This medicinal plant belongs to our most indispensable and valued herbs, which nature has in store for us. It grows in moist meadows, ditches and near streams, is found also near fences and in gravel pits, flowering all summer. The leaves are rough and pointed at the end. The several year old root, dark brown to black on the outside, white to yellowish within, is of the thickness of a thumb and, cut open, is sticky, almost slimy.
The root is dug out in spring or autumn. The fresh plant is gathered before and during the time of flowering.
The tincture of Comfrey, easily prepared, contains wonderful power. People, who suffer from rheumatism and swelling of joints and have been treated with other remedies without success, have found relief with Comfrey tincture.
A woman could hardly use her right arm (the socket joint was almost unusable) and the doctor had already diagnosed paralysis. Following my advice, she rubbed the tincture into the joint of the right arm daily. From day to day she felt how her complaint eased. Today she can use her arm normally and can look after her household.
The leaves of Comfrey, scalded and used as a poultice and applied to paralyzed limbs caused by over exertion, dislocation, sprain or shock, help overnight.
My husband's aunt was hit by a motorcycle. She was taken to the hospital with a fracture of the hip joint; a pin was inserted and after she was cured, she left the hospital. After a year the pin should have been removed but since she had no pain and could walk soundly, she refrained from going to the arranged check-up. Everything seemed in good order, until one day she felt unbearable pain. The pin had to be removed and it was found that the bone was infected. Injections dulled the pain for short periods, but the infections did not heal. In this state she came to visit us, a picture of misery. I can state without exaggeration that warm poultices of Comfrey helped overnight. Next day the woman was able to sit and lie without pain. Since only small pieces of Comfrey roots were available in herbal shops, the clever aunt dried them a little more in the oven and ground them with a coffee grinder (a poppyseed grinder does it as well). She applied these poultices (see "directions") until she had no more complaints.
Knobs on the joints of hands and feet are made to disappear with these poultices. I would like to point out that the Comfrey meal itself, applied as a poultice, gives ease in paraplegia.
Warm poultices are helpful in varicose ulcers, muscular rheumatism, gout stones, ulcers, neck pains, painful amputation stumps, and periostitis itself.
A tea can be prepared from the roots and used internally for bronchitis, disorders of the digestive system, bleeding in the stomach and pleurisy. 2 to 4 cups are sipped during the day.
For stomach ulcers a tea of 100 gm. Comfrey, 50 gm. Calendula and 50 gm. Knot grass (Polygnom aviculare) is recommended (see "directions").
Once again I would like to mention the Comfrey tincture. As a compress it is used most successfully for external and internal wounds, all sorts of injuries, bruises, contusions, ecchymosis and bone fractures. The leaves of Comfrey are not only used as poultices but also as additions to baths for rheumatic complaints, gout, painful bones, slipped discs and defective circulation. For defective circulation in the legs, varicose veins and as supplementary treatment of bone fractures. Comfrey sitz baths are taken. In an old German recipe Comfrey leaves are dipped into a light batter and fried in oil.
There is goodness there for the whole family.
Tea preparation from the roots: 2 teaspoons of finely chopped roots are soaked in 1/4 litre cold water overnight, slightly warmed in the morning, strained and taken in sips.
Tea (for stomach ulcers): A heaped teaspoon of the mixture (see text above) to 1/4 litre of boiling water, infuse for 3 minutes. 3 to 4 cups are sipped during the day.
Poultice: Well dried roots are finely ground, mixed quickly with very hot water and a few drops of cooking oil and spread on a piece of linen, applied warm on the affected area and bandaged.
Leaf applications (fresh): Fresh leaves are washed, beaten to a pulp and applied to the affected part.
Leaf applications (hot): Comfrey leaves are scalded and applied warm.
Additions to full bath: 500 gm. fresh or dried Comfrey leaves are soaked in approx. 5 litres of cold water. Next day it is brought to the boil and the liquid is added to the bath water (see "full bath" - General Information).
Sitz bath: Proceed as for full bath, but use only 200 gm. of leaves.
Comfrey tincture: Comfrey roots are washed and cleaned with a brush, finely chopped, loosely placed in a bottle, rye whisky or wodka poured over them and the bottle kept in the sun or near the stove for 14 days.
Comfrey ointment: 4 to 6 fresh, washed Comfrey roots, depending on size, are finely chopped and added to 250 gm. of heated lard and left to cool overnight. Next day reheated, lightly strained and pressed through a cloth, immediately poured into clean, small jars and stored in the refrigerator. This Comfrey ointment can be used instead of the meal. For treatment of wounds in humans and animals the ointment is invaluable.
Comfrey wine: 2 to 5 fresh roots are finely chopped and macerated in one litre of white wine for 5 to 6 weeks. An excellent remedy for pulmonary complaints!