Comfrey, or gum plant, is a medicinal herb that can be used as an astringent, anti-inflammatory or anti-rheumatic agent. It can also be used to treat wounds, bites, stings, rashes and other conditions. Not only does it speed up recovery on the surface level, but it also penetrates into the tissues to speed the healing of sprains, strains and even broken bones.
Comfrey is a nutrient accumulator. The roots of the comfrey plant reach far into the earth to pull up minerals, and it is known to be a good source of calcium, manganese, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. (Related: How to grow and use comfrey for gardening and medicine.)
Using comfrey for healing
You can boil comfrey in a pan and heat it on low until the oil takes the color of the herbs. This will take about thirty minutes to an hour. You can then strain the herbs and bottle the oil. While it can be stored at room temperature, comfrey oil will last longer when kept in a cool place.
You can apply the oil liberally to aches, pains, and other areas when desired. Use a roller bottle to use the oil without getting your hands messy.
Use 1-3 teaspoons of dried comfrey root for every cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for up ten to fifteen minutes. Drink this concoction up to three times a day, or gargle it to treat infections, dry mouth, sore throat and bleeding gums.
As tea or water infusion
Seep two teaspoons of comfrey for every cup of boiling water. Let it steep for ten minutes or if it is cool enough to drink. For cold infusion, pour cold water over the comfrey and let it stand for six to eight minutes. Comfrey tea or infusions are good for upset stomachs, ulcers or persistent coughs.
You can use comfrey as a lotion to keep your skin soft and supple. Start with infused oil and add an ounce of beeswax per cup of oil. Heat this in a double boiler and stir until the oil is fully incorporated. Take the mix off the heat and add a cup of comfrey tea for every cup of oil used. Blend in the mixer until you’re happy with the texture of the lotion.
Use crushed leaves, chopped up fresh roots or powdered comfrey to make a tincture. Pour alcohol or vodka over the herbs so they are covered by an inch or two. Place the mixture in a dark, warm location for the first week or so. After two weeks, you can strain it out and rebottle. The tincture can be used topically as a liniment for aches and sores.
As an herbal bath
Put powdered or crushed comfrey into a clean sock or cloth bag and tie it to the showerhead or faucet so that water can flow through it. Turn on the hot water and let the tub fill halfway, then adjust according to the temperature of your choice. Soak in the tub as long as you like to enjoy the soothing and pain-relieving properties of the herb.
Make a comfrey poultice with the leaf or the root. Crush or powder the plant material and mix with water to form a paste. Apply the poultice thickly and liberally to the desired area. Comfrey poultices are excellent for wounds, sores, bites and pain. However, take care not to use comfrey on a deep puncture wound.
Other uses for comfrey
Comfrey is not only good for humans, it is good for the environment as well.
As bee feeder
Comfrey is a good forage plant for bumblebees, which cut slits in the flowers to make nectar accessible. Cutting back old flower spikes will also help the plants rebloom for most of the summer.
Fermenting comfrey into fertilizer is an old English tradition best carried out during the summer months. Chop a bunch of leaves into a budget, weigh them down with a brick, and add as little water as possible. Cover the bunch loosely to slow down evaporation.
Comfrey is good for bulking up compost, as the leaves are rich in potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Gather whole leaves to layer into the compost when necessary. If you have a large amount of dried brown material, you can use comfrey cuttings to balance out the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio to jumpstart decomposition.
Learn more about comfrey and other medicinal plants at Herbs.news.
Watch the video to know the benefits, uses and side effects of comfrey herbal medicine.
This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on Brighteon.com.