Comfrey Seed(Symphytum Officinale) used as a healing herb for centuries.
True Comfrey Seeds (Symphytum officinale) Organic seeds!
Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale) - Comfrey has been used as a healing herb for centuries. The comfrey herb is native to Asia and Europe, but early English immigrants brought it to North America for medicinal purposes. Common Comfrey, Latin name: Symphytum officinale, grows to be approximately 60 inches tall. It has slender lance-shaped leaves and produces bell-shaped purple flowers that bloom from May to September. Comfrey, even when grown from Comfrey seed, has a deep root system with thick dark-colored roots. Comfrey may have violet, pink or creamy yellow flowers.
Comfrey contains chemicals that speed up wound healing. It has astringent, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Comfrey also contains a wide variety of healthy chemicals and nutrients. It has been recently learned that it can be a carcinogenic when taken internally, but it is still used as a topical treatment for skin irritations, cuts, sprains and swelling.
The form and size of the Comfrey herb might have you thinking it is a shrub, but it will die back to the ground in the winter and it does not get woody. Comfrey has a deep tap root, so it is extremely drought tolerant and a useful clay busting plant. It is also useful as a slug and snail repellent.
Leaves can be harvested and dried at any time. If you are growing it to harvest the leaves, you can make your first cutting when the plants are about 2 feet tall. Cut back to within a few inches of the crow. If you begin harvesting early, you won't get flowers. Leaves, flowers and roots have all been used in traditional medicine, but use extreme caution if you don't know what you're doing. Comfrey should never be taken orally and even a topical application can cause problems.
Medicinal Uses for Comfrey
Comfrey has long been used as a cure by Gypsies and peasant peoples, and has an ancient reputation as a mender of broken bones. In her marvelous book Herbal Healing for Farm and Stable, Juliette de Bairacli also recommends it for uterine and other internal hemorrhages and for the healing of wounds. British Gypsies, she writes, feed the roots to their animals as a spring tonic. (Please Note: Comfrey is toxic to the liver for both humans and livestock and should not be taken orally or used on open wounds. âMOTHER.)
Comfrey contains allantoin, a substance known to aid granulation and cell formation . . . which is what the healing process is all about. The effectiveness of this valuable plant can now be accounted for, and is therefore more widely accepted. (Funny how pinning a name on the curative property makes it possible for us to acknowledge it!) Here on our acre, we follow Mrs. Levy's advice and treat both people and animal hurts with comfrey. Generally we use an infusion (strong tea) of fresh or dried leaves, either to soak a part such as a sore finger or to dab on a cut with cotton. Crushed foliage can be applied externally, or a raw leaf rubbed on skin lesions such as rashes and poison ivy blisters. (Scratch and heal in one operation!) Comfrey should not be applied to open wounds or broken skin.
The most common medicinal use of comfrey are in poultices to help heal swellings, inflammations and sores. To make such a dressing, let the leaves mush up in hot water, squeeze out the excess liquid and wrap several handfuls of the hot, softened foliage in a clean cloth. Apply the pad to the affected partâcomfortably hot, but not scaldingâand cover the area with a thick folded towel to keep the heat in. The moist warmth enhances the healing effect of the allantoin.
USDA Zones: 4 - 9
Height: 60 inches
Bloom Season: Late spring through summer
Bloom Color: Purple
Environment: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Rich organic soil, pH 6.0 - 7.0
Temperature: 60 - 70F
Average Germ Time: If germination does not occur after 14 - 21 days a cooling period of 2 - 4 weeks is recommended
Light Required: Yes
Depth: 1/8 - 1/4 inch deep
Sowing Rate: 1 - 2 seeds per plant
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination occurs
Plant Spacing: 36 inches
You will be surprised how quickly Comfrey grows. When the flowers appear take a cut. Use a pair of shears and cut about 20cm (6in) from the ground. Comfrey has little hairs on the leaves, which can irritate, so wearing gloves is recommended.
In the second year your comfrey patch starts to really pay off. In the spring it will leap back from its winter sleep. Your first cut will get the spuds off to a good start. After that you should get at least a further three or four cuts.
If it's the roots you're after, those can be dug in the autumn.
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