Comfrey Remedies Healing Preparing Use at Home & in The Wild Russian comfrey a hybrid between Symphytum officinale, common comfrey and Symphytum asperum, rough comfrey, is used to treat amongst other things, wounds and reducing inflammation associated with sprains and broken bones, promoting rapid new cell growth. The roots and leaves contain allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow, along with other substances that reduce inflammation and keep skin healthy. Comfrey ointments & poultices are applied to the surface of the skin to heal bruises as well as pulled muscles and ligaments, fractures, sprains, strains, and osteoarthritis, bronchial problems, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating "many female disorders" Constituents of comfrey also include mucilage, steroidal saponins, tannins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, inulin, and proteins.
Why Use Cling Film Over Poultice? The use of Cling Film is to inhibit "bleed-through" of Comfrey Juices & Staining of bandages & or bedding, cloths or what have you, (Hygiene) & needs to well cover your poultice. We also use a refrigerator or larger plastic bag with a cut in the base that fits comfortably over bandaged limb instead of cling film under, in both cases, complete bleed trough is halted, though we need to wash bandages & lose more juice without the cling film over the poultice.
Whichever you use, allow looseness at the top, that you may have access to dribble a little water into the Poultice once in a while to prevent drying out, that the juices may flow to the skin, In any event, we must use a little common sense when utilising Comfrey or any healing application, for instance:
Torn Ligaments, Sprained Ankles & such: should be kept cool, apply ice pack, frozen veg pack or whatever you have at hand or cold water if these aren't available. Do this upon covered skin, no direct contact, often & for up to 25 minutes, this, for the first couple of days to reduce swelling, bandage comfortably, yet tightly, so as to support tendon or limb, rest sprained joints/ligaments & elevate, use a walking stick or crutch to keep weight off damaged parts. Arthritis likes heat. As demonstrated in video. Cuts & Grazes: Clean thoroughly & apply pressure & treat. Use internet to find more information & save hard copy.
The Russian comfrey plant, is used as a crop, and as a grand source of compost as well as being nutritionally beneficial, stands around three feet high, while the wild comfrey, Symphytum officinale, is shorter, but can be used instead. There's a recipe which uses the comfrey leaves with it's stalks, dipped in egg & flour batter, deep fried & can be cooked like spinach. The juice of the comfrey plant is used for its valuable vitamin content, (we here make a syrup from it)
There are a few ways to make comfrey oil, this is a quick method, find others on the web. Take some cleaned fresh comfrey roots, peel under running water, be careful Comfrey at this stage is Very slippery. Place the roots in a blender or food processor with good quality olive oil to cover, and grind down as fine as possible ( not for as long as to "Heat" the mixture) Transfer to a DARK jar and allow to brew for several weeks before straining. Filter through cheesecloth or coffee filter.
Use on scars, bruises & as a compress or poultice on pulled muscles and ligaments, fractures, sprains, strains, and osteoarthritis, swellings about broken bones, sprained joints & tendons, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, spots, acne and other skin conditions.
Apply cold grated comfrey root or a cloth soaked in cool comfrey tea to sunburns or other minor burns. Apply comfrey poultices to wounds.
WARNING ! Although we here use Comfrey Root "Syrup" internally, some health regulatory agencies in the Western world have banned the internal use of comfrey due to the "pyrrolizidine alkaloids" found in this plant, which are Known (thought) to harm the livers of animals that eat a lot of it.
The wintertime use of a teaspoonful a day with our breakfast has brought us no ill effects, we often hear that "certain herbs" are not in line with the official view, where in fact these herbs are wonderful healing plants. In any event, I'm not offering any internal use guidance, there's an abundance of info on the web should you wish to seek further, where you'll find help in making healing comfrey ointment, tea & more.