Comfrey Central Forum For Visitor Input




     The intention of this forum is to foster the responsible use
     of comfrey as food or as medicine by providing a place to
     exchange experience and personal opinion.

Name Title Create Date Comments
Sandra Holladay 2014-06-13 17:22:28 When my youngest daughter was 6 (in 1978) she got a scrap on her inside wrist while at school on a Thursday. I didn't look bad and not realizing (then) that schools didn't do anything to injuries, I didn't pay attention to it. Sunday I touched her arm and she screamed - I looked at her arm and she had a red line going from her wrist up to a sack under her arm. Our town was small and a doctor only came up once a week, so I went down the hill to a phone to call the local 'hippy' doctor. He told me to put comfrey on it and bring her in in the morning. The neighbor I called from raised comfrey for his rabbits so he gave me several leaves. When I got home, I wasn't sure how to use it so put a leaf over the abrasion and wrapped it in gauze to keep it on. I changed it every hour as it turned black and wilted. When she went to bed I put the rest of the leaves on her. In the morning the red line and sack were completely gone. The comfrey had drawn out all the poison. I got a start of the comfrey from our neighbor and have taken it with me everywhere I've lived. After that, my mom decided to use it for her arthritis. She would drink one cup of tea a day and said she could really tell it if she missed any days. The comfrey did not get rid of her arthritis but did keep it from bothering her. She took it for 30 years until she died and never had any liver problems.
r l 2014-06-07 15:31:59 I have grown comfrey for at least 30 years. I mainly used it for chicken and rabbit food. tons of it. it is supposed to be very high in protein. animals did very well with it. lately I seem to be having a reaction to it when pulling it in the garden. I get VERY itchy palms. it doesn't last a long time, but sure is irritating. I am thinking I may not be able to use comfrey topically anymore. I plan on wearing gloves to work with it anymore. I was wondering if anyone else has this problem.
Roxanne Falkenstein 2014-06-05 12:31:21 Comfrey is a miracle herb no doubt.. as mentioned it is excellent for repairing bones and tissue.. the root being the strongest and the leaves being more mild. The fuzzy quality of the herb is best applied after making into a tea or blended very well and run through a coffee filter to keep those hairs from irritating skin. That said in my youth i ate the leaves finely chopped in salads when I separated my shoulder [A/C] my doctors were quite amazed with my speed of healing since they said I would need an operation that I may not be able to lift my arm over my head. I heal perfectly well, giving credit to some physical therapy I also administered. I am now treating hemorrhoids with the tea sitz bath and will make a suppository with the dry powdered root mixing with white oak bark in a coco butter base. I will report the results. I have treated many friends to a comfrey poultice when injured as well, with very dramatic positive results every time. Fresh Root should be pulled up, soaked and scraped clean before grating and using as a tea or topical poultice. I wrap the grated root in a thin cloth one layer only and soak in a dish of boiled water until warm/cooled and apply to affected area.
Elva Chavez 2014-05-12 12:12:15 I have just started growing comfrey because I have heard of it´s wonderful benefits. I am not sure which part of the plant I should eat: the leaf, root and stem? Also, I would love to know how to eat and use it. Where can I find recipes for using it as food as well as cream or poultice? I would greatly appreciate any help and advice. Thanks
Gwen 2014-03-15 12:28:41 I am interested in growing comfrey. My best location is unprotected from deer. I am wanting to know if this is relatively unattractive to deer versus being a deer magnet?
yawyawland JANG 2014-01-29 09:22:17 Due to the prolonged heatwave here in Melbourne Australia, I have developed a painful rash in the perinal area. it was so painful it was painful to sit down or remain seated. I thwn made some comfrwy infusion using 20grams of young leaves in a pint of boiling water, steep over night. I drank it over for 2 days and the rash dissapeared. I have never used anything that heals as quickly as comfray. I also suspect that the pain was also reduced immediately. Since then, I have continued to drink comfrey infusion for taste and general benefit for my other skin rash caused by touching tomatoes plants. The infusion taste wonderful with little raw honey.
Wallace Dickson 2013-11-26 10:55:29 I have been consuming Comfrey Leaf Tea for about a year now. Two cups daily, one in the morning, another in the evening. It has healed my hiatal hernia and I have no more hernia pain. I take a break from this tea every now and then, abstaining for about a month. Then I resume taking two cups daily for about a month. I have experienced no ill side effects from this regimen of Comfrey Leaf Tea consumption. I think the bad effects arise when humans overdoses on Comfrey Leaf Tea, or drinks the tea consistently over too long a period of time without a break. After inspection of the studies available online, it seems that they always use inordinately large doses for their testing on small animals like rats, just like the overdosing by humans in the reports.
John M. Morgan 2013-10-27 21:31:17 Back in the 1950s or 60s my mother came across the booklet "Nature''s Healing Grasses" by H.E. Kirshner, MD in which he promotes making green drinks by blending various raw vegetables with fruit juice. He devoted 4 of his 19 short chapters to comfrey, which he recommended for both internal and external use. Following Kirshner''s recommendation, my mother consumed a comfrey green drink (made with several freshly picked leaves blended with her favorite pineapple juice) almost daily during the summer months for a couple decades or more. I did the same, less regularly, for a similar period of time. Despite no sign of trouble, it is hard not to be influenced by the official warnings, so I stopped the practice when I first heard the warnings (perhaps in the 90s?) My mother was handicapped from a severe case of polio acquired as a young mother just before the vaccine came out, which landed her in an "iron lung" for several weeks. She regained the ability to walk and outlived many of her contemporaries, till age 89. So, my personal experience suggests there are grounds for skepticism when modern science tells us we should treat comfrey as a poison.
John M. Morgan 2013-10-27 14:42:44 Back in the 1950s or 60s my mother came across the booklet "Nature's Healing Grasses" by H.E. Kirshner, MD in which he promotes making green drinks by blending various raw vegetables with fruit juice. He devoted 4 of his 19 short chapters to comfrey, which he recommended for both internal and external use. Following Kirshner's recommendation, my mother consumed a comfrey green drink (made with several freshly picked leaves blended with her favorite pineapple juice) almost daily for a couple decades or more. I did the same, less regularly, for a similar period of time. Despite no sign of trouble, it is hard not to be influenced by the official warnings, so I stopped the practice when I first heard the warnings (perhaps in the 90s?) My mother was handicapped from a severe case of polio acquired as a young mother just before the vaccine came out, which landed her in an "iron lung" for several weeks. She regained the ability to walk and outlived many of her contemporaries, till age 89. So, my personal experience suggests there are grounds for skepticism when modern science tells us we should treat comfrey as a poison.
