Comfrey – Symphytum officinal

Last summer, someone suggested that Comfrey might be considered the official plant of Riverwest. A stroll down the alleys anywhere in the neighborhood reveals this fuzzy, friendly, dark-sage-green plant bursting through cracks in the concrete and festooning the fence lines of vacant lots. ComfreyWith its dark purple, bell-shaped flowers and lush, handsome foliage, it could be worse. Where it gets enough water, Comfrey grows almost waist-high, and its leaves can be as much as eight inches long. And the news gets even better as we discover comfrey’s medicinal uses. One of its traditional names is “knit-bone,” and it is thought to enhance the healing of bones and ease bruises and injuries to tendons. It’s one of the easiest plant remedies to use, well within the capabilities of any backyard herbalist. Simply harvest the plant, bruise it and mash it, warm it in a bit of water and apply it to whatever hurts. Fall off your skateboard and have some nasty contusions? Try comfrey. Don’t remember what happened last night, but you think you fell down somewhere and your ribs hurt like heck? Hot comfrey and an old t-shirt that’s real tight to hold it all in place. Then take a nap in the sun. You’ll feel better. Bruises, scrapes, swellings, cuts, boils — comfrey works for all of them. Although comfrey has been taken internally as a tea or extraction for generations as a remedy for hemorrhages and as a cough syrup, new findings suggest it may be harmful to the liver. But as an external healer, comfrey’s great. And there’s probably some growing within a block of where you live! Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 5 – May 2003