Botanical Name: Symphytum officinale L.
- English: Comfrey, Knitbone
- Also, known as: Grande consoude, Reinweld, Consolide maggiore, Gum Plant, Healing Herb, Knit Bone, Nipbone, Knitbone, Knitback, Blackwort, Bruise- wort, Ass Ear, Sankuutan, Black Root, Blackwort, Bruisewort, Common Comfrey, Consound, Consoude, Consuelda, Grande Consoude, Herbe à la Coupure, Langue-de-Vache, Oreille d’Ane, Salsify, and Wallwort
Habitat: Europe and Asia
Harvested: Wild or Cultivated
Part used: Leaves
Symphytum officinale a large, coarse, tuberous-rooted, clumping perennial that is primarily grown today as an ornamental for its attractive foliage and spring flowers. Comfrey is an herbaceous perennial with a stout spreading root, brownish-black and wrinkled, the stem about 1-3 feet high and large, spread 0.75-3 feet, coarsely hairy, egg to lance-shaped leaves, with wavy edges. Large, pointed, hairy, ovate-lanceolate, dark green basal leaves grow to 8” long. Upper leaves are decurrent and much smaller than the basal ones. Mature stems are winged. Tubular, bluebell-like, white to pink to purple flowers appear in drooping clusters in mid-spring to early summer.
The plant is erect in habit and rough and hairy all over. There is a branched rootstock, the roots are fibrous and fleshy, spindle-shaped, an inch or less in diameter and up to a foot long, smooth, and internally white, fleshy and juicy.
The lower, radical leaves are very large, up to 10 inches long, ovate in shape and covered with rough hairs that promote itching when touched.
Comfrey has been cultivated since 400 BC as a healing herb. Immigrants first brought the plant to America in the 1600s for medicinal use. Over time, comfrey has naturalized along roadsides and in waste areas throughout much of the U.S. Comfrey was once commonly called Knitbone because of its amazing ability to heal broken bones and “knit” them back together again. The botanical name, Symphytum, means “to unite.”
Some controversy still exists regarding internal use, the plants are now generally considered by most experts to be unsafe and dangerous for ingestion.
How to use:
FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.
Leaves and roots can be used to make poultices or hot and cold compresses for external use.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.