Leah 2013-08-16 05:57:57 i''ve only recently been introduced to the benefits of comfrey as my mum had it growing in her yard and wanted to know what it was good for, and when i heard that it was good for dissolving calcifications like bone spurs i decided to buy a bottle of comfrey oil from eBay and give it to a friends mum for use on her neck. My friends mum had pulled muscles in her neck several times over 5 years and had never fully healed so the vertebra in her neck calcified fusing together and pinching a nerve and leaving her in terrible pain. all the doctors she saw told her that there was nothing they could do and told her she would be taking painkillers for the rest of her life. she began using the comfrey oil and she regained some movement in her arm and the pain began to ease and very soon after she began to be able to move her head from side to side which she wasn''t able to do before. she is no longer in pain but once she got movement back and was no longer in pain she stopped using it so she still doesn''t have complete motion in her neck and shoulder. i myself began using it for cuts and scrapes because i scar very easily even a scratch will scar since using it i have had no scarring. i had a deep cut to my thumb applied the comfrey oil to a bandaid and the sides of the cut had fused within hours and fully healed in less than a week. a bird bite to the heel of my hand which was extremely deep and the flesh was almost severed it took a few weeks to heal and because of the depth fluid filled blisters broke out along the wound line, there is a small amount of discolouration to the site and some residual pain but there is no scar (i need to continue application for further healing) and i used a bloodroot salve to remove a worrisome mole and it left a crater on my arm, using comfrey oil for a week and the crater filled in with minimal scar (you wouldn''t see it if you didn''t know where to look) and i had a hairline fracture to a small bone in my foot and at the time i had no comfrey oil so for weeks i was in pain when i did get the oil i soaked a bandaid in the oil and placed it over the broken bone within two weeks i was walking normally with no pain. every person i tell the benefits of comfrey to i tell them the bad side as well for all the internet searches i have done i''ve found that ingesting fresh comfrey leaves and roots can cause liver problems but the topical treatments doesn''t seem to absorb the toxin involved although drinking tea made from the dry leaf seems to be okay as well because the toxin is in such minute amounts you''d have to be drinking it by the liter daily for a hundred years before you had a problem (it''s what the clinical studies i found on the web have said).
shirley dumas 2013-08-05 07:47:02 I'm so glad to know that I can eat comfrey and use it in my smoothies. So much misinformation out there. Thank you so much. Shirley
Melinda 2013-08-05 02:01:38 We use comfrey in many ways. I simply do not believe it is toxic. http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/comfrey.html, This Australian website is excellent. We especially love comfrey "fish". Dip leaves in thin batter and fry. Serve with butter, jam maple syrup or raw honey. I make my salve from leaves and roots. Wash and slice roots, dry. Wilt leaves in sun and score rib to allow to dry somewhat. Warm coconut oil and infuse. I use the sun when I can or a heating pad to keep my coconut oil liquid. Oil will become greenish. When removing plant do not squeeze too much or you will release water. If this happens after oil congeals water will find its way to bottom. Remove chunk of oil from jar and wipe water off. Store in refrigerator if you want. I made too many comfrey fish the other day so gave a plate of the to a neighbor. He was so amazed he raved about them. They truly taste amazing and make you happy. I think this is because they are so nutritious. We also love green soup- a soup made from greens, onion, potato and pureed. I add a few comfrey leaves and chickweed. I dry copious amounts for tea and to powder. The powder can be capped or sprinkled into soups etc. Comfrey is a miracle food and should be everywhere. It is a great food for chickens. It makes a great fertilizer tea for the garden. The uses are so diverse. The honey bees love the flowers and work mine over til the last blossom has fallen. I am a gorilla gardener and spend time every year digging comfrey roots and planting them in public places where they will be available to people for food. I place my roots in places where they will not be weed eaten. I like to place them so pollinators will have food and be drawn into areas to assist in pollinating nearby berries and trees. A friend of mine cut his thumb nail thru and into the finger almost to the knuckle. They dug a root and made a paste from it and made a gloopy cast around the finger and wrapped it securely. When I saw it it was a miracle of healing.
christine james 2013-07-20 10:14:43 hi i am a 57 yr old woman and have broken my right scaphoid and 2 breaks in my distal radias and am desperate to get some comfrey formula,i live in australia can anyone help ?
Robin 2013-05-21 15:18:41 I have access to comfrey growing wild at an abandoned (house) site for about ten years. I am harvesting most of it for making compost. I will leave some of it un-cut for harvesting seed - I need instruction about the seed-gathering. How do I see that they are mature - ready for harvest, before they simply drop off onto the ground, etc. How to dry them how to store them, etc. Thank You. ~ Robin (lost in the Maine woods)
Keara Quiroz 2013-04-08 10:54:04 I am seeking comfrey plants, seeds whatever. I can't find them anywhere resale. If you can direct me good suppliers or want to do a trade/ xchange please let me know.
Sue 2013-02-21 07:35:48 1.Anyone know how many (size?) leaves would be in a teaspoon of dried and broken up comfrey? Don't have a plant yet. 2.Also, anyone have a good recipe for comfrey and coconut oil ointment? 3.Also(!) Anyone know whether the dried comfrey is less therapeutic than fresh? Thanks.
Trickzta Vaughan Harran 2012-12-22 20:58:34 Hi guys, in South Africa there is a region that has had comfrey growing there for 1000s of years. Their website is www.theronscomfrey.co.za. They have interesting information including clinical trials, click on 'important links' on their home page. World renowned herbalist David Hoffman also speaks about the usefulness of comfrey, and he makes a lot of sense in his articles about the short sighted banning and the silly method of testing employed by those that have come to the incorrect assumption that comfrey is poisionous. A google search will bring up many articles by David. The world has banned a wonderful source of food for the really poor and starving people esp. in Africa. The main thing I want to say is "comfrey is not poisonous" unless maybe when it is sprayed with chemicals. This belief is shared by many people most of them far more qualified than I am. I will not stop using comfrey as I'm convinced that there is more to the banning than meets the eye. Peace.
