Comfrey is an extremely versatile with herb with a wide range of uses in herbology and horticulture. Its importance to herbal medicine is underlined by a famous herbalist, Dorothy Hall, who wrote in 1975 'Russian comfrey and garlic could together almost halve the present ills of western civilization.'
As a herbal remedy, Comfrey has been used for more than 200 years. It is primarily a healer, being used externally for bruises, sprains and arthritis, but has also found applications in bronchial complaints and as an anti-inflammatory.
Comfrey is a herb with a root with large green leaves and a root similar to that of a turnip. It originated in Europe and is found most often in Britain, where is it easily seen in hedgerows or on roadsides. It is now also cultivated in Japan as a vegetable.
As for Comfrey’s role in herbal medicine, it has been cultivated and used for centuries in Europe, Asia and North America. It is known as one of nature’s greatest healers and a must-have item for any herbologist, amateur or professional.
Comfrey’s most important role in herbal medicine is as a healer. When applied externally to bruising, sprains, arthritis or any inflamed tissue, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Its old European name, Knitbone, refers to the way that Comfrey was ‘knitted’ around the bruised leg or arm.
Drinking a few drops of Comfrey in water can help with a variety of bronchial complaints, particularly whooping cough. Boiling the crushed root yields a mild remedy for diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal problems.
Comfrey is the fertilizer of choice for organic gardeners wishing to avoid putting toxic chemicals on their plants. It is a great source of potassium, and while growing actually extracts nutrients from deep in the soil, beneath the roots of other plants.
Comfrey is usually taken as an infusion or a tea. The root is crushed and boiled in either water or milk. Alternatively, make an infusion by boiling the leaves. As for using the plant externally, the whole plant can be beaten and heated up, then applied to the skin.