Comfrey: The Comforting Herb

Apr 06, 2017

Comfrey Health Benefits and Side Effects

Comfrey is a perennial plant that grows profusely with little care. In fact, it can be downright difficult to eradicate if you wish to remove it. A tiny piece of root will yield a new plant in no time. Comfrey is an herb that brings soothing comfort to a variety of conditions through its anti-inflammatory action. Additionally, comfrey in a nutritious herb that promotes cell regeneration, slows bleeding, and speeds bone healing.

1. Digestion

Comfrey has a soothing and regulating effect on the digestive system. When the leaves are cooked and consumed liked spinach or added to a smoothie, constipation is relieved. Comfrey made into a tea can relieve diarrhea or irritation in the digestive tract.

Comfrey salve is wonderful for hemorrhoids.

2. Skin

Comfrey speeds the process of cell regeneration, making it a superior healer to burns and wounds. Fresh leaves can be bruised, scalded and cooled to apply to skin that is damaged. Dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema can all benefit from comfrey. Comfrey salve is another alternative for topical use.

Comfrey should NOT be used on deep or puncture wounds. It can cause the outer layers of tissue to form before the deeper layers, increasing the risk of infection. Consider raw honey for deep wounds.

3. Skeletal System

Not only does comfrey benefit the outside structure of the body, it is healing to the entire skeletal system. Comfrey is nutritive to the joints and bones. Comfrey is used to speed the healing of broken bones. In fact, comfrey is sometimes called, “knitbone.” Comfrey also benefits joints, muscles and ligaments. Its mucilage properties are especially helpful for the joints.

Comfrey is used for acute and chronic structural issues. Not only do breaks, sprains, and strains respond well to comfrey, more chronic issues like arthritis, sciatica, and osteoporosis benefit from comfrey use.

4. Lungs

If its usefulness to the skin, bones and digestion were not enough, Comfrey is also indicated for lung issues including coughing, pertussis, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis. It has expectorant properties and again, its mucilage content makes it a great soother to the lungs.

5. How to Use Comfrey

Fresh or dried comfrey can be used. If you are able to have a comfrey plant you will always be finding new ways to use this plant. But dried comfrey can be used with success as well.

Comfrey Tea

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to use comfrey is in a tea. It has a mild flavor. Hot comfrey tea is wonderful for a cough, especially with a bit of raw honey.

Comfrey tea can be taken internally or it can be used topically on any external inflammations.

If you pour comfrey tea onto sanitary pads, freeze them, and use them instead of regular sanitary pads in days following childbirth, postpartum mothers will experience pain relief and quick healing.

Comfrey Tincture

Comfrey tincture is an easy way to benefit from comfrey. Comfrey tincture can be applied to old wounds or taken internally for lung issues. For other issues, teas, salves and smoothies tend to be superior ways to benefit from comfrey.

Comfrey Salve

Once you have comfrey salve in your house, you will wonder how you lived without it. It will be used constantly for scratches, scrapes, wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, eczema, dry lips and poison ivy.

Comfrey Salve is not difficult to make.

Add ½ cup dry comfrey leaves to a jar. Pour olive oil over the leaves to cover and a little more. (Oil should be ½ -1 inch above the leaves.) Stir the oil and leaves daily for 2 weeks. Use an old t-shirt to strain out the leaves. Heat the oil in a double boiler. For every 4 ounces of comfrey oil, melt in1 Tablespoon of beeswax. Pour the salve into a clean jar. Cool. Enjoy!

Cooked Comfrey

Comfrey leaves can be cooked like spinach. Wash and chop the leaves and steam them or saute them in some coconut oil. Add salt and a dash of hot sauce or vinegar.

Comfrey Smoothie

Comfrey blends beautifully into a smoothie. Its flavor is not strong and can be enjoyed a number of different ways.

Comfrey Cautions

While comfrey is a folk remedy that is still commonly recommended by herbalists, some scientists are concerned about the safety of comfrey, believing it to be harmful to the liver. You should do your own research and use wisdom and common sense about the use of any herbs. A natural practitioner will be able to help you understand any specific concerns about comfrey use for your own situation.

Have you tried comfrey for healing? Please send us some feedback!


Fritchey, Philip, Practial Herbalism, 2004

Bone Fractures  

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Posted by Earth Clinic (Los Angeles) on 06/01/2002
5 out of 5 stars

Sent to us by Cloe Jazwinski of Los Angeles, CA. Cloe knows a thing a two about healing a bone fracture. Besides being one of the most talented web designers we know, Cloe is a 2nd Dan black belt in karate (Shotokan) who's used comfrey salves to heal two bone fractures.

She writes, "Comfrey is one of the most well-known healing plants, especially for its ability to heal tissue and bone (due to its allantoin content, which promotes the growth of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage, and is easily absorbed through the skin). Besides broken bones, these externally poulticed leaves and roots are also used for cuts, bruises and sprains."

Recipe: Comfrey is best used fresh and simmered. Use the sticky paste to make a compress and attach it with an elastic bandage. Use every night. This will speed the healing of the fracture dramatically.

To heal her fractures, every night Cloe would grind several tablespoons of comfrey with a mortar and would bring it to a boil with a few spoons of water. She then would make a paste out of it, spread the paste on a cotton cloth, wrap it around her arm, and put elastic bands or safety pins in to secure it. Even though she had 2 fractures, Cloe decided not to wear a cast but a sling, which is why she could take off the sling at night.

Writes Cloe, "The feeling of that compress was heavenly. Even though everyone said I'd always know where my arm was broken (rain and humidity brings back the pain for the rest of your life), I never felt it and I attribute that to the comfrey compress routine. It's known to heal wounds extremely fast as well (I use a pre-made ointment of comfrey and aloe on scratches and minor wounds and they disappear overnight). I see comfrey as the crazy glue of broken bones and skin..."

Comfrey Caveats:

Not recommended for internal use as there is some controversy about carcinogenic effects. The controversy around the use of this plant concerns its pyrrolizidine alkaloid components, which are considered carcinogenic to the liver; however, these studies have been performed on rats that were fed up to 33% of their diet in comfrey leaf. Studies done with the whole plant (rather than with isolated constituents) do not show carcinogenic effects but rather the opposite. In fact, the Japanese use comfrey vinegar extracts for treating cirrhosis of the liver.

Broken Bones  

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Posted by Julie (Melbourne, Australia) on 08/26/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Five months ago a friend was repairing his 2-ton trailer when the jockey wheel broke and the draw bar landed on his foot. After two trips to the hospital it was confirmed that he had indeed broken it. They placed his foot in a "boot" and told him to come back in a week as it was too swollen to place in a cast.

He called my husband and I and I told him about comfrey ointment. He was pretty stressed out and desperate as he and his wife had just sold their property and were packing up to leave in a few weeks. He decided to give it a try. He applied the cream three times a day for a week.

When he returned to the hospital he told the doctor he was healed. Of course she didn't believe him until she pressed, twisted and pushed on his foot without him uttering a sound.

She had another look at the x-ray and it definitely showed the broken bone.

Just over a week ago, a young friend had a fall off his motor bike and broke his collar bone. Of course I had to mentioned about the comfrey ointment and relayed the above testimony.

He was pretty excited and the next day, his fiance bought a jar from the chemist and he started to apply it to the area. I saw him two days ago and he said he was able to sleep and could move his arm up, down and around, without pain, whereas before the ends of the bones were touching and causing him great discomfort. He is yet to have his doctor's appointment, but judging by the progress so far, he won't be taking six weeks to heal.

Replied by Julie
Melbourne, Australia

Update: My friend with the broken collar bone was healed in three weeks. He applied the cream, made from the plant root, three times a day.

After two weeks he told me that there were six breaks in the bone. The thought came to me that he may be a sugar consumer so I suggested he avoid sugar and soft drinks (soda). These acids cause leaching of calcium (alkaline) out of the bones as the body frantically tries to neutralize the increased acidity in the blood. The added loss of calcium from the bones, slows down the healing process. In addition, this causes them to be weak and prone to breaking or fracturing in the first place.


Posted by Mama To Many (Tn ) on 10/27/2016

I have a dozen or so laying hens and one very beautiful rooster. One of my hens hurt her foot and isn't bearing weight on it. She hops around pretty well though. What is really sweet is that my rooster is very protective of her and my son found him snuggled up with her under the chicken coop last evening!

I can't see any visible signs of trauma or break on her foot or leg. But obviously she has an injury. So I am putting fresh comfrey leaves out for all of my chickens to eat; it will be good for all of them and especially for my lame chicken. I will let you know how she does.

One picture below shows a chicken enjoying a comfrey leaf; the other is two of my sons holding the lame chicken after I checked out her foot.

~Mama to Many~


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Posted by Heidi (Narvon, Pa) on 09/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I've been using comfrey for my acne. It works wonders!!!! It also takes away scarring also! It works wonders...but just a little hint...fresh is always better tho the dried comfrey works also. Another story:

My sister's neck was really scraped up and brush-burned really bad and looked terrible...she was screamingcrying a lot! I put a crushed, fresh comfrey leaf on.. and in seconds she calmed down and was relaxed!!! The next morning it didn't look half as bad!!!!!! Thank God for healing herbs :) :)

Comfrey Feedback  

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Posted by Anita (Theodore, Al, Usa) on 11/04/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I am SOLD ON Comfrey!

Called the "Miracle Herb", it is a miracle in so many ways!

Someone on this site mentioned Comfrey for the healing of boils caused by staph.

I LOVE it! I even grow it in my garden, now. You can make a poultice of it for broken bones, sprains, tennis elbow, gout, and usually one treatment will amaze you!

I plan to make a paste of it and baking soda to place on my red areas on my scalp for Folucitis (caused by staph _ MRSA found via a nasal culture. ) If I can locate it, I may try the tinture.

You can also buy Comfrey in dried leaves, roots, and some places sell the tinture.

Because comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which are toxic to the liver, I feel it has received a bad rap.

Andrew Hughes, researched Comfrey for over 30 years, and was around 90 or 94 when he wrote the book "Comfrey, the Miracle Herb". He said his entire family had consumed lots of Comfrey on a daily basis for that many years, receiving only benefits.

Comfrey is very nutritious and you can make green energy drinks from it, using other greens and juice, like pineapple. A friend of mine likes celery in hers.

You should consult your health care provider, if you have any liver problems.

I personally have had Hepatitis C, and use Comfrey without fear.

Replied by Rachel
Reinholds, Pa
5 out of 5 stars

Did you find comfrey tincture?

If not- simply chop some comfrey root from your garden like you would onion for a meatloaf.

Fill a small jar 2/3 - 3/4 full of this coarsely chopped root. Then fill the jar with 80 - 100 proof vodka. That is all. Let the jar set for two - four weeks or more. Strain out the liquid and bottle it in a dark bottle and there you have it! A wonderful, but slimy, comfrey tincture that really works miracles!

Replied by Sun10rise
Montana, US

Who is the publisher of Comfrey:The Miracle Herb by Andrew Hughes and when was it published? I cannot find it on Amazon or Alibris. My local library said it is not in any of Montana's 200 libraries. Thanks

Replied by Bonnie
South Carolina

I love comfrey and always have it growing in my garden. However, the tincture will not work well for broken bones, sprains, and such. You really need a whole herb compress as water is a much better menstruum for comfrey.

Posted by Ryan (Perth, Wa) on 08/27/2009

A month or two ago I felt the need to crack my neck but i think i did it on a bad angle or had something in there at the site. As when i did so, it made a terrible sound that resulted in some pretty intense sharp pains. the back of my neck bulged half an inch out over a few hours and it became seriously painful. As the day progressed i lost most of the range of motion in my neck and the pain only got worse.

I researched and ended up at 'disc bulges' and a recommendation for a 'cold anti-inflammatory cream like Comfrey' or something to that effect... and periodic ice pack treatment.

I put something frozen on it ten minutes in each hour and that seemed to help a little until i could get somewhere to do something proper about it. I then went to a health food store and got some Comfrey cream they had... and it really was amazing, on the first application it went from a serious 8/10 pain level down to 4/10, it was like pouring water onto a fire.

I alternated between ice pack and the comfrey cream every 30-60 minutes and that kept the pain well down.

I did make the mistake of trying to lie down and sleep... very, very silly. not for a day or two of this treatment could i lie completely down without all of the pain returning. i recommend sleeping mostly sitting up until most of the pain is gone, its not worth risking setting it off again.

Apparently the reason it works is because if the muscles around the joint/disc become inflamed they will swell up and that will then put pressure on the joint/disc causing the pain. the comfrey is a 'cold acting anti-inflammatory' it is anti-inflammatory and the net effect of the cream is cooling which reduces swelling. the cold from the ice pack also directly reduces swelling.

I also took some anti-inflammatories internally to speed up general recovery, ginger, tumeric, omega 3.


Posted by Kelly (Mt. Healthy, Ohio) on 05/13/2009

I have a question about comfrey. I read posts about it's use in treating fractures, but my question is will it help muscle tears as I fell and twisted my leg severely but did not break it. any advise would be greatly appreciated. God Bless

Replied by Patricia
Roseburg, Oregon Usa

We have lots of comfrey growing and use it for a number of things. We make poultices for sprains and bruises by putting the roots and leaves in the blender with a bit of water. We don't cook it. Then we drink the leftover liquid. Can add juice or honey, etc. , to make it taste better. We don't worry about toxicity. My daughter got a bad sprained ankle 3 days before a hike. We made the poultices twice, she drank some of the stuff. Ankle was fine for the hike. Another daughter cured an abscessed tooth by drinking the blended comfrey roots and leaves for a few days. But be careful about planting it in an area that will be tilled. It only takes a tiny piece of root to make a new plant, and is hard to get rid of in the garden. Plant it in an out-of-the-way place where it can take over.

Replied by Tinam
Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Comfrey is great for churning soil. If you have useless soil, plant some comfrey and you'll have good soil in no time. It is very hard to get rid of once you decide to plant other crops as even the smallest piece of root left in the ground will propogate, however, it is probably a great companion plant regardless, and you can use the leaves and root to make a good insecticide by steeping in a bucket of water for a week and then spraying on plants. Add garlic to the steeping solution as well.

Posted by Asha (Austin, TX) on 12/17/2008

Hi Chloe,

My 4 year old daughter got a small distal radial and radisus torus fracture on her left wrist about 6 days ago. I took her to ER and they splinted it with partial plaster along the inside of the forearm. I was trying to find a remedy to stop or relieve her excessive itchy skin underneath the splint. They are against the use of any creams applied to the skin, sticking any object inside the splint/cast to scratch, etc. And the Doctor's nurse so reassuringly and confidently recommended the use of Liquid Benedryl like it was the only and #1 cure. However, it has failed terribly. And I refuse to continue to give my little girl a self-proven highly ineffective drug. I am so fed up and totally against the use of these crazy over-the-counter medicines and prescription ones, too.

My little girl has gotten to the point where she is banging, or bear rubbing her splinted arm against or on something in a desperate attempt to make the itching stop. And I've had to tell her to stop because the fracture could get worse and the splinter/plaster can break. I don't know what else to do.

Prayerfully, I came across your post about your own personal testimonies on healing your fractures with Comfrey. This will be great if I can assist in speeding up her recovery because the sooner she would no longer have to wear that thing, hence, no longer itching. Now, when I take her to the ortho doctor I think they are going to cast, but I can be wrong. It's a small fracture that is said to be healed within 5 weeks using a cast and/or splint. So, they are telling me 4 more weeks of my little being unable to relieve her itchy skin.

You said comfrey worked for you, but I am unsure how to apply it to my 4 year old. You used terms like "several", etc.

1) Is there exact measurements you can share for your recipe?

2) You said apply it every four hours. Ok, for how long until her next follow up (after the one she will have in a day)?

3) If he (ortho doctor) does end up casting her wrist/arm how will I administer the comfrey?

4) Does the regular grocery stores sell Comfrey?

Thanks a mill,

Replied by Howard
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66201
5 out of 5 stars

Ted from Bangkok correctly pointed out that allantoin is the active ingredient in comfrey. It is available on the Internet from companies like Majestic Mountain Sage. I'm not sure if it dissolves in water, but it can be stirred into water with no problem. I wouldn't suggest using DMSO as a solvent. When I broke my lower leg I simply applied the powder to the skin above the break, but the location isn't critical. Anything in contact with the skin is absorbed to some extent and is carried throughout the body. How much did I use? Whatever made me happy. There is no record of allantoin being toxic, and no recommended dose size for its use. I never had a cast because three different doctors failed to recognize a clean break in my left tibia as the cause of the swelling and pain in my leg. The swelling evidently served me well as a cast. I am a biological scientist but not a physician.

Replied by Howard
Shawnee Mission, Kansas

The name Majestic Mountain Sage is correct. However, in reordering, I found that using Majestic Mountain Sage in a Google search produced a string of websites for other suppliers, none of which was Majestic Mountain Sage. The correct name for contacting Majestic Mountain Sage is Other suppliers of allantoin are primarily Chinese and European manufacturers seeking manufacturing contacts. None that I could find offered small qunatities of allantoin, If anyone knows of a source for allantoin USP (allantoin that meets the United States Pharmacopoeia standards) please post the information. Thanks.

