Medicinal Monday: Comfrey
Today's Medicinal Monday is focusing on Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)--one my favorite healing herbs!
The first time I used Comfrey, it was in a salve I had bought. The salve worked like a charm on burns and bruises so I started researching the ingredients. That's when I came across Comfrey's other names: Knit Back, Knit Bone, Boneset, Bruisewort, etc. You see, Comfrey is so well known for treating wounds that it's garnered these nicknames as proof.
In Latin and Greek, Comfrey means "to grow together," and it's been used since at least the first century B.C. for just that.
In cold hard facts, Comfrey contains allantoin (a medicinal ingredient that reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system), mucilage (which protects and soothes irritated tissue), and tannins (which kill bacteria).
The downsides? It also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have caused liver damage and cancer in some scientific tests--meaning you wouldn't want to ingest it. However, it's still perfectly safe to use externally. It's also best to use dried comfrey (as opposed to fresh).
In an ointment, salve, or poultice, it can be used to treat bruises, burns, sprains, ulcers, and even broken bones.
To make a salve:
Melt 1/2 cup infused comfrey leaf or root oil with 1/2 cup infused calendula petal oil and 1 1/2 tsp. beeswax in a pan. Let it cool and then add 6 drops each of lavender and thyme essential oils. Stir and bottle it for up to one year.
In magic, it can be used in spells of money (the root) and safe travel (root or leaf). When worn or carried, it provides safety for the wearer when traveling. A smart witch will even tuck some in her suitcase to keep it from getting lost or stolen.