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Comfrey: contains calcium and the compound allantoin, which speeds cell renewal in the body's muscles, bones and connective tissue ...

Common Names: Comfrey, Slippery Root, Knitbone, Boneset

Botanical Name: Symphytum officinale

Family: Boraginaceae

Plant Type: Hardy perennial

Parts Used: Leaves, roots, and rhizomes

Flowering: April until Autumn

Native to Europe and western Asia, comfrey has been introduced and naturalized elsewhere, including the eastern United States and Canada. In the wild, it grows along stream banks and in moist meadows.

Description: Fond of moist soils, comfrey has a thick, hairy stem, and grows 2 - 5 feet tall. Its flowers are dull purple, pink, blue or whitish, and densely arranged in clusters. The nodding clusters of flowers are followed by small, hard, glossy-black fruits. The leaves are oblong, and often differ in appearance depending upon their position on the stem: Lower leaves are broad at the base and tapered at the ends while upper leaves are broad throughout and narrow only at the ends. The root has a black exterior and fleshy whitish interior filled with juice.

Cultivation: Comfrey prefers rich, moist soil in full sun to partial shade. Grow from roots or offsets taken any time except during first frost. It likes a pH of 7.1 and is hardy to zone 3.

Harvesting: Use fresh leaves any time, but to dry, harvest in early summer before flowering. Pick flowers in early summer and two-year-old roots in autumn. Use fresh, or dry.

Comfrey Magick

Safety during Travel. Money.

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Saturn

Element: Water

Use comfrey root in money spells.

Wear or carry comfrey for protection and ensure safety when you travel.

Burn comfrey as an incense to create an atmosphere of peace and well-being.

Place a piece of comfrey at the bottom of your suitcase to ensure that it arrives safely.

Herbal Healing with Comfrey

Cosmetic Uses: Comfrey soothes and softens, and promotes the growth of new skin cells. Use it (sparingly) in lotions, creams, and baths.

Medicinal Actions: Astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, vulnerary

Medicinal Uses: Use poultices on bruises and sores to aid healing. Comfrey has tissue regenerative and anti-bacterial properties. Use it to treat burns, bed sores, insect bites, eczema, and sprains.


  • Comfrey should never be applied to open wounds or broken skin.
  • Do not use comfrey if you have liver disease, alcoholism, or cancer.
  • Children, the elderly, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use comfrey products -- either orally or topically -- under any circumstances.
  • Comfrey contains toxic substances that can cause severe liver damage and possibly even death. For this reason, comfrey and comfrey-containing products should never be taken orally.
  • Comfrey contains toxic substances that can be absorbed by the skin, so even topical preparations should be used for only a short time under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Body Care with Comfrey

  • For rough skin patches or aching joints, apply comfrey salve (sparingly) to the affected areas.
  • To treat gum disease, gargle with cooled comfrey leaf infusion three times daily, as required. Do not swallow.

Salve: Melt 1/2 cup infused comfrey leaf or root oil, 1/2 cup infused calendula petal oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons beeswax in a pan. Cool, then add 6 drops each lavender and thyme essential oils. Stir and bottle for up to 1 year.

Infusion: 1 teaspoon dried comfrey leaves in 1 cup just-boiled water.

Source: The Essential Herbs Handbook by Lesley Bremness is free to access and use.
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