Trickzta Vaughan Harran 2012-12-22 19:37:14 Hi to all, comfrey is a gift from nature that Big Phara and their lapdog the FDA cannot patent for financial gain. Instead they rubbish it. Modern drugs kill thousands every year, and that is only those that took the prescribed dosages. Many more die from overdose or wrongly prescribed or from wrong combinations. But because of one, posslble that's right one possible maybe, one we think it might be case of death from consuming comfrey it is banned. It is sad that super rich pharmaceutical companies can rob the poor of an inexpensive food source, one that grows easily and promotes health so vigorously for the sake of a few dollars more. Thank you for this site.
Gary Pearson 2012-12-20 05:30:00 I am a distance runner and three years ago I tore the patella ligament in my right knee while doing sprints as a part of my personal training. For several months I tried to know avail using over the counter medicines to aid in the healing then one day someone suggested I try Comfrey root. I purchase the chopped root store in bulk from the local health food store. I take a teaspoon full and put it in a small dish and add just enough boiling water to create a small amount of liquid ointment that feels somewhat slick between the fingers. I would then rub it on the knee to obtain immediate relief. In a short time the ligament healed and I was up and running again. I have since torn the same ligament in the opposite knee so once again I am using Comfrey root. In a few short months I am nearly totally healed and I have maintained minimal running throughout while increasing the mileage regularly. Believe me. It works!
Barry Lamont 2012-08-17 05:27:29 Hello All, I am 63 years of age and herbs and spices have been an integral part of my life for more than 40 of those and am currently the Procurement Manager for a large importer still deeply involved with buying,selling and using culinary,medicinal,aromatic,cosmetic,economic plants for their ability to feed, serve and heal us. I have used Comfrey for myself and others nearly all of those years internally and externally for a multitude of ailments and never had an adverse reaction or anything but beneficial effects. I have read extensively on this subject and this site has the most balanced hysteria free evaluation of what is a wonderful healing plant. I won't bore you with the resume of 40 years usage of Comfrey but suffice it to say that the world is missing out on exploring the medicinal properties of this plant because of an illogical ban based on fallacy. I recommend Mrs Grieve's A Modern Herbal for a dissertation on its merits down through the ages. Cheers Bazl
gerald moskovitz 2012-07-24 06:40:02 Have used comfrey with our patients and customers for 35years with no hassles.Definitely one of the big 5 herbs.A really great site you have put together.
Ruth Chausse 2012-07-10 15:22:57 I have a younger horse that suffered an injury to the lateral collateral ligament that connects the short pastern bone to the coffin bone ( in the hoof) at the point of insertion into the coffin bone the bone has suffered degeneration and as you can imagine this is a very difficult type of injury to try to get to heal. After 5 months of stall rest and still somewhat lame at the trot, I have decided to try feeding him comfrey leaf , fresh and dried, and root as well. He gobbles it up so I have to be careful to only give him a little at a time. This is a last ditch effort to encourage and assist the bone to heal. I read somewhere that Gypsies use to feed Comfrey to their horses to fatten them up and keep their bodies strong. It will fatten them up FAST for sure, I feed only a few leaves a day but as for the root I'm wondering how much will help. He'd he a bucket full if I let him but so far I just give him a small piece of root a day. Any thoughts? And as for myself, I have joint issues and have started drinking a cup of comfrey tea a day or every other day. I love it and back in the 70's drank the tea just cause it's good for you and tastes good too. I'm aware of the controversy over the safety of using Comfrey internally and find it amusing that so many legal drugs prescribed by the AMA come with alarming warnings about the dangers of using them , and yet they can use mass advertizing to sell these drugs. It seems to me that drinking a little Comfrey tea is benign in comparison.
Nancy Henker 2012-07-03 15:32:54 Nevada, USA. Several years ago, I bought bulk dried comfrey root to decoct tea and make a black salve with decocted comfrey root, decocted burdock root, garlic oil, liquid vitamin E, and aloe vera gel. The topical salve was incredible--I remember a nasty equine saddle sore being cured in one hour flat. I took the decocted comfrey root tea to ease my moderately severe colitis, which worked every time wonderfully. My point is this: I always BOILED the dried root and I am wondering what effect this has on the chemical composition of the alkaloids. Perhaps, something along the lines of boiling linseed oil?
Michael Warren 2012-07-01 11:14:17 Dorena Rode, Your comments about "Comfrey being notorious for taking over a garden" are misleading and/or incomplete as I will attempt to explain. The Common Comfrey (symphytum officinale) is one of the original or naturally occurring varieties which along with another similar variety called Rough Comfrey (symphytum asperum) can be invasive as you suggest, due mainly to seed propogation. However the various cultivars of Russian Comfrey (symphytum uplandicum) which is a hybrid of these two, are not invasive as their seed if set at all is infertile and will not germinate. The Bocking 4 variety of Russian Comfrey is very hardy and the most easily usable by humans and animals and is very robust, growing more quickly than its progenitors. All Comfrey can be propgated by root or crown cuttings but if left undisturbed (untilled), Russian Comfrey will simply stay where you planted it giving abundant foliage from cuttings 4 or more times per year, useable as green manure, poltices, infusions, teas, animal feeds and even as a human salad component. Plus the composting worms in my worm bin seem to prefer it to vegetative kitchen waste. Michael
Michael Warren 2012-07-01 10:31:07 Lauri, Russian Comfrey (Bocking 4 variety) can be purchased from Coes Comfrey and he is based in either N or S Carolina. I think his web site is coescomfrey.com and his prices are very reasonable. I purchased 10 root segments (he sent me 15) and they all came up and are doing well. Now my neighbors and relatives are turning me away from the door knowing I am bringing more comfrey plants.
Pamela Sai 2012-06-24 06:20:27 In 1988, I had a car accident that resulted in severe compound fractures of the fibia and tibia of my R leg. 4 pieces of bone were through the skin. Amputation was advised, but I refused to sign the permission form. For 6 weeks I was in hospital with an external frame fixing the tibia from below the knee to the ankle. I was released home with a fiberglass caste that was in 2 pieces so it could be opened. There was a hole in my leg where pieces of bone were protruding from one of the wounds, and I was informed that I would need more surgery to shave down the bone so the skin could grow over it. At this stage i decided to use comfrey. I took symphytum (homeopathic comfrey) internally, and daily ground up a comfrey leaf from the garden in the mixie, till it was a juicy paste. I then put this paste between gauze and laid it over the area where the bones protruded. I also exposed the wound to sunlight for a period every day (when the sun was out). In a remarkably short time, the wound closed and the skin grew over the bone, amazing the surgeon, and all who witnessed it.
Harley 2012-06-07 19:22:48 I have tried everything for my Tennis Elbow. I was told comfrey could help with my inflamation. I was wondering how to make a poltice with the comfrey. Any suggestions?
Elka Sundwall 2012-06-07 15:10:53 Thank you so much for your work with comfrey. I really appreciate your website.
Mi Bri 2012-04-21 05:53:15 Some time ago I became aware of the healing properties of Comfrey so I planted some in my garden. A year or so later I suffered a paper cut on the heel of my left hand. The cut was right on the crease just below my pinky and with the constant movement remained open for several days. Those who work with paper and suffer such cuts will be aware of the particular sharp and constant pain they give. When I remembered the comfrey in the garden four days AFTER the cut (Duhh). I went out, broke a leaf from the plant, applied the sap directly to the cut and was instantly pain-free. In under two hours the cut showed signs of closing. New skin had begun to grow over it. In 24 hours it was as though there had been no cut there. Healed.
dove money 2012-03-30 00:28:19 can we grow comfrey in canada near toronto
Denise Breese 2012-03-17 14:54:07 I have only been using comfrey salves for a short while but have become a HUGE believer. I shattered my shin bone into 7 pieces 9 1/2 months ago and while time, calcium, vitamin C & D3 were the obvious antidotes ... still I had much trouble with over sensativity, tightness and fragility in the leg even 6 months later. Physical therapy was slow and my limb was cold, numb & stiff even after massage, so I began casting about for an herb or herbs I might infuse into the massage oil to help the healing process along better. Comfrey was recommended by a friend and the impact was INSTANT and PROFOUND. Within 5 minutes of use the leg began to warm and begin to feel alive, after 10 minutes the muscles flexed 2x farther than usual. Convinced, I began applying it casually 2-3x a day for comfort. After several weeks a professional masseuse stopped by and I asked if they would use my comfrey balm... that''s when the magic started. It started deep in the tissue with the ''healing itch''. The more he rubbed the ''itchier'' it got... like a scab ready to come off except the feeling was an inch or better deep in the tissue like maybe at the actual surface of the bone! For these last 3.5 months I have used it faithfully and made remarkable progress. It is no longer cold or numb (unless I forget to use the comfrey more than 24 hrs.) I can walk unaided (tho not far), sit with my legs crossed until my back screams first... (So I started using it there too.), and flex the muscles as far as ever they used to go. I am so gratefull to have found this magical herb, I plan to never live without it again.
jonathan lee 2012-03-15 08:28:30 I have recently learned that one''''s teeth can undergo mineralization of calcium with the combination of Organic egg shells and wild Comfrey. Simply just consume the a grounded form of the egg shell each day and swish a comfrey solution in your mouth for 20 minutes. My problem is I can''''t find comfrey plants anywhere. Would it be as effective to just use comfrey tea or a general solution from a local health market?
Lynne Harrison 2012-02-21 00:30:48 I have a friend who was only recently diognosed with Lupos and she is using a cream on her face and arms but has left pink pigments on her arms. Would Comfrey chopped up and have boiled water over it then put on her arms where affected help. She has very healthy plants in her garden and doesn't like using the creams that aren't really helping . It is only external and Dr's said she doesn't need to worry about it going internal so therefore she isn't on any heavy medication that would give her side affects.
Richard Cech 2012-01-08 15:03:54 The tests for pyrrolizidine content of comfrey material don't seem to characterize the starting material--are we testing Symphytum officinalis, Symphytum x uplandicum, or what? Variation in PA content could be caused in part by variation in genetic ancestry of the plants. Can anyone help elucidate this?
Betty A Smith 2011-12-29 11:45:33 I was wondering is Comfrey ointment good for a candida rash on the face.
Nature Lover 2011-11-18 09:27:48 Hi, where can i buy fresh / dried Comfrey leaves in bulk? Any information will be very helpful. Thanks
kwl 2011-10-29 22:09:02 In re to obtaining plants: it's easiest to buy seeds and start in little pots. http://www.horizonherbs.com/ (Many of the seeds and plants you can find on this website are not available anywhere else.) If you wawnt plants you can search for them, even on e-bay. But if you have friends with comfrey, just ask to dig and break off some roots. The plants will recover. Then just stick them in the dirt like any root. Most root propigation is done because a lot of comfrey plants are sterile due to the previous post i made about the "X" variety (is sterile).The Horizon comfrey seeds are HEIRLOOM which means they will bear seed that will set new plants. When the plants flowers drop seeds, they spread out and make babies everywhere.
KWL 2011-10-29 21:53:16 Symphytum UplandicaX is a hybrid cross developed by Henry Doubleday (Center)in 1940s, to breed out the pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause liver problems.
Jason Hathcock 2011-10-13 21:20:01 I've had a couple comfrey plants growing in a side garden of mine (full sun) for probably 16+ years. They are big and lush and rather beautiful in a country garden sort of way; they have never been dug for cuttings, and have never spread from their spot other than getting a tiny bit wider each year, taking up maybe 20-25 square feet I guess. I got the root starts from a patch my grandfather had, after his death, (stroke, not liver failure). I had made tea a few times in years past but have basically ignored the plants for the most part. The bumble bees however really enjoy them. I think they may be sterile now that I read that possibility here since I've not noticed starts coming up elsewhere, but maybe a few do and are just very near the parent plant.
