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Comfrey Poultice

When it comes to potent herb remedies, comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) is one of the best-documented throughout history. Throughout the years it’s also been called “knitbone,” and “boneset” for it’s reputed medicinal properties. Farmers and housewives have been using comfrey for years to aid in curing burns, cuts, bruises, and even bone fractures. (Obviously, if you suspect you’ve broken a bone or suffered another serious injury, we suggest that your first trip not be to the comfrey patch, but to the Emergency Room.)

While it is somewhat toxic to humans if taken internally, it’s a miracle drug for goats. Farmer John has a patch growing just outside his house that he’s dug up and transplanted everywhere he’s lived. Whenever one of the goats is looking or acting a bit under the weather, John makes a trip to his comfrey plants.

Humans, however, can partake of its restorative superpowers by applying comfrey topically. The purported magical ingredient, allantoin, is readily absorbed through the skin and helps cells multiply and rejuvenate. One of the best methods for applying comfrey is via a poultice wrapped in a compress.

To make your comfrey compress, gather a half dozen large comfrey leaves from your garden.

Comfrey leaves.

Roughly cut them into 2-inch pieces (including stems.)

Cut up comfrey leaves.

Place pieces in either food processor or blender, along with 1/2 cup of water. Purée/pulse on “high” until liquid.

Add a fistful of flour to the food processor or blender. (Or cornmeal, any binding agent will do.) Pulse again until comfrey/flour mixture binds slightly as a paste. (You may add more flour if still too liquid.)

Using a rubber spatula, scrape paste onto clean dish towel or cloth, folded in half lengthwise.

Paste of blended comfrey and flour on top of a dish towel.

Fold edges over to slightly contain mixture, but leave enough exposed to come in direct contact with the affected injured area.

Arm on top of an unwrapped poultice.

Snugly wrap the cloth around the injured limb. Wrap second cloth (or ace bandage or twine) around and tie to secure.

Arm with fabric tied around it.

Leave the compress on affected area anywhere from four to six hours. Refresh with fresh comfrey as needed.

Does it work? We think it helps. But of course, we’d leave ourselves open to injuries of a litigious nature if we didn’t advise you to consult your physician (and not just Dr. Brent) for serious injuries or if symptoms persist.

We’re pretty sure comfrey can’t cure a legal bill.

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