comfrey : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I need to know the qualities of comfrey leaves. Nutritional as well as the healing properties & where I can get some plants.

-- larry Lee (, January 23, 2000


Larry, you use the leaves and the roots, it act as a blood cleanser.

-- Sarah Caswell (, January 23, 2000.

Comfrey leaves are one of the few sources on non animal vitamin B12 For human consumption, leaves over 5 inches are considered toxic Sue

-- Sue Landress (, January 23, 2000.

Comfrey (knitbone) in good to use EXTERNALLY as a wound healer and for comforting (notice name?) bruises, burns, and I personnaly found it great for a sprained ankle. I say externally because from what all I've read about it, it can cause liver damage, so if you take it, be careful. I don't know if you can get it at health food stores, don't go there, myself, but you can grow it. It has potassium, vit a, c, and e. Use the roots and leaves (poultices). Patrice

-- Patrice Bertke (, January 24, 2000.

I got comfrey roots from Redwood City Seeds. I got 4 roots for $16.00. Since they can be very invasive, I figured four would be plenty.

Here's the address for Redwood City Seeds:

-- CC (, January 25, 2000.

Find someone locally who has some and ask them for some--they should be happy to give you some chunks of roots to start in your garden--no! not in your garden--somewhere where it won't get in the way as it spreads and takes over territory.

-- Jim (, January 25, 2000.

I get bronchitus every 3-4 years, and found pouring boiled water into a pan holding a small handful of leaves, then putting a towel over my head and breathing the steam really aided with congestion.

I have always tried to think of ways to use comfrey that "draw out" what ails you, such as mentioned above by Patrice with bruises and sprains. The local folks have been using it for cattle, as well as humans, for years for leg injuries.

I have 4 roots in a raised bed with log sides. They have been undisturbed for years, composted and mulched heavily each spring, and they stay in their place very well and make beautiful plants each year. You can harvest as heavy as you wish, once they get established, and they just keep coming back, The rabbits and goats find them a nice treat. With all the health questions about consumption, I don't give them too much. So four plants is a good amount for us.

These roots, however, came from a row that used to be along the back of a garden plot. When the garden was to be expanded, I did my best to dig the original roots carefully before we tilled. Needless to say, it grows like a weed now amongst the row crops in the field.

When the dogs aren't as sharp as they should be, the deer nibble on the comfrey as well as the new corn.

-- Cinnamon (, January 25, 2000.

Also, comfrey roots get down DEEP. They can reach minerals from deep rocks, or that have been applied as fertilisers and then leached too deep for other plants to reach, and bring them up. Makes a useful green manure plant on this basis, but as said VERY invasive. On deep soil, they can also scavenge water where other plants won't (common exception on pasture - what we call lucerne and you call alfalfa also has a very deep root system).

-- Don Armstrong (, January 27, 2000.

I have been raising comfrey for about twenty years, it spreads pretty good but i would'nt say it's invasive, all homesteads should have comfrey, good for feeding rabbits, ducks, chickens. goats and just about anything. great for healing wounds, cuts, etc, and also makes a excellent tea. i seel 10 root cuttings for $9.95, ship in spring only.

-- Bruce Burdge (, September 15, 2000.

Comfrey is not invasive UNLESS YOU TILL IT OR BREAK THE ROOTS! Plant it where you want it to be and then leave it alone. Mark where it is so you don't rototill it and it will stay where it should be forever, just slowly increasing in girth. If you till it, forget about the garden. Every single piece of chopped up root makes a new plant. It does not set seed, so the roots are the only way it can be spread,and they only do that if they're broken up and spread around. As for liver damage, I have read somewhere that that rumor was based on one study, of a questionable nature. Since that study, doctors, etc have gone overboard warning us about the 'dangers' of using comfrey. My opinion- it works TOO well, and that threatens them! I have fed comfrey to my goats for years, and eat the young, tender leaves myself.The goats eat a lot of it, and when we butcher them, we've never seen any sign of liver damage at all. Maybe we should all do our own study- feed a whole pen of chickens or rabbits a diet of comfrey and nothing else, and see if their livers show any sign of damage. My guess is they'd be vibrantly healthy. It is very high in protein, rivaling alfalfa.

-- Rebekah (, September 15, 2000.

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