Gloria 2011-10-11 23:59:29 I drank comfrey tea all the time as a child, from age 7 to about age 15. I usually consumed 2-4 cups of tea per day, at the advice of our family doctor, as did my mother, two sisters and two brothers. I am now 50 years old and have never had any liver problems. My mother consumed comfrey tea because she had asthma, and drank it steadily through two pregnancies. Both infants were born with jaundice and cradle cap which quickly cleared up after their births. As infants and toddlers they were given comfrey tea with honey in their baby bottles. Jaundice did not reoccur. Neither of my brothers has ever had any liver problem, and both are still living at ages 40 and 46. We only used the tea form of comfrey, which was commercially prepared and sold at the local health food store. I do not recall it being available as a lotion or salve for external use, save for a lip balm that listed comfrey as one of the ingredients. I stopped using comfrey when the tea became unavailable. Today I grow it in my garden, and it is easy to find as numerous "volunteer" plants abound in the community garden. I am hesitant to consume it as a tea, but I suffer from severe, chronic sinus problems and have started using comfrey tea in a saline solution to rinse my sinuses with. The very first time I used it I had a cold and thick, yellow mucus. After just one application (1/4 cup) the infection disappeared and I was perfectly clear. I intend to continue using it for my sinuses and any other application where it seems useful. More needs to be learned about this wonderful herb. I am skeptical of research institutions that cause a useful plant to be banned, especially when it is unclear whether a drug company or other interested entity is funding the study and wants to eliminate competition for their often highly toxic products. Comfrey has been used by humans for hundreds of years or longer, and has demonstrated its usefulness.
Barbara Hummel 2011-08-20 04:48:52 Comfrey leaf or root: "This herb is a very efficient cell-proliferant. It is a food that makes the good cells grow rapidly, making such a healthy condition in the area that the weak and dead cells are evicted and replaced with new highly vibrating life. Comfrey is high in calcium, stops hemorrhaging, and is in the neighborhood of "twenty percent protein." This is a live whole (unprocessed) protein that can be readily assimilated into the cell structure for fast healing"...Dr. John Christopher. I have read miraculous accounts and testimonials from the herbal pioneer, Dr. John Christopher's writings. Use as poultice especially good for broken bones.
mary mench 2011-06-14 15:25:33 Last week at a tour of an organic experimental farm here in Hawaii, I saw and purchased a comfy plant. I had wondered why I could not find one in the nurseries here. It was like finding an old friend. I decided to look on line for uses and was dismayed at what I found. I was like seeing an old friend maligned. During my child bearing years, I used it extensively and abundantly. It was in favor. I had nine pregnancies.I lived in Hawaii where it is hot and I used it as a green drink to reduce water retention. I used it almost every day in blender drinks. Before my first child I had been diagnoised with Glomerulonephritis. I was told by my physician that if I had any children I would loose a kidney. I used comfry during eight of the nine pregnancies.During the nineth pregnancy I was in Germany where I was unfamiliar with their herbs,I experienced water retention during this time and also symptoms related to B deficiency which I did not experience with the other eight pregnancies. Now I read it is not recomended for internal use.I am sort of amazed.
Holist 2011-05-05 02:37:03 Just a quick comment regarding the "internal use" section. You mention that "The researchers measured aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma-glutamyltransferase (AST), bilirubin, and alpha-fetoptotein (AFP) as markers of liver inflammation, choleostasis, and cancer. All measurements in this small uncontrolled study were within normal ranges." It's important to note that those are very unreliable markers for liver damage. The liver can be up to 70% inoperative (that is, 70% of the hepatic cells are non-functional and only 30% remain functional), and all of those tests could remain normal. Only when liver cells are destroyed (hepatolysis) do the transferase and fetoprotein levels change because inherent chemistries within the cells are released into the blood that wouldn't otherwise be there if the cells remained in tact. Comfrey allegedly damages the liver through hepatic veno-occlusion, not through active lysis (cell destruction). You can read more about HVO here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatic_veno-occlusive_disease My issue with the research is that, even if these people had some liver damage, they were clearly high-functioning individuals because they were not presenting with ascites, weight gain, hepatic portal vein stress or backflow, or any of the tell-tale signs of liver dysfunction. I am still skeptical that comfrey is dangerous.
linda wiedemann 2011-04-03 18:26:29 PTL I feel it a miracle to find your information! when i read the first line..."the first herb I ever befriended was comfrey" I felt like you wrote my mail! and that you had the same desire to defend comfrey that i had. I am joining 2 other friends doing a workshop on "wild herbs" later on in April. One i chose was comfrey because it was the one i had most experience and success with. As we talked more and more the need to give warnings about possible side affects became more and more prevelent. That worried me because I was aware of the warnings of comfrey. Yet I loved it so much I was worried that everyone would poo poo it and disreguard it altogether. I am asking for your permission to use your presentation giving the participants in our workshop the needed information to understand better than I would be able to convey so they can draw their own conclusions and make an informed decision weather or not to pursue comfrey's use. thank you so much for the work and research you have done to keep minds free! God bless you!
Michael Bailes 2011-03-10 14:59:59 Please see breaking research on ubiquity of PAs in food (start at wiki)
deanne 2011-02-17 01:31:42 I recently ruptured my ACL and have grade II tears in my MCL and LCL. My doctor stated that the only way i would ever ski again would be to have surgery. I got a second opnion from our natropath/chiropractor (basically he is awesome) and he says if i use comfrey, and apply to heavy rehab the ACL should heal itself. I can't find any information on the net about Comfrey healing a totally ruptured ACL; infact, most websites say a ruptured ACL cannot heal. Would love to hear what others think about the potential of Comfrey to heal this problem! Thanks.
