What do I use comfrey for?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ann Mary, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have faithfully moved comfrey plants with me house to house but now I'm staying here and it's GROWING!!! :) Now, what do I do with it??? I've read that it's a great feed for animals...but... The donkeys won't eat it (unless I wouldn't want them to probably! ha!) The rabbits are learning to like it...I dried some last year and NO one would touch it! Do I let it flower? When do I harvest it...and then what do I do with it? The chickens sorta like it. Any helpful hints?? Thanks!
     
  2. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    You can make a salve out of it. It's good for bruises and stuff. I think that the wise women used to call it 'boneset'?

    I used to feed it to goats when I had some, they liked it a lot.

    hollym
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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  4. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    It used to be used a lot internally, but recent evidence points to it as a liver problem. I think the external use is still considered safe. I don't have the energy to pull links to support that, though :rolleyes:

    I'll try to look it up later, and post links.

    Meg
     
  6. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    [Any suggestions on using it for animal feed? Fresh? Dried? What animal beside goats will eat it???
     
  7. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    It is illegal in some countries to recommend using comfrey internally, but its safety is a matter of dispute. It is the roots which cause most of the problems (mainly, liver damage). IMO, used with caution and in moderation over a short term, it probably doesn't do much harm unless you have a predisposition to liver problems. I would recommend using it internally only under expert supervision, and if in doubt, DON'T!

    Many animals will eat comfrey leaves, but I have no information on the safety of it with animals. Perhaps your vet could best advise you. I know many people who give tiny quantities of it to caged birds, and my small dog considered the occasional new leaf a real treat.

    It makes an excellent compost activator, and a mulch for the garden, to improve the soil quality and provide nutrients.

    One of it's old names was Knitbone. It was used both internally as a tea, and externally like a plaster cast, to aid in the healing of broken bones. It is still used externally for this purpose, and is also good when used as a poultice for sprains, bruises, tendonitis etc. Do NOT use comfrey on open wounds, however. Its powers for cell regeneration are so strong, that sometimes the outside of the wound heals over, leaving any infection deeper down.

    Other common names for Comfrey include Knitbone, Gumplant, Healing Herb, Boneset (but there is also another herb with this name - Eupatorium perfoliatum - do not confuse the two!), Slippery Root, Bruisewort, Gooseberry-pie, (Sweet) Suckers, Church Bells, Pigweed. Blackwort, Ass-ear, Consound, Miracle Herb, Wallwort.

    As a wash, it is also used to treat skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis and assorted rashes, to ease the pain of cracked nipples during breastfeeding, to reduce swellings, and as a mouthwash for sore and bleeding gums.
     
  8. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't it also pull trace nutrients from deep in the ground? I used to have a whole big patch of it, it was so easy to grow, dragged plants wrapped in paper from Colorado to Montana and they took off like crazy.

    I've forgotten more than some people ever knew, lol, I benefited from the pics and info, Marvella.

    hollym
     
  9. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    culpeper, thank you so much for the info. If nothing else I wil cut it off and put in the compost. I had forgotten that it's good for that. I'll keep offering it to the animals as well. Thanks all!
     
  10. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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  11. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Ann Mary,
    It is dangerous to use internally over a long period of time. But the dose you would have to take is so much it is ridicules.
    Remember the bacon? Same thing. With bacon you would have to eat like
    2 lbs a day for 6 to 8 years to get cancer. Same Idea.
    Comfrey was used internally for many things. Cure all? No but close.
    Hope this helps.
    John#4
     
  12. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That article was just was I was needing, jas, thank you! I agree, it's the amounts of "stuff" that get people into trouble. Everything in moderation.
     
  13. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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  14. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Since I keep hearing that people feed comfrey to their livestock, on a whim I offered some to both rabbits and goats. None of the rabbits wanted anything to do with it. However, I found it very interesting that the goat does in milk ate it voraciously, while the dry girls weren't interested at all. One did nibble, but spit it out.

    Any specifics on what might be in it that fresh does would be drawn to?

    Meg
     
  15. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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