Comfrey is also called the knit bone herb, because of its ability to speed up the healing of bones. It is a member of the borage family, and has many touted benefits.
It is not native to Canada, but an introduced herb. I first read about comfrey in 2017, and was immediately intrigued.
A plant that helps bones heal much quicker, prevent and soften scars, for swelling, burns, sprains, varicose veins, and much more?
Sounded like a beneficial addition to my garden.
On top of that, it is also possible this amazing plant might possess anti fungal and anticancer activity. Some scientist ought to do a study.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing says that comfrey acts as a blood cleanser, but this would be when taken internally, and that’s something that is restricted in a lot of countries.
Some say it’s only certain varieties that are toxic, while others say comfrey consumption can cause liver damage. So it’s definitely something to be cautious of.
Comfrey is also very beneficial in compost, as it’s a valuable fertilizer source. It can be made into compost tea, and used as organic matter around plants.
It can also be planted around young fruit trees, as a natural mulch when the leaves fall, providing nutrients and suppressing weeds. I’d love to try this around our apple trees.
I kept my eyes open for a comfrey plant in our local greenhouse, but found none.
Then I heard that a cousin, a couple miles from our place, had a comfrey plant that she had received from our grandmother. So last summer (2019) I gave her a call and she blessed me with a root cutting.
I planted it end of July, and it flourished. I wasn’t expecting it to grow so quickly, but thankful I was. I was able to harvest enough leaves to make some comfrey oil, which I later turned into salve.
Although I wasn’t able to find a plant in my local greenhouse, I did find a Canadian website that sells comfrey root cuttings. Prairietough.ca
Dry, wilted comfrey leaves, chopped into medium size. You don’t want to wash your leaves because then you will get mold in your oil. Just make sure they are clean.
Fill jar loosely with leaves, cover with olivr oil. Let stand 4-6 weeks. Another option is to heat to 100 degrees in your oven for one hour. Turn off heat and let set on counter, covered with cloth, for 1-2 weeks.
Squeeze out leaves, and strain for a lovely green oil. It does have a distinctive smell.
I found a version of this recipe in “Be your Own Doctor” by Rachel Weaver
½ cup Comfrey oil
4 drops Lavender essential oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
.25 oz. grated beeswax
Melt together in small pot, pour into containers.
I’m excited to use this salve around the house. If you try this, let me know how you make out. I would love to hear some personal stories of how you have used comfrey in your life.