(Symphytum Officinale)

Medicinal Parts: Rootstock, leaves

Description: Comfrey is a perennial plant common in moist meadows and other moist places in the U.S. and Europe.

Properties: anodyne, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, hemostatic, refrigerant, vulnerary.

Comfrey is truly one of nature’s miracle cures. The root produces a high amount of a gummy material called mucilage, and the root and leaf are both high in allantoin, a substance that helps with cell proliferation. Comfrey is excellent for reducing the swelling around a fracture, thereby allowing the union to take place with greater facility. And according to herbalist John Gerard, ?A salve concocted from the fresh herb will certainly tend to promote the healing of bruised and broken parts.?

My midwife first introduced me to Comfrey after the birth of my first child. To put it mildly, it was not an easy delivery. All of those little joys after childbirth were making me very uncomfortable. You know, the tearing, bruising, stitches, etc. The midwife instructed me to steep Comfrey leaves in hot water and add it to my sitz bath. The results were phenomenal. It relieved the discomfort almost instantaneously.

Today, any time I attend a baby shower, I make up a gift basket stocked with comfrey. I wrap a generous handful of comfrey leaves in cheesecloth, then tie it closed with a ribbon. The packets can then be tossed directly into a pot of water to steep. Recipients always think I?m a bit odd at first, but usually I receive a heartfelt thank you note a couple of weeks after the baby is born. This is one gift any mother-to-be will appreciate.

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