Comfrey uses and cultivation? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm thinking about planting some comfrey and wondered if anybody has grown it and what uses it has.

-- Don (, June 24, 2000


Funny you should ask. I planted about 150 comfrey roots today. Aside from the numerous medicinal applications, we use the flowers and some leaves in salads. The reason we planted so many is for the critters. The goats enjoy it. I've read its a good supplement for chickens and its a good thing to ad to compost.

-- john leake (, June 24, 2000.

See if your local library can obtain a copy of Comfrey: Fodder, Food & Remedy by Lawrence D. Hills. He also wrote the Comfrey Report: The story of the world's fastest protein builder and Herbal Healer. That one use to be available as a reprint by Bargyla and Gylver Rateaver in Pauma Valley, CA 92061.

However, be careful where it is planted as it will spread agressively and is very difficult to kill out once established.

-- Ken Scharabok (, June 25, 2000.

I use comfrey in salves and soaps. It is a great spring tonic. I have several planted against the house where they are pretty and easy to care for. Great flowers for all kinds of wild bees. I've had no trouble killing it when I wanted to, but we have hard freezes each winter. Now if I could just kill the bamboo I planted on some bad advice....

-- Anne (, June 25, 2000.

I've grown Comfrey for about 30 yrs at two places. It'll do well in nearly any soil that's not under water and improve it's fertility. It can be transplanted in spring till mid-summer from crown section buds. I'll sell crowns of a Bocking 14 variety for one dollar each and a twenty count minimum, prepaid, and sent postage or shipping 'collect'. Grazing animals seem to like a certain amount and then will usually taper off when they get whatever it is they get from it. It's also recommended as a hot poltice for scrapes and burns and any sore thats not openly bleeding.

'Alantoin' is one of the 'rare' constituants in it , I've read, and Comfrey can be a carcenogen in large enough amounts for rats. So said an article in a 'no longer subscribed to' ma earth mag. There was little follow up on this article and was one reason I dropped that sub. They said it was suspect after many positive articles and to stay posted for further reports and when there were none, they were dropped. A' Dios, from the Wisconsin 'Rio Grande'.

-- Phil Manke (, June 28, 2000.

Phils post makes me smile. I wonder how many times Ive told Countryside readers to stay tuned for more, and then didnt follow through because other topics became more pressing, or just because nobody seemed interested. I didnt know people dropped their subs because of that! Tough life, being an editor and I dont miss it a bit!

Butcomfrey. I always looked askance at that cancer stuff, partly because scientists are always changing their minds on such topics, but more because when writing an article about comfrey I learned that the university experts dissing it were merely parroting other university experts who (I found) didnt know diddly about it (because they were parroting yet other experts), and mostly because an animal that lives a few months (or years) isnt likely to be affected by the supposed liver damage and carcinogenic effects that take huge amounts of comfrey and many years to manifest any harm.

That said, when we raised pigs commercially, piglets BLOSSOMED when fed comfrey. Our chickens, goats, and cattle love it. And while Im a salad freak who usually has a dozen kinds of normal greens going, the occasional comfrey leaf still shows up on our kitchen table.(But its not nearly as tasty as dandelions or some other weeds.)

I once had a neighbor whose horses were floundering. I suggested comfrey, and gave him some. The horses made a miraculous recovery, and he started his own patch.

One way to eradicate a troublesome patch is to plant winter rye into it. Let the rye get 20-30 inches high, and till it in. End of comfrey problem.(Rye has a similar effect on other plants, which is why you shouldnt plant anything in a plot where rye was used as green manure without letting it rest a couple of weeks.)

Overall, for the smallholder, comfrey is an EXCELLENT feed crop, and I highly recommend it.

-- Jd (, July 01, 2000.

Comfrey is the plant all homesteaders should not be without. Excellent feed for most animals, good for tea, and great for healing wounds. I have been growing and selling Comfrey for about 20 years. 10 root cuttings for $9.95, spring shipment only. Look for my ad in Countryside after the holidays.

-- Bruce Burdge (, September 08, 2000.

We haven't had any problem with comfrey spreading -- I wish it would!! Mint, on the other hand . . . !

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, September 08, 2000.

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