What Are The Benefits and Uses of Comfrey?
Wooo let’s talk about an interesting little plant called Comfrey, or if you want to get fancy, Symphytum Officinale. This plant is one of those medicinal plants that you just want to have on hand. Because when sh!t hits the fan, this little bad boy is going to come in handy and you’re going to think to yourself, “I am so glad I subscribed to Oh Sure I Can Homesteads blog and learned about this!” Alright maybe that’s a little over board but seriously, if you’re building your holistic medicine cabinet, this is the herb for you. Okay enough with the babble let’s get down and dirty with this bad boy.
A little bit about comfrey
Comfrey (symphytum officinale), grows about 3-4 feet high. It has bristle like hairs on the leaves. It grows these beautiful little delicate purple, white, or pink flowers. The roots grow deep and strong making it a very hard plant to get rid of. The roots are covered in a bark revealing a white center when cut. It is a strong beautiful plant when watered daily and loved.
Parts Used: leaves and roots
Key Constituents: allantoin, rosmarinic acid, mucilage and tannin.
Comfrey is a wonderful plant to have in the garden. It is known to be a nitrogen fixing plant meaning, it gives much needed nitrogen back to soil. It can be used as a chop and drop, you chop the leaves back and drop as a mulch and it composts back into the soil. A Comfrey tea is always a win for your lovely garden. You chop some leaves put them in a bucket. Cover leaves with water and allow to steep for about 3-6 weeks.
Bing bang boom, you got a delicious comfrey tea your plants will delightfully drink up. Just mix about 15 parts water to one part comfrey tea. This method makes more of a concentrate so it can go a long way. Water away and your plants will say, ahhh thank you.
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The medicinal properties of Comfrey are really what we are after when building our holistic medicine cabinet. Comfrey contains allantoin, rosmarinic acid and tannis all which help the skin rapidly grow cells back. Making this a great herb to have on hand when you have a minor scrape, burn or wound. Comfrey has also been known to help heal broken bones and sprains. WHAT! It’s true. It has anti inflammatory properties to it as well. I mean what other plant out there do you know can help heal a broken bone?! Let’s just say that Comfrey benefits are extraordinary!
Now how do you use comfrey, this interesting plant. You can use it in a salve by creating an oil with the plant and mixing it with beeswax. (Psst..Here’s the recipe for a lavender comfrey salve!) You can make a poultice, by blending up fresh leaves and spreading it out on a cheese cloth. Learn how to make comfrey poultice here. Or you can just use it fresh leaves, rub it a little in your hand to break the walls and lay it over the sprain or wound.
We had a really hard time finding this little miracle plant. But keep looking for it at farmers markets or reputable seed companies and get it growing in your garden already. You won’t be sorry and maybe one day you’ll be like holy moly, I have this amazing comfrey plant that I could use to help my back pain go away. I’m tellin’ ya, comfrey is an amazing plant with so many uses.