Posted by Katie (Edison, NJ) on 11/02/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Comfrey Compress for a Dachshund

My doxie's back legs became paralyzed. The vet "guessed" that he had intervertebral disk disease and suggested a $5,000.00 surgery. After my research - I put him on strict crate rest, gave him supplements, chinese herbs and pumpkin (for fiber). I also gave him comfrey compresses - 3x's a day- which he would settle into. It took 3 1/2 months for him to walk again. The interesting thing was that when he got better, he would not sit for the compresses. I took it as "I'm ok now and don't need it anymore.") A big thanks to this website for it's valuable information.

Posted by Zella Sauer (Terre Haute, Indiana) on 09/17/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, First let me say I love this site!

I plan to try many many things here.

I came here because of a gallbladder attack. I was sooo sick with this last attack, and I am not working and have no medical insurance. So I started out with AVC in apple juice and wow !! I felt much better (((but a very wonderful side effect occurred, which I wasn't expecting.... I have been holding water a lot lately in my ankles, and I have been drinking lots of water to help rid my body and eating very little to no salt, but still some puffiness.... I have been using ACV for 3 days now and my ankles and lower legs are TINY again !!! I can't believe it !!!) I have since then been reading all the wonderful things ACV does so I am a believer and will be taking it from now on.))) I did start out drinking the regular kind from the store in apple juice, but I have bought the organic ACV now...

My second subject is LETTUCE. I wanted faster relief on my gallbladder and eating a chunk of lettuce makes your stomach and gas build up from all of this ease down quite fast ...and it works! THANKS

My third subject is comfrey.... comfrey has many many used more than just bones.... I have it growing in my yard, and ((of course I haven;t been using it for about 1 month)) but that was me being dumb))) anyway I have a whole read out on comfrey and all of it's cures... but it may be too long for here. One thing it is for is the digestive system in your body. I usually cut me about 8 to 10 leafs each morning and bring them to a simmer and eat them. They are delicious and taste like rough spinach. My mom drinks comfrey tea. It is supposed to heal any upsets in your digestive track from your stomach right on down to your bowls, and ground comfry root is powerful stuff. Here is a small readout on just a few of it's healing powers......

((Tea of the leaves or decoction of the root was traditionally used for arthritis, respiratory problems, persistent coughs, pleurisy, bronchitis, bronchial pneumonia, lung disease with dry cough, lung congestion, quinsy, whooping cough, consumption, metritis, periostitis, gastrointestinal ulcers, ulcerative colitis, internal hemorrhage (lungs, bowel, stomach), bleeding piles, bloody urine, bladder infections, prostate infections, cystitis, leukorrhea, excessive menstrual flow, scrofula, anemia, wasting disease, DIGESTIVE & STOMACH PROBLEMS, spitting blood, colds, nasal congestion, diarrhea, and dysentary.))

I know a lady of 98 still going strong, a dear friend of my mom's, gave a plant to my mom and she in turn gave me some starts from it years ago, to help us with stomach problems and I did use it for 3 months once ... and was wonderfully healthy and no digestive problems at all... then I moved and my landlord would not allow me to pull it up. So it took me years to find it again and only this year, I have plenty... so along with my AVC, lettuce and comfrey I plan to get healthy and well.... ohh and I am just starting to use organic coconut oil on my skin ... will let everyone know .... :)

Thanks again !!!

Replied by Romona
Olivet, Michigan

Hay Zella, I have used Comfrey for alot of things. I even make Comfrey salve from my plants in my yard. I would love to have a copy of your Comfrey uses. I want to know all of its uses. I've never heard of eating it but am looking foward to trying this when spring brings up new plants. I pick the leaves, dry and store them for winter use. Please email me and let me know. Thanks Romona

Replied by Janice
Coloma, Mi

Ramona, I would love to know how to make comfrey salve. I also grow it in my yard and I am looking for different ways to use it.

Replied by Romona
Olivet, Michigan

I'm looking for my recipe. I'll get back to you as soon as I find it. Also you can email me and I'll send it to you. Thanks Romona

Replied by Julie
Socal, US

Romona, I would also like a copy. Thank you.

