Comfrey: the wonderful multipurpose plant

Comfrey: the wonderful multipurpose plant

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Comfrey as medicinal

As we have already commented, comfrey has a great healing power known since ancient times and officially recognized when allantoin was discovered among its components, responsible for this quality and component of multiple pharmaceutical preparations. This compound makes it very useful in cases of wounds that heal badly, sores, ulcers, burns; it also has qualities as an emollient (soothes inflamed skin and mucous membranes), which makes it effective in the treatment of eczema, rashes, irritations and skin inflammations applied as a compress or poultice. It should not be applied to dirty wounds, as the rapid healing could trap dirt.

As an astrigent (it closes and contracts the capillary tissues and orifices and tends to reduce the secretion of the mucous membranes) it is useful in cases of pharyngitis, inflammation of the gums and stomatitis by performing rinsing.

In internal use as an infusion, it has been used to treat ulcers, diarrhea and cough among other conditions, but due to the toxicity on the liver that recent research seems to reveal, it is advisable not to abuse its consumption or substitute it with other plants. Both the root and the leaves and flowers are rich in allantoin. The roots are collected in spring and autumn; the flowers and leaves, during flowering in early summer. To keep them in our natural medicine cabinet, we will dry them quickly in the sun.

The compresses are prepared with 100 or 200g of roots or leaves per liter of water. Boil it and let it cool and marinate for a couple of hours. Then the compresses are soaked and applied to the area we want to treat, changing them 2 or 3 times a day. The poultice is made from crushed or crushed fresh comfrey root. It is renewed 2 or 3 times a day.

Comfrey as edible

Comfrey has been used in human food for a long time, both collected in the wild and cultivated, and is rich in vitamin B12. The stems can be eaten as asparagus, the young leaves in salad or boiled. Despite its toxicity, its consumption must be moderated or eliminated.


Recent studies seem to show that this plant has toxic alkaloids on the liver capable of causing cancer, so we should not abuse it both in food and in internal use in medicinal applications.


Comfrey is a penile herbaceous plant that can reach a height of around 1m. In nature it prefers sunny or shady situations and moist and fertile soil. It is multiplied by seeds, but it is easier to divide it by cuttings. It can be planted from May to September. Its root is very deep, which makes transplantation difficult, so it is better to plant it in the definitive place where we want it to grow.

Other uses and curiosities

Comfrey belongs to that group of plants whose uses seem almost limitless throughout history. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, to prepare substitutes for tea and coffee, to tan leather, as a magic amulet, as an ornamental in medieval gardens ...

Formerly it was believed that nature put signals so that man could recognize the properties of plants. In this case, it was the way the leaves were welded together with the stem that revealed the healing and welding power of comfrey.

Description and characteristics

Comfrey is a perennial plant that can reach 1 meter or more in height, with bell-shaped flowers and a pinkish or purplish yellowish color. The leaves are large, oval to lanceolate; the lower ones, wider and petiole. It grows in wet meadows, river and stream edges and, in general, in humid and humus-rich soils.

Live Nature

Video: Farmers hate this amazing homestead plant! Should you be growing comfrey? #EastTexasHomestead (July 2022).


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