Comfrey

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Comfrey is a herb which originated from Asia and Europe that is used as a fertilizer in organic gardening and also for its medicinal qualities.

Flavor

There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not Coffey can be consumed and therefore it is not recommended for oral consumption.

Growing

Comfrey does not seed and therefore new plants are best started from root cuttings. The more the leaves are pruned, the more the plant will grow. It grows best in sun or partial shade.

Comfrey is widely used by organic gardeners as a fertilizer in compost or mulch or as a companion plant as it mines a host of nutrients from the soil.

History

Comfrey since ancient times has been known for healing. The name comfrey is believed to come from Latin ‘confera’ meaning ‘knitting together’.

Medicinal

The most common usage of comfrey extract is skin treatments for wounds, bed sores and other dermatological conditions. In a poultice or ointment it can be used for soothing pulled muscles, arthritis, sprains and bruises.

In a recent placebo-controlled study, comfrey was found to decrease back pain when used topically. However, it is not clear if these results reached statistical significance.

Facts About Comfrey

Gardeners have also been known to plant comfrey around gardens to form a weak barrier and to stop grasshoppers and other insects devouring their plants (as the insects fill up on the comfrey first!).