Leatherlady63 2010-01-07 23:51:11 I have been using Comfrey for many years. There is many that warn against using internally. After meeting a neighbor that said she drank it as a kid at her grandmothers during the summer I re read my "Way of Herbs" by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D. to refresh my memory on it. "I heeded my common since & printed all the info. out for my Dr. & we agreed to check my liver every 6 months because of the possibility of humans tend to develop liver veno-occlusive because of Pyrilizidine (PA's) Alkaloids. This is from my book I have used for several years as my guide, "Way of Herbs" I use caution & warn others to do the same." I now drink Comfrey tea for it's anti inflammatory properties. It does make a difference I found out when I ran out. I will get my bi yearly blood work tomorrow to check my liver, just to be safe. I have enough other health problems I don't need liver problems along with my Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, RSD/CRPS to name a few. My Comfrey I drink 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 2 qt. pitcher of tea. I drink it all day long unsweetened. I hope I never end up with more damage to my body cause of my Comfrey Tea because I honestly don't think I could live without it with all the good it does for me!! I also as mentioned before had broken my foot as a kid & just put in a cast. Last year when I started seeing a podiatrist I asked him about those breaks in my right foot. He could see where it had healed. I then asked him about my right great toe I had broken a couple of year prior. He said no way. I took him the X Ray & he was dumb founded. I told him I had packed the top of that toe with Comfrey cause I already knew it would stop the bleeding. I was scare of the pool of blood under my toe nail, seen dad drill holes in his nails to relieve the pressure, OUCH YUK!! I had but only a pin point of blood develop under that toe nail, but the underside of my toe & all across the other toes & under was black from bruising where I didn't put any Comfrey!! Does anyone have any success at growing Comfrey inside?? I wasn't able to get enough leaves dried before we had a freeze that wiped mine out. leatherlady63@yahoo.com Under Subject "Comfrey USE"
Hamish Gale 2009-11-06 22:09:31 I have been breaking in a peice of land that has never been worked. I have planted fruit trees with tyres around them full of mulch and have planted comfrey roots around them which have sprouted leaves. This plant is fantastic! I use the leaves in fritters with farm fresh eggs from my freerange chooks. I wish I had fields of this plant to use - it is a real resource. To the person who is trying to get rid of it - dig it up and sell the root pieces on ebay to fellow gardeners! Help spread this great plant.
Nat 2009-11-05 21:59:04 When a friend of mine shared some comfrey plants with me, I was concerned about the fact that it was an invasive plant. I found an old tire, filled it with dirt, and planted them inside of the tire. They were planted almost a year ago, and so far there are no \"stray\" plants! They grew very tall and seem to be content.
Bernard Hickey 2009-09-18 01:38:16 my mum just broke her wrist yesterday. I was told by a woman i trust that a tea made from half a leaf to a cup will set anybones immediately. It came with a warning to use carefully as it is strong and effective. I wonder if the day after the break is the best time for this use? i think the warning about how effective it is has made me too timid to use it at all!
Elana 2009-09-15 11:00:05 One of my dogs ran into a stick or some object that tore a large hole into his side the size of a 50 cent piece. Happening on a Saturday afternoon and not wishing to endure a large veterinary bill I chose to treat it myself. I took dried comfrey and ground it up placing it into the hole and placed a salve also made with comfrey over the dried herb. I covered it with clean gauze kept in place with duct tape and changed it twice daily. The wound was always pink and healthy looking. After 8 days my husband who works out of town arrived and insisted I take the dog to the vet. So we did; to hear the Vet say "this looks great, what are you treating it with". The tissue was healthy and looked good. He told me to keep doing what I was and commended me. The wound healed nicely and I have continued to treat other pets for scrapes and cuts with comfrey as well. It is a fantastic herb. It only causes skin rash when people use fresh leaves. Dry it overnight, or make it into a ointment. It's priceless.
Marilyn Firman 2009-08-25 11:59:12 I recently purchased a comfrey plant and it is doing nicely in my garden. Now I want to know how to use it.. I need recipes for making tinctures or tea or whatever and dose amounts that would be recommended for what. Can you just eat it in salad? How much would cause a problem? My husband has pneumular excema, would that be helped?
Dana Pratt 2009-06-06 23:53:33 Well, since I'm a new comfrey enthusiast, I just read/learned about the laws that will apparently restrict putting comfrey fritters on the menu of my "meal at home" restaurant I was day dreaming into existence ... and I guess I probably wouldn't be able to sell it fresh at the farmers market either, so I won't plant a front lawn crop of it ... On the other hand, if people everywhere just started eating it.... and documenting our survival rates... I bet we'd actually have LESS cancer than average. Especially if we juiced it with nettles, and keep drinking kombucha! -The Grass Roots Comfrey Confederacy?
Dana Pratt 2009-06-06 23:39:36 One friend gave me comfrey which has been growing beautifully in a wine barrel outside my kitchen door with some wild onions next to it. I feed it with kitchen scraps directly. It continually blooms and grows. Another friend said we could make fritters, and we did. An amazing tasty meal that can be a main dish. We dipped reasonable pan-sized (smaller) leaves in egg, and then buckwheat pancake mix (in lieu of flower), then, sauteed in part ghee part olive oil. Stupendous! Incredible. Very filling. We also dipped some squash flowers since they were there and super pretty/yummy. Spurred on by the adventure, I put many leaves in my kale juice the next day. I felt just great. I feel intuitively confident to eat food put here before there were ever studies. The original studies of our forebearers, went just like this. Eat, enjoy, respond. Share. Repeat. I am now inspired to do the egg/batter sautee with my kale, nettle, and borage leaves. And, I'd like to try a raw food version in the dehydrator.
jerome 2009-05-24 00:23:20 am a 78 yr old gardener growing comfrey, eating 6 to 10 comfrey leaves raw in my salad every day. i may cut down to 2 leaves to allow for the so called toxic study done on rats..
Sharilee 2009-05-18 14:16:46 My daughter was doing a research project on first nations healing products and comfrey was her main herb. We found it growing wild here on Vancouver Island, BC. After doing some reading I was concerned about the fact that people who use it have a higher incidence of certain cancers and liver failure but we are not going to ingest any of it. It appears to me that this herb has some great healing properties but can also be quite deadly.
Daddybob 2009-05-06 07:30:36 Is there a chart that shows where comfrey grows wild in the continental 48 states? Thanks.
ryan peters 2009-03-16 22:57:02 i am a 26 year old living in austraila i have used comfrey since i was very young, i have used it for many things from cold & flu to bone damage from sports and life . i have not found one thing that it will not help make better . i grow comfrey in every garden i have as it also helps keep pests away from the other plants . please try and do more test so we can find out what this plant can realy do i think it will be found to do more god than bad .
Dorena Rode 2009-02-10 07:59:40 Comfrey plants, seeds, dried herb can be ordered from Richters Herbs: http://www.richters.com/ * Tel: +1-905-640-6677 * Fax: +1-905-640-6641 * Email: orderdesk@richters.com * Snail Mail: Richters, 357 Highway 47, Goodwood, Ontario, L0C 1A0, Canada.
