|Day 9 Herb of the Day Comfrey!
Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari
Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Other Names: Common Comfrey. Knitbone. Knitback. Consound. Blackwort. Bruisewort. Slippery Root. Boneset. Ass Ear.
This well-known showy plant is a member of the Borage and Forget-me-not tribe, Boraginaceae!! Or Borage.
The leafy stem, 2 to 3 feet high, is thick and hollow. It is a broad leaf. Some leaves are up to 10 inches long. They are oval shaped and covered with rough hairs which can cause itching, so be careful when collecting. The flowers are purple and/or white and droop. Comfrey is in bloom throughout the greater part of the summer, the first flowers opening at the end of April or early May.
I grow this on my stoop. It is a hardy plant and comes back now four years in a row very hearty!
It is common in England and in Ireland as well as the United States.
Cultivation—Comfrey thrives in almost any soil.
Parts Used Medicinally—The root and leaves, generally collected from wild plants.
Comfrey is a Demulcent (a substance that relieves irritation of the mucous membranes) by forming a protective film), mildly astringent and expectorant. As the plant is very rich in mucilage, it is frequently given like Marshmallow (more on that another time) for intestinal troubles. It is a gentle remedy in cases of diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction is made by boiling 1/2 to 1 OZ. of crushed root in 1 quart of water or milk, which is taken in wineglassful doses, frequently.
DO NOT INGEST COMFREY WITHOUT CONSULTING A PHYSICIAN FOR SOME IT CAN BE DANGEROUS AND IS A KNOWN POISION IN LARGE DOSES. DO NOT USE while pregnant or Breastfeeding.
It’s demulcent action it has been used for centuries for lung troubles and for whooping-cough. In this case the root is more effective than the leaves. It has been used for tuberculosis and bleeding of the lungs in the past. Many used it for internal bleeding in centuries past and for bleeding hemorrhoids mixed in with witch-hazel for cleansing and pain relief.
Comfrey leaves can be used for sprains, swelling, bug bites and bruises. It can be ground and used as a poultice for cuts and to aid in opening of boils and abscesses. The leaves and plant itself ground well and made into a poultice is a great aid in any inflammatory swelling It can be used on joints in the case of inflammatory arthritis. I use a salve of this on joints and have used it on a bone spur. Works very well.
A salve made from the fresh herb will promote the healing of bruised and broken parts, including bones.
From a Pharmacist in 1921:
‘Allantoin is a fresh instance of the good judgment of our rustics, especially of old times, with regard to the virtues of plants. The great Comfrey or consound, though it was official with us down to the middle of the eighteenth century, never had a very prominent place in professional practice; but our herbalists were loud in its praise and the country culler of simples held it almost infallible as a remedy for both external and internal wounds bruises, and ulcers, for phlegm, for spitting of blood, ruptures, haemorrhoids, etc. For ulcers of the stomach and liver especially, the root (the part used) was regarded as of sovereign virtue. It is precisely for such complaints as these that Allantoin, obtained from the rhizome of the plant, is now prescribed. One old Syrupus de Symphyto was a rather complicated preparation. Gerard has a better formula, also a compound, which he highly recommends for ulcers of the lungs. The old Edinburgh formula is the simplest and probably the best: Fresh Comfrey leaves and fresh plantain leaves, of each lb.ss.; bruise them and well squeeze out the juice, add to the dregs spring water lb.ij.; boil to half, and mix the strained liquor with the expressed juice; add an equal quantity of white sugar and boil to a syrup.’
Comfrey roots, together with Chichory and Dandelion roots, are used to make a well-known vegetation ‘Coffee,’ that tastes practically the same as ordinary coffee, with none of its effects.
From a book written in 1688 on herbs: ‘From the French conserve, Latin conserva – healing: conserves – to boil together; to heal. A Wound Herb.’ ‘The roots,’ says a sixteenthcentury writer, ‘heal all inwarde woundes and burstings,’ and Baker (Jewell of Health, 1567) says: ‘The water of the Greater Comferie druncke helpeth such as are bursten, and that have broken the bone of the legge.’ In cookery, the leaves gathered young may be used as a substitute for Spinach; the young shoots have been eaten after blanching by forcing them to grow through heaps of earth.
Comfrey is associated with Saturn and the Element of Water and is sacred to Hecate.
Comfrey is used in protective magic for the traveler and to protect against theft. Try placing a comfrey leaf in your luggage to make sure it isn’t lost or stolen. Use comfrey root in sachets s for protection while traveling, and to keep your lover faithful while you are gone. Also use it in sachets to protect vehicles. Hang from your rear-view mirror or hide it under a seat.
Wrap your money in a comfrey leaf for several days before going to a casino or poker game. It will help keep your bets coming back to you.
Comfrey flowers, especially blue ones, can be substituted in any spell calling for borage. They are of the same family.
Use comfrey in a bath after ritual to relax and cleanse you, especially for healing or love spells.
It can be burned in combination with mugwort to aid in divination and concentration.
You can use it alone or add it to spells for letting go of unhealthy relationships.
I find that interesting! It is used to heal bones, knit them together, like knitting a broken heart together! It removes inflammation and aids in pain. Removes passion and aids in healing.
Our ancestors approached both the same way. What could heal the body most certainly can heal the spirit, the emotions, the mind.