12 years ago, I came up with a salve recipe that included Comfrey. I made up my first batch and when a friend stopped by to visit, I noticed he had a cut on his hand. I said ‘here, try this,’ and rubbed some of my newly crafted salve onto his cut.
It was almost like magic. Over the course of his visit, we watched his hand heal right in front of our eyes.
I’ve been hooked on the healing power of Comfrey Root ever since.
I still make my salve, although I’ll admit we are due for a new batch, we’ve been out for quite some time now. In its absence, I have simply decocted the root (I had some on hand), which is just a technical way of saying I put the root in boiling water and let it simmer for 20 minutes – that’s what decocting is.
Caidin got a pretty bad cut on his hand and we soaked it for 10 minutes at a time over the course of two days (fortunately it was the weekend) and just as had happened the very first time I used Comfrey Root, we watched his hand heal up in front of our own eyes.
Comfrey is also called ‘knit bone’ for its ability to heal broken bones. It is also helpful for sprains and torn ligaments. Because of its incredibly fast ability to heal, there is one precaution which is to be careful to not heal the top layer of a wound, leaving the inside open. This will most likely cause infection.
My father, before he passed, had an open wound on his foot that wouldn’t heal. He had poor circulation in his feet and his doctors had already removed three toes from a previous wound that wouldn’t heal.
This wound was about the size of a dime, but it was deep and open. We decided to pack the wound with my Comfrey salve and little by little the wound healed from the inside out. So there is a way to work with Comfrey when there are deeper wounds, you just have to be aware to support the healing at the deepest level.
There are many warnings about not taking comfrey internally. So I’m only discussing external use of comfrey, but I will tell you, it can be taken internally if you know your herbs or you are working with a professional herbalist. I’m amazed at all the fear that’s out there. If you really want to know what herbs can do and can’t do, read old sources like The Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve, or Back To Eden, by Jethro Kloss or The School of Natural Healing by Dr. John R. Christopher.
In any event, Comfrey is a great external healer, if used appropriately. You can use the leaves, the stems or the root.
I just finished reading a thread on a discussion board about comfrey – everyone saying what they ‘know’ but really what they ‘know’ comes from what they read. One person even emphatically stated that Comfrey should not be used on cuts. Without any explanation – just a flat out pronouncement that is shouldn’t be used. I’ve explained why that statement might be made, but I’m certain that person was only repeating what someone else had written.
One of the beneficial things about my training as a Traditional Naturopath and as a Master Herbalist is that we had to experiment with herbs and treatments on ourselves first. Fear is a great way to control people. Right now we live in a society that is programmed to believe if the scientific or medical community hasn’t approved it it’s not ok; or, there is the recycling reports of an herb being ‘bad’ and we believe it. I want more. I want to know why. What was that study? Who was involved? Where does that information come from? And simply re-citing the same old source doesn’t answer that question.
If you are interested in herbs I encourage you to get to know them one at a time as I have. Read about them, read everything that you can find. If you find a negative report, dig to the bottom of it to see where that information comes from; was it a viable study or report, does it have merit? Most importantly experiment with the herbs so that you understand from your own personal experience what they can and cannot do.
Knowledge is power and the earth and her plants offer us great healing resources, but we need to take the steps to educate ourselves about all she has to offer.
Here’s a simple Comfrey Salve Recipe from Dr. Christopher’s The School of Natural Healing book.
2 cups olive oil
3 ounce (about six tablespoons) fresh comfrey leaves*
1/2 cup beeswax
*or 1/2 ounce dried
Put the olive oil and the herbs in the top of a double boiler. Gently cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently—little bubbles around the edges of the oil are okay; bubbling throughout the mixture means it’s too hot. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the herbs; discard the herbs and set the oil aside. Melt the beeswax in the top of the double boiler. When the beeswax is melted, add the strained oil and stir until completely blended. Pour the mixture into jars or salve tins. When it is cool, label and date it. The salve lasts about a year, more if it’s kept refrigerated.
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her