Posted by Brian (Wendouree/Ballarat, Victoria/Australia) on 08/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

when 7 years old, I nearly died with nepthritis [ kidney disease ]. At 39 year old, the pain in that area made me almost weep and it needed to be stopped. I felt something inside said to fast, take only lemon juice and eat "raw" comfrey - I did this from 4.00 pm friday until lunch time sunday and I have never had a pain there since and I am now 68years old. "I thank God for Comfrey" - since then I have spoke to people who have also been set free of disease in the kidneys through comfrey and its healing "alantoin". I only ate about 7 hand sized leaves over 3 days.

Replied by Jacqui
Scottsville, Kentucky
5 out of 5 stars

I was facinated with Brian of Australia Comfrey remedy for his kidney troubles.

I am a New Zealander living in Kentucky a child my Mum(part Maori) always added a few leaves of Comfrey into the cabbage etc,she also told me when I had babies to add a leaf or two into my babies vegetables,and I always did that.

Over my life I have ALWAYS grown Comfrey in my garden,it makes a wonderful tea for the garden plants,and my Mum would use it in her compost. The common name for Comfrey is Knitbone..because it knits together,it is an ancient herb.Unfortunately withing the last 20years some silly persons have over indulged (OMG they must have drunk buckets of Comfrey tea) consequently comfrey has been labelled now. I believe EVERYTHING in moderation.. I have heard of someone dyeing from drinking too much water..if you understand what I mean.

Since living in Kentucky a long way from my Homeland, I have been able to buy a Comfrey plant,and my Comfrey is my treasure, I make a tea from her..I can gargle with the tea..I can add honey and a little ginger powder if I had a cold or flu..comfrey is great for the lungs..bladder etc.

Comfrey leaf if crushed (roll the rolling pin over to crush stalk) and put on a cut with gauze,and wrapped in plastic wrap,within 24hours cut will be sealed, do the same thing for bruising,grazing etc.. back in New Zealand many of the horse trainers use Comfrey for their horses legs when hurt.. Comfrey can also be dried out in the sun and kept air tight to use throughout the Winter..hope you are all healed now Brian.

Regards Jacqui

Posted by Carol (OKC, U. S. A.) on 04/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

...Comfrey compresses healed not only the deep bruising (in 3 days), resulting from a stubbed, broken toe but also, bone -- after all, the common name for comfrey is "knit bone". Raspberry tea healed my indigestion after I was forced to eat "junk food" for 3 days whilst staying with my husband's cousin.

Posted by Ann (Union County, NJ) on 03/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I fractured my right fifth metacarpal the beginning of this month. I saw the orthopaedist and he set it with a cast. I used a tincture of comfrey acquired from the local healthfood store. I applied with a q-tip under the cast at the site of the fracture once or twice a day. I went back to the doc for my followup visit two weeks and two days after the injury, the doc kept asking, three times, "When did this injury had occur?" He could not believe how fast it had healed, he left the cast off and now I have a soft splint. Now I apply the comfrey tincture on a bandaid and leave it on overnight. I hope to be splint free when I go for my next two week checkup. Not bad for a 58 year old female.

Posted by Donna (Ukaih, California) on 03/12/2002
5 out of 5 stars

I used a comfrey poultice on my granddaughter's arm and it healed so rapidly, the doctor was amazed. My 90 yr old mom just broke her arm and I'm using a comfrey compress. I'm told it will take 3 months or more for it to heal, so we'll see, but I have faith that it will heal much faster!!!

Replied by Romona
Olivet, Michigan

Hi Donna, I love this site. I noticed that this was written back in 2002. I'm here to tell you that my granddaughter broke her arm. It was a clean break so they just put a cast on. I ordered some comfrey capsules and had her take one twice a day. She continued her dance classes and did her recital with her cast on. When they removed the cast the doctor couldn't believe how fast she was healing. He said to her mother to keep doing what she was. So after the cast was removed she continued to give her the capsules and applied the salve on the arm around the broken area. It was many years ago and we all use it a lot. The kids are living in Florida now and I just sent 2 jars of salve to them in the mail. They were just about out and didn't want to be without because it works so well. Can't wait to tell them about eating it.

About a month ago I stubbed my toe very hard. I expected it to hurt bad, but nothing happened until a few hours later and then it started swelling and hurting real bad. Turned all black & blue. Before bed I couldn't take it anymore so I put some Comfrey salve on it and sprayed it with a pain killer spray that I had and slepted all night. I awoke in the morning with very little pain. It took a little while to heal but I believe that salve helped it to heal faster. Romona

Comfrey Side Effects  

Posted by Courtney (Granite Bay, Ca) on 01/23/2014

After reading many posts here about the benefits of comfrey, I bought a comfrey salve that received good reviews online. I just got the package in the mail and when reading the application instructions, I saw that it also said "may cause illness or death". (What the...! ?! ?! ) I'd planned to rub it into my hip bones before bed to help me sleep through the night without the ache waking me up, but now I'm afraid to use the stuff. Anyone? Thanks.

Replied by Gene
Ny, Ny

Comfrey can be very toxic if taken internally, but an herbalist will be able to tell you more about that. I imagine that's what the packaging was alerting you to. It is traditionally used as a poultice.

Replied by Om
Hope Bc Canada

I beg to differ. Comfrey or symphytum is not toxic if taken internally. There are many people who take a leaf daily for its health giving properties. Because comfrey is so beneficial internally and externally, gov't has it demonized and the lie goes around the globe in a trice. Of course, as with everything else, if you take loads ... but let's be frank. Natural medicine does not kill. Namaste, Om

Replied by Om
Hope Bc Canada

EC researchers--- please look out. Vested interests are putting out their bit to mislead and misinform the public. Especially if an herb or substance is effective and within means, there come the lies and efforts to discredit herbology and folk remedies that have been used for hundreds of years.

For example: recently and longer, BORAX, KEROSENE, TURPENTINE, COMFREY, even KOMBUCHA.

I was perusing a page on Kombucha, when a well known link that starts with L...discredited it as being unsafe when Kombucha has been brewed in countless homes for umpteen years with the effect that in those areas in the world cancer did not make its debut.

I am getting angry when Truth becomes "myth", when well being of man is undermined and the public drained of resourses and left callously to die from man made poisons. In the name of commerce and control.

If one peruses history, this has been done every time, killing volk wisdom and its knowledgeable citizens over and again.

How many of the good people who have made a huge difference to mankind with their natural remedies are in jail or IN HIDING??

Very angrily, yours, Namaste Om

Replied by Mike62

Courtney: 3000 years ago there were city states. Everybody had to have great strength because they were always warring against each other. They had to get their strength from properly prepared food. Today there is peace. People don't need great strength. There are a handful of people who figured an easy way to make a lot of money. They would make people sick with improperly grown food and then make them sicker with some synthetic meds. When somebody said comfrey can heal they hired some underlings to slander God's Goodie. They isolated 1 substance from comfrey and gave that to some rats at 1000 times the dose. Of course they got sick. There are farmers in Australia who fed their animals bales of comfrey for decades. They drank comfrey tea and ate comfrey salad every day. You can make green smoothies from comfrey leaf and feel like wonder woman.

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa

Dear Courtney,

The company that made your salve is trying to avoid liability. We have used a homemade salve using comfrey for years and it is very effective and safe, in my opinion. Three herbalists whom I trust and have gleaned much from (Rachel Weaver, Phillip Fritchey, and Lalitha Thomas) are all aware of the "studies" and yet, they still give information about comfrey and how to use it internally. My family has used it internally and externally and love it. Personally, I think the FDA does not want comfrey to be safe. It is so effective that it has the potential to hurt drug sales. I find it sad that comfrey gets a bad rap, when there are so many drugs called, "safe" by the FDA that are not safe at all. It is a money thing. Drug companies do not make money if people get better using comfrey.

All that said, you must do what you are comfortable with. If you try your salve, be sure to let us know if it is effective for your pain!

Have a great day!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Joyce
Lansdowne, Pa

I have been using comfrey tea as a hair rinse for over a year and have not experienced any side effects. I brew the tea from dry comfrey leaves.

Replied by Marla
Brentwood, Tn

I also live in TN and would like to know where your herbalist are as I really need to see someone. Thanks!

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Marla,

Sorry to take a while to respond - I lost track of this post.

The herbalists I mention are all reputed authors; they don't actually have practices, that I know of, anyway, and none of them live in TN.

If you are needing an herbalist for a women's health issue, you might look into The Farm Midwifery Center. My understanding is that they take a natural approach to health. If they are too far away from you, perhaps they would be able to recommend someone closer.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Marla
Brentwood, Tn

Dear Mama to Many,

Did I understand that you make your own comfrey salve? If yes, will you share your recipe? Also, I live in Middle Tennessee --- is this plant readily available to buy as I would like to plant some. I am just now learning about this plant!

Thanks again,


Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Marla,

Comfrey does grow very well in Middle TN, I am happy to say. You might look for it at farmer's markets or smaller nurseries in the spring. A very small plant will flourish into a large plant. And it is hard to get rid of (as if one would ever want to!) so plant it in a place where it can flourish and stay put a long, long time. (It does like full sun.)

I used dried comfrey for my homemade salve. I tried to use fresh comfrey for it once and it went bad - because the fresh has a high water content. So, I usually use dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I combine several herbs in my salve - I will list them all. But even just using the comfrey (or just the plantain or calendula) will make a wonderful healing salve.

I fill (about 3/4 to the top) a mason jar with the dried herbs I want to use. I usually use comfrey, plantain, calendula, and burdock root, equal parts of each. Then I cover the dry herbs with oil. I use about 1/2 olive oil, 1/4 extra virgin coconut oil, and 1/4 castor oil. You could use all olive, but the coconut and castor have their own wonderful properties.

The jar is now full to the top with herbs and oil. I stir this up and let it sit in the laundry room for 2-4 weeks. If I need it in a hurry, I put the lidded jar in a crock pot (on a cloth towel towel) and fill the crock with water and keep the pot on warm overnight and low during the day. The water will need to be refilled a few times a day. I keep this brewing for 3 days.

Next I take the oil that has been sitting for 2 weeks or steeped for 3 days and strain the herbs out through a large piece of old but clean cotton t-shirt. The oil can be used "as is" now. This was my original recipe. Eventually, I melted in beeswax to make a salve, which is easier to use, much of the time. To make the salve, I add 1 Tablespoon of beeswax pastilles to each 4 ounces of herbal oil. I heat up the oil (a double boiler is ideal, though hard to clean out when you are finished! ) and add in the beeswax. I usually add some lavender essential oil, too. About 3/4 teaspoon for 4 ounces of oil. 4 ounce mason jars are ideal to store this in. Or you can buy all manner of cute little tins or containers online.

We use this salve for everything. Chapped lips, dry skin, eczema, bug bites, poison ivy, scrapes etc.

Let me know if you make some and how it goes!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Marla
Brentwood, Tn

Thank you for this recipe! I have one more question regarding the comfrey. Right now I have comfrey root powder---should I use this powder form? I have seen dried leaf comfrey for sale--is this the type of comfrey I should get? I am looking forward to making this, just need to get all the ingredients now.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Marla,

I have always used comfrey leaf for salve making, though I do use comfrey root some times for relieving pain of sprains etc.

I do use Burdock root though. So roots can be used to make a salve. I find that using powder to make the salve makes it very hard to strain. Die-hard herbalists tend to prefer powdering the herbs before making a tincture or salve out of them, but I have nearly always just used cut dried herbs and have always been happy with the results.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mama To Many


I just realized that while you are making your salve, you can also make a tincture with the same herbs. I just started a batch of this tincture tonight. All you would have to do is get some Vodka, 50 proof preferred. In a jar I put the same dried comfrey, calendula (flowers), plantain leaf, and burdock root. I cover it all with vodka. Just like the oil, I let it sit 2 weeks (or up to 6 weeks. You can also do the 3 day crock pot method. I have had two jars going in a crock pot at once, with a cloth between the jars so they don't hit one another and break.) Then I strain it through a clean t-shirt or coffee filter. (Coffee filter won't work for the oil.)

Then you have the herbs in a tincture. I don't use this internally. I get a small spray bottle and you have a spray! Sometimes it is more convenient to use the spray. I will use the spray on weepy rashes and weepy poison ivy as the alcohol helps to dry it out. This is more convenient at times. Sometimes having a salve on the area might be messy. My teen boys prefer the spray. It may briefly sting broken skin, so I would use caution using it on a child.

Anyway, as long as you are making a salve, you might want to add one more ingredient to your list (vodka) and make a tincture, too!
Some will use rubbing alcohol instead of vodka. I prefer vodka as it is food grade.


~Mama to Many~

Replied by Marla
Brentwood, Tn

Mama to Many,

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!