Comfrey

Also known as knitbone, my interest in herbs started here. Mum started me off with my first bit of gardening and in this flower bed were three plants you can never kill, or at least I never got them wrong. Geraniums, daffodils and comfrey. Mum told me that comfrey used to be used to make casts for broken bones

.

Traditional uses

As I said it was used for broken bones once upon a time. I’m told a paste was made of the root and it was set into a cast. It contains allantoin, a chemical that speeds up healing, which made it a very useful herb for broken bones indeed! It was also used for digestive complaints and respiratory problems. This may be because it contains demulcent/mucilage, which soothes mucous membranes, and anti inflammatories.

 

Uses today

It’s still considered an effective healer for injuries, from sprains to fractures, so putting a compress immediately onto the injured part should aid healing significantly.

Comfreys healing powers can be transferred to be used on skin problems also, like acne or eczema. Adding infused oil (very easy to make) or an ointment made from the leaves, and perhaps coupling that with taking a yellow dock remedy regularly could help. πŸ™‚ Do not use the roots internally. The roots contain a chemical which will damage the liver, so only apply externally. Our neighbour (sort of neighbour, but we don’t really live close to anyone out here!) once used a comfrey ointment she made on a deep cut she’d got from falling over. She didn’t know how fast it would work. It healed right over some grit that was embedded in the skin! I’m planning to use some comfrey infused oils as massage oils, I’ll tell you how it goes when I get round to it. ^.^

This is what confrey should look like this time of year (those broad leaves at the back of the picture)

Comfrey Info

Comfrey is native to Europe. It grows quite tall, provided you protect it from the wind… which is definitely where I go wrong. (I’m trying to grow some trees to increase the wind shelter in my little patch.) The flowers range from pale pink (sometimes white) to nearly purple and sometime blue. It has nice big green leaves.

KNOW YOUR PATCH! Before you start picking what you think is Comfrey, be aware that foxgloves look very similar to the untrained eye… and sometimes the trained eye! It’s better to get to know the plant first, I grew up around the stuff and I’m still cautious, and know from experience where it is growing. Wait until the summer. It is easier to tell the difference as the flowers of Comfrey are mostly at the top, whereas Foxgloves flower all the way up the stem. MIXING THESE UP CAN, AND HAS IN SOME CASES, HAVE DEADLY CONCEQUENCES.

Harvest Comfrey root in autumn; the leaves and flowers in the summer. Plant from seed in spring or separate roots in autumn. I prefer to propagate by root. I tend to go by the rule ‘if it’s not flowering it’s ok to move’… which I do not recommend to others but if the spring is the only time you can propagate your comfrey then rest assured it shouldn’t die as long as you plant it in good soil and water well. It’ll not look so happy, though, and you’ll end up thinking you’ve almost killed the poor thing. Be patient. Comfrey’s useless to you unless you can play the waiting game – it’s at its best when it’s been down for a couple of years (lots of lovely roots) and it’s comfortable where it is.

 

A touch of witchcraft

 

My little patch of comfrey, growing in a worn out tyre

 

Realising the patch I’d decided to take from was what I call a ‘faery patch’ I asked permission for the plants (whether there are or aren’t faeries there I don’t know all I know is it’s a little pocket of magic down there). The first three pretty much walked out with me but when I went for a forth it wouldn’t budge, I took the hint. I’m allowed three, no more. ^.^ I love it when the message is clear. ^.^ So I just thought I’d say, later in the week I’m going to buy a lady bird house and put it near this area. This is my little offering. Of course there’ll be a miniature ceremony for it, and I’ll try post that up when I’m done. πŸ™‚

 

Comfrey is also used to protect luggage in transit from theft and to protect travellers in general. Put leaves or roots in your luggage as you travel or furniture as you move house to ensure they arrive in their destinations safely. Carry with you on journeys to keep you safe. πŸ™‚ Comfrey is a water element plant, so you could boost its energies by planting it in the water corner of your garden.

 

Rowan

x~x

(Tell me about your experiences of using comfrey, in medicine or magic, or even some offering suggestions in comments below. πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear what you have to say)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: