Comfrey: An Herb of Beauty and Health

Fresh from the Forget Me Not tribe, it’s difficult to forget the vision of the comfrey; a long, colorful herb that has a very distinctive aroma and appearance.  Comfreys can often be seen in fragrant bouquets and as the object of paintings; in both cases comfrey compliment more delicate flowers, but stand on their own in their beauty and elegance.    Few are aware, however, that comfrey also has significant value as a food and healing agent.

Originally from England this plant and herb is used for many different things, and originates from a group of wildflowers and is often found in Scotland.  Introduced into the Caucus in the early 1800’s as a prickly plant, and a fodder food. And became famous for treating cattle for foot and mouth disease and sometimes today you will see farmers raising comfrey for their horses as well. Today it is considered as one of the most important of our green plants and foods.

What to look for:
If you were to be out looking for this type of herb, and plant you wont have to look too hard, as it should stand almost 10 feet high on the stalk, with soft, and short bristles, and if it has flowers they will be a yellowish color. Again, they will thrive in most conditions, but look in shaded areas, as this is their preferred home. Note that if the plant grew from seed, the color may vary from purple, to a very pretty pink, and will not always be where the other wildflowers are found.

According to Botanical.Com, this eye-catching herb is an erect, rough, hairy object with fibrous roots and a rough and hairy surface, all sporting an ebony exterior and a fleshy ivory interior.  Stout, angular, large and leafy are words used to discuss most varieties of the comfrey.  The roughness of the herb’s exterior stands in sharp contrast to the vibrant clusters colored either creamy yellow or purple.

Mother Nature loves it:
Comfrey is a flower of the spring and summer, blooming most vibrantly in April or May through August.

It is one of the rare plants that can grow in just about in form of soil or living habitat, but will thrive the best if given just a little shade. And when you are ready to feed, and spread the fertilizer, rotted manure is the best, and sifted through each row, getting to the roots. You will often find these plants introduced into gardens as a decor piece. Which will add just the right touch.

How to use it:
Historically this plant and herd was used to feed and treat horses, and cattle,  but today there are several other uses as well. There are several medicines that require this herb in them, anywhere that astringents are found, there may be traces of comfrey as well. Marshmallows are an example, for intestinal issues. There are several natural recipes that can utilize comfrey for home medical remedies as well.

Aside from its beauty and strong bounty, comfrey has undeniable powers as a reliable healing agent.  Speaking in strictly medicinal terms, comfrey is demulcent, astringent and expectorant.  It doctors intestinal troubles, diarrhea, dysentery, quinsy, whooping cough, various pulmonary and circulatory disorders, consumption and even lung bleeding.  Indeed, comfrey has been known to treat internal hemorrhaging from the stomach, lungs or bowels, and forms the basic ingredient of a particular modern medicinal tincture.

Externally, comfrey can be utilized to treat any numbers of swellings, sprains, bruises, boils, abscesses, hemorrhoids and ulcers.  Just about any inflamed, broken, bruised or fractured body part will find sublime comfort in a tonic or poultice made from this gentle, soothing herb.

Comfrey is also consumed as a culinary delight in many areas, and is served in the form of green vegetables, and as a flavoring of cakes and other delicacies.  Furthermore, people drink comfrey as it is served in vegetarian coffee.

Comfrey has multiple other uses, as an ingredient in leather tanning formula and some types of glue.

Although popular as a fragrant flower and an artistic object, the comfrey has numerous other uses that make it an irreplaceable feature in every room of the home.  Whether as a healing agent in the bathroom, a prized ingredient in the kitchen or dining room, or an attractive, space-filling feature in the home garden, comfrey is a lovely, aromatic addition to any home.  Do yourself a favor and pick up some comfrey today!

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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