So if you haven’t heard of Comfrey you are in for a serious treat! INTRODUCING… the much coveted and sought after…
Russian Comfrey Bocking #4
Some of the EASIEST greenery on the planet to grow, Comfrey doubles as a medicinal herb and Beautiful Landscaper (complete with pretty purple flowers mid-season). The first plant to leaf out after winter and the last to fade at summer’s end, it is EXTREMELY hardy (down to-40 degrees), UNBELIEVABLY USEFUL, drought resistant, excellent for animal forage, and has tons of medicinal uses including an amazing ability to heal bones (and tissue) as it’s nickname “knit bone” suggests. It can be planted from any piece of root or crown cutting and harvested several times throughout the season!
Why Bocking #4, when there are 21 varieties of Comfrey?
With large tap roots that go as far as 10′ into the ground, Comfrey is an amazing mineral miner and pretty much impossible to get rid of once established. The domesticated, non-invasive variety of Comfrey, Bocking #4 will stay where you plant it without multiplying from the abundance of seeds produced up to 5 times per season! Developed by Dr Lawrence Hills, Bocking #4 not only STAYS WHERE YOU PLANT IT, but also also contains the highest protein content for fodder and the least Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids- or “PA’s” (which may be toxic to the liver in large quantities) and makes it the preferred medicinal variety.
NO, I’M NOT AN MD… *DISCLAIMER REQUIRED BY FDA (as if you thought I was…?)
Right about here I’m obligated to tell you that… I’m NOT a Medical Doctor. Nope, just the mother of 8 healthy kids ranging in ages from 5-19 with all kinds of experiences and knowledge you