Sera Waters 2009-02-09 20:49:09 Where can I buy Comfrey seeds? It doesn\'t grow in the area that I live?
Angus Martin 2008-06-06 07:27:39 I let comfrey grow all over my (small) garden, especially in the vegetable plot, and use the leaves and whole plants as mulch around plants, pulling them out as they get in the way. Like nettle, their presence (and sacrifice) benefits the whole garden... You can chew a small leaf of comfrey every day for arthritis, I am told, and I do so. Of course I also use it in salve for skin. I think the lab rat test was done, and done in such an extreme and unlikely way as to discredit comfrey because this plant has shown such potential for healing, yet it cannot be invented or patented by men seeking wealth and fame. Moreover, as with the cyanide in bitter almonds/apricot pits, the so-called 'toxic' substances in comfrey are held within a complex matrix of chemical relationships which renders them useful to the human body. This medical obsession with extracting isolated chemicals from an already perfect medicine is barking up the wrong tree, and ultimately will not serve human life. It gives the wrong impression, and then the wrong impression is implanted in people's consciousness and fears. If you want to debunk a thousand years of direct human experience with a plant, you will have to do it with some more convincing 'science'. Contining to ingest comfrey after such a test is NOT the same thing as continuing to ingest saccharine. Saccharine is an invention of human madness (caused by slavery-white sugar), comfrey is an element of God's creation. People, you have to stop believing (or ingesting) what the FDA, AMA, etc feed you. What is needed is diversified, sensible use of the free (and shareable) gifts of health and wellbeing which our creator bestows us with, and which humanity has developed overwhelmingly positive relationships over thousands of years. Everything else is just snake-oil.
Laura Weymers 2008-05-19 14:28:44 I am wondering if comfrey is safe to use for making your own organic fertilizer, to make compost, and to use the leaves on top of potato hills to help feed the potato plants. I've read a lot and it seems like a wonder plant. Does the cancer causing properties affect the compost when the leaves decompose? I also am wondering if it is legal to grow it in Michigan for the reasons I mentioned. I didn't know it was restricted in the US. If it is OK to grow, where can I get some to plant? Thanks for any info you can give me. Laura
Dorena Rode 2008-04-16 15:13:27 I have not seen evidence that any comfrey is pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) free. However, there are wide variations in the amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in different parts of comfrey plants and in different plants. The only way to be sure the product is PA free is by laboratory analysis. If the company is claiming their product is PA free ask to see the certificate of analysis. It is also possible to remove the PAs. They may do that. In any case if safety is the issue, I personally have no concerns about topical comfrey use. Take a look at the research and make your own decision.
Wendell 2008-04-16 14:50:18 I am interested in using a skincare product, velvet facial creme, by Suki Naturals, that contains "comfrey extract." I emailed the company to inquire about the safety issue (if there is one) in using comfrey topically on a daily basis. The answer was, in part: "...there are many types of comfrey that do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. the comfrey we use in our products does not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, so you can use our products in confidence!" Can anyone verify if this is an accurate statement? The company generally makes excellent products, but I am no botanist nor chemist, so I hope someone on the forum can offer guidance. Thank you.
Kirk Smith 2008-01-04 07:25:05 I am interested in composting comfrey and feeding it to worms.Will these worms be toxic? Also in using the compost on my garden. Are the harmfull components in comfrey broken down by composting and will they harm my worms? Do they accumulate or dissapate?
Mi Bri 2007-12-12 13:03:46 The Comfrey plant has defensive hairs. That's why farmers allow it to wilt for 24 hrs before feeding it to livestock. Variety Bocking 14 has the highest concentrate of allantoin (the curative component). But you can use freshly cut variety Bocking 4 liquidised as a green drink. With no harmful effects. For external use, liquidise and use as poultice. For extra safety, allow cut leaves to wilt overnight and test the leaves. Are they prickly to touch? If not, create poultice or drink.
YVONNE MILLER 2007-10-23 07:30:27 Tania Hill asks where she can get Comfrey ointment and/or lotions for her child's nappy rash. I used to obtain mine through a friend who was a supplier in Southern Africa. The products ranged from ointment, lotion, face creams, cleansers, moisturiser, tea and powder. All products had no additives and no perfume and were completely natural. It was supplied under the name of Symphatone. I will find out if the products are still available and will post more details if you would like me to. I do not of course, know what international laws are about buying and sending these products to other countries outside South Africa.
YVONNE MILLER 2007-10-23 07:22:23 With regards to the person who wrote that the Comfrey poultice caused an angry rash when they applied it to the wound on their broken leg.... I can remember my dear late mum making a poultice simply by pouring boiling water over some leaves, then placing these "hot" wet leaves inside a clean linen or cotton handkercheif, then when it was a comfortable heat, placing the COVERED (by the linen cloth or hanky) leaf poultice onto the wound or hurting bone. Mum never applied the neat poultice onto a wound or the skin. I always remember mum saying that the "juice" would be absorbed into the skin and bones. Perhaps it is best not to apply the raw poultice onto skin, but rather to place the poultice between a cloth first. It is interesting to mention too, that on reading a historical book it mentions the use of Comfrey for medicinal purposes (especially for knitting bones and healing wounds) by humans going back to almost the Ice Age! I will certainly continue to eat, drink and use it myself.
c Wertman 2007-10-01 09:06:24 I planted my first comfrey plant in late spring. I am interested in making some sauve. I am new at this and will appreciate any advice I can get. Should I use the leaves or the root?
Linda Moon 2007-09-17 12:29:42 Greetings. I make a salve that contains comfrey and sell it on my website at moonwiseherbs.com Feel free to take a look for email me rosemarygoddess@hotmail.com
tania hill 2007-07-06 02:20:36 hi i've been trying to find were i can buy comfrey ointment as my six month old son had really bad nappie rash and i try'd every cream known to man but nothing worked , a friend of mine gave me a small amount of comfrey ointment mixed with vaseline and it cleared him right up with in two days i've never known any actual nappie cream to work that fast . so if ne one know's were i can buy this amazing ointment please could you post a bulleting many thanks ....
Michael Tierra 2007-05-13 08:12:50 I've lived with, used and prescribed comfrey since 1969. As a student of the late Dr. Christopher, who extolled its virtues to thousands throughout the country for several decades, I was encouraged and taught to use comfrey. I routinely taught and used comfrey root in Dr. Christopher's comfrey glycerite combination. From 1968 through 1972 I lived at Black Bear Ranch, a commune located in the Klamath mountains of Northern California. This was a place where we routinely delivered our own babies and herbs were commonly used. Because we thought comfrey was so benign, it was routinely given to women along with raspberry leaf during all stages of pregnancy. Knowing the many children who were born at Black Bear, they all all very healthy today. Comfrey was routinely used internally and exernally for all injuries and chronic pain with great success. One case that prominenly sticks out in my mind to this day when fears of comfrey toxicity becomes a topic of concern is a man who at that time was probably in his late 20's, early 30's who had chronic lower back pain, probably from a disc injury. Like many of us who did strange things in those days, he consumed literally a quarter to a half pound of raw Russian comfrey (it grew all over our ranch) root daily for three to four weeks. It completely healed his back and now over 40 years later, I still see him occasionally -- no PA toxicity! Of course, I could relate many other anecdotal cases and storied but this was by far the most dramatic -- eating a quarter to a half pound of raw Russian comfrey root daily for up to a month! It was interesting to learn that one of a few local homesteads first settled in this area probably in the early 20th century had large stands of comfrey growing near their cabins. I can only assume that people who know of the healing virtues of this plant carried it with them and planted it in newly settled lands.
mary leslie 2007-03-11 18:11:39 I have use comfrey in salads theflowers are wonderful just like dandilion young leaves. You can also use it for drinking on a summer day when it is so hot you can have comfrey tea instead of lemmon aid it is very good hot as well. IT IS JUST A ALL AROUND GOOD HERB.
mary 2007-02-03 21:15:10 I used a comfrey poltice on my broken leg this week in hopes it would speed healing. I made the poltice by lightly blending 2 leaves in a food processor with a little water. I spread the mixture onto a non-stick dressing which I then applied to my leg and left it overnight. To my horror the next day I found my leg to have an angry red, raised rash with welts and blisters everywhere. This was 5 days ago and despite using aloe vera and bathing my leg in chamomile tea I still have some blisters remaining. I wish that SOMEWHERE, anywhere on the web was some advice on the possible allergic reactions to comfrey on the skin. Unfortunately a thorough Google search shows NOTHING. Never again
Dorena Rode 2007-01-18 07:27:18 The pyrrolizidine alkaloid indicine was investigated as chemotherapeutic agent. It is considered a relatively non-toxic compound, but failed in clinical trials because it resulted in severe, irreversible hepatotoxicity.
Dorena Rode 2006-11-27 12:05:17 Comfrey plants can be ordered from Richters Herbs: http://www.richters.com/ * Tel: +1-905-640-6677 * Fax: +1-905-640-6641 * Email: orderdesk@richters.com * Snail Mail: Richters, 357 Highway 47, Goodwood, Ontario, L0C 1A0, Canada.
Lauri Chase 2006-07-07 16:00:09 If the comfrey plant is not indigenous to S.C. where may I obtain a plant?
Vallee Rose 2006-04-15 12:40:31 Back in the early 90's, I began to have difficulties with my news. First my left knee wouldn't support weight and then I actually had to rent a car because with my standard, my left knee would hurt so badly every time I shifted that I would cry. Doctors said everything friom my knee caps were out of alignment to torn ligaments but nothing definite. SO they were planning surgery because I was basically on crutches for 6 months. In the meantime I was trying all different types of herbs to try and heal the problem. Nothing worked until I took some comfrey tablets. Literally overnight (2 days before scheduling surgery) ALL pain was gone. Now my knee is bothering my again and I can't find ways to buy the capsules. Tea hasn't been enough. Salves haven't been enough. I just need a high 1-3 time dose to get back on track and find that I can't buy capsules anymore. Any ideas?
Billy Mcivor 2006-02-07 13:15:32 I had an ankle fusion done on aug 14 2005 and have had an infection ever since which has stopped the bone from healing. What and how is the best way to go with Comfrey,tea or poultice or both?
Dorena Rode 2006-01-25 18:38:59 Comfrey is notorious for taking over a garden. You might notice that the comfrey on the homepage is confined to a pot for this very reason. It appears that even the smallest portion of comfrey root or rhizome left behind when moving a plant will sprout a new plant. So how to get rid of comfrey? Exercise extreme diligence in digging up the plant to ensure none is left behind. If some does sprout (or if you decide not even to try digging up the plant) snip off the new leaves immediately. This too takes diligence, but the underground portion will eventually die if the leaves are never allowed to open and feed the roots. If you are trying to kill an established plant you may have to do this consistently for a year. I know, I have done it.
lea 2006-01-25 10:09:04 comfrey may be great for medicinal purposes, but it has over run my garden and part of my property! How do I get rid of it?
Louise Damadian 2005-10-28 12:20:17 Growing up in scotland, UK, my sister used comfrey ointment for chronic eczema as a child and no longer suffers from the condition. Traditional prescribed steriod creams had not worked for her. The thick brown comfrey traditional mixture worked the best of the different types she used but I had my mother ship me some from europe when I realized it was extreamely hard to find here in the USA. I have recommended it to clients for many skin conditions, always with great success. I wish it was easier to come by!
Eric Yarnell 2005-06-06 16:46:33 I have recently used a complex tincture formula that included 10% glycerite of fresh Symphytum officinale leaf (made with 75% glycerine and 25% alkaline water, pH = 8) for just over six weeks in my office receptionist who fractured her ankle. There was significant concern from the treating podiatrist that she would have problems with healing due to her weight, but in fact she healed just fine. I estimate she was taking 1.5 ml of the comfrey product daily, for a total of 63 ml. I do not know the PA content of this product. She has had absolutely no signs of adverse effects in the two months since this occurred. She felt significant pain relief from use of the formula incidentally.
Dorena Rode 2005-05-21 16:10:01 Welcome to the comfrey forum. Please feel free to post comments regarding your use of comfrey


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