Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial herb. It it is actually a native plant to Europe but it can also be found here in the USA.
It is an attractive plant with purple to pink bell shaped flowers. The leaves are fuzzy and broad. Many people here in the USA may already have Comfrey growing in their gardens and may not be aware of this.
Comfrey has been used medicinally both internally and on the skin as far back as 400 B.C. The name "Comfrey" literally means to grow together or to heal.
It has also been known by other names like: boneset, bruisewort and knitbone.
Because this herb is such a good healer, Comfrey still proves to be a valuable plant even now in modern society.Comfrey has a medicinal element in it called allantoin,
which stimulates cell growth and promotes healing. Its roots and leaves have been used to help heal all different kinds of conditions like cuts, bruises, burns and insect bites.
Comfrey can also help people with inflamed arthritic joints, sprains and cystic acne. Comfrey was also used on soldiers wounds to help them heal quicker.
A lot of people are not aware that comfrey also helps in skin tissue, ligaments and bones re-knitting together.
That is why is was called "knitbone herb" in ancient times.
Growing Comfrey In your Garden
This plant will grow in just about any soil condition so it is ideal as a landscape plant. Because of the attractive bell shaped flowers which are pleasing to the eye, comfrey can be pretty much be grown in any garden situation. The herb does prefer nitrogen rich soils but that can be easily rememdied with chicken manure or other organic fertilizers.
Comfrey is easiest to start with a root cutting rather than a seedling.
Hardy in zones 4 through 9, comfrey prefers full sun to partial shade. Comfrey will bloom during the late spring through summer and gets from 36 to 60 inches high and 2 to 4 feet wide. Once comfrey is established it is hard to move, therefore you should be sure of where you want the plant to grow. Comfrey lives for a very long time.
I would only recommend Comfrey for aliments on the skin. Drinking comfrey can overtime cause problems to the liver. Simple Comfrey Ointment Recipe
Take about a cup of olive oil or other high-quality vegetable oil and put it into a double boiler along with a handful of comfrey leaves.
Bring to a low simmer and allow it to heat for up to an hour on low heat. The longer, the better.Here is another recipe which involves beeswax and comfrey ointment. Infusing the Oil
Fill a canning jar full of comfrey leaves and then pour pure olive oil over the leaves. You'll need to let this sit for about two weeks in a warm spot such as a windowsill or on your stove. If the oil isn't infused long enough, it's just oil so give it time.Making the Salve
The most basic homemade comfrey salve is made by slowly melting 2 to 3 oz. of plain beeswax in a double boiler, and then stirring in the infused oil a little bit at a time. Continue to add infused oil or beeswax until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.Storing the Salve
Pour the salve into small glass jars and seal them tightly. Keep them in a cool, dark place such as a cabinet or first-aid kit to use as needed.
You can see more here: http://www.ehow.com/way_5593081_homemade-comfrey-salve.html
Having some Comfrey ointment on hand could be very important to have in your home.
I remember when I was younger that my parents always had comfrey ointment.
When we fell over or bruised ourselves comfrey was always applied to our wounds.
Another thing that my parents did was apply comfrey ointment to boils that my sister would get from time to time.
It was used to draw out the core of the boil and then help to heal the skin around.
Something to know if you are looking for more natural cures for your family.