholesterol and is also a wonderful herb for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Adding it to a gut-healing regimen would be highly beneficial.
Animals love to eat Comfrey and it is also a wonderful addition to the compost pile. It seems to really help get it going. It will spread on its own but if you want to plant more, cut some of the root and plant it. It’s easy to grow from root cuttings.
Having Comfrey in my garden makes me smile because I know what a gem she is. In a time where self-suffiency is growing in importance, multi-use herbs like her are crucial to keep on-hand for food (mostly for livestock) and medicine.
Note: Comfrey leaf and root can also be purchased dried and used in the same way as the fresh herb.
Do you use Comfrey? What are your favorite uses for her?
You can purchase dried comfrey here.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Use common sense and research when it comes to herb usage. Comfrey is not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Always consult an herbalist before using herbs.
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Sarah is a wife, mom of 4, farm owner, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also an Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).