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Comfrey

General discussion of medicinal plants and their use.

Post Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:16 am

Posts: 16
I will put this back in The discussions. I had a question that didn't get answered. When is the best time to harvest comfrey? I read just before it flowers and another place said when it flowers so you can harvest the flowers as well. Also is it a good idea to combine a little root with the plant or leave the root to be used alone?

Thanks
Beverly

Post Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:17 pm
Doc Jones User avatar
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Posts: 964
You can harvest it any time but it's at its medicinal peak when in flower. Cut the plant near the ground and hang it up to dry out of direct sunlight. Use the whole thing.

The roots are also medicinal and also have a little more mucilage (the slimy, soothing demulcent stuff) and allantoin (the chemical that accelerates cell division and healing). The roots also have more of the pyrazolidine alkaloids that have cause liver problems for a few people if taken internally.

Neither root nor leave is any issue externally and for most people isn't an issue internally either. I give it to my wife internally every day as part of a formula that controls her blood pressure. I've used it internally for years in my practice without incident but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

I can't see any practical reason to combine the root and leaf. The leaf doesn't do anything the root doesn't do but is safer for internal use. I separate them so I know what I have and can use one or the other based on risk factors of my patient/client.

Patrick

Post Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:04 pm

Posts: 16
This is a crazy question but ---
I made some comfrey oil, double infused it and now I wonder if I have too much comfrey in it. It's Very dark green, fairly thick but I was still able to strain it through cotton fabric OK. Plus it has a fairly strong comfrey scent. The other oil that I made doesn't have a scent to it at all.

I'll admit I didn't measure anything -- just added dried herb and covered it with olive oil. I let that sit on low in the crock pot about 3 hours then strained it and added more dried herb and let that sit on low for 3 or 4 hours.

Is it possible to have too much herb? Should I dilute with olive oil a little?
Also you mentioned adding Liquid Vitamin E to help preserve the oil. About how many drops would you add to 5 oz of oil?
I assume it's OK to seal the little bottles I put the oil in --- or is it better to let it breath when in storage?

I'll get this right one of these days. I'm just glad I have a comfrey plant that grows fast and I can keep experimenting without buying it.

Thanks so much for all of your good advise!!!

Beverly

Post Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:28 am

Posts: 27
I was wondering will comfery root work about the same as comfery leaves? I have a recipe that calls for the root but its more expensive then buying the dry leaves where I was looking to get it, and if its about the same I would go cheaper. Its for regrowing tooth enamel I am trying out some remineralizing of the teeth stuff, thought it was worth a try :) Im pregnant and my teeth always get really bad when I am pregnant and thought it would be worth a go.
Crystal

Post Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:35 am
Doc Jones User avatar
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Posts: 964
Comfrey root is a bit stronger than the leaf. It has more allantoin (the tissue growth accelerant) but also contains more pyrazolidine alkaloids (that proprtedly cause liver damage.

I don't recommend comfrey internally for pregnant ladies or newborns.

I have used a comfrey-based toothpaste formula I came up with and have had great success restoring gums damaged by severe periodontal disease in dogs. I don't know what it would do for regenerating enamel. It certainly accelerates bone healing and reverses osteoporosis so who knows.

Patrick

Post Mon May 25, 2015 3:44 am

Posts: 35
I'm fortunate that Angeltoes provided me with some comfrey recently. I did not have any immediate need for it so I proceeded to dry it. I have a neighbor who broke his toe 4 months ago. He was in a boot today and mentioned that his DOC wanted to do a boot before surgery. I told him about comfrey and its use for breaks. He expressed interest in using it. I took him the ground dry comfrey and Doc Jones' 2nd book Home Grown Herbalist to read up on comfrey. Prior to delivering the comfrey I read up on and watched several videos with people using comfrey, but all of these examples used fresh comfrey.

Question: Is there a benefit to using fresh comfrey over dried comfrey ground up reconstituted with water for a poultice?

Thanks in advance.

Post Mon May 25, 2015 3:18 pm
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
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Posts: 1087
We need to know WHY the doc wanted to do surgery: medical need (bad break) or money (bad dude). Also, which toe is it? My mom broke a toe once and they said to just let it heal so I guess you know which one I vote for.

Comfrey is amazing, but if the break is not set right it will not be able to fix that very well. I sure don't think surgery is what will help though.

Post Mon May 25, 2015 3:26 pm
IdahoHerbalist User avatar
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Posts: 1087
Beverly

No, you cannot get too much herb. All that does is affect the dosage.
Yes, you need to seal the bottles to keep oxygen away from the oil. Oxygen is what breaks down the oil and makes it go rancid. I would add two or three drops of E to a 5 oz bottle. It does not take much.

Post Thu May 28, 2015 2:58 pm
Doc Jones User avatar
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Posts: 964
Just wanted to note that the older, more mature leaves contain less of the pyrazolidine alkaloids that can cause the liver issues than the younger leaves.

Either fresh or dry herb (reconstituted with a little water or olive oil) as a poultice work fine. If you have the fresh stuff, use it. Then you can save your dry stuff for when you don't have fresh stuff. :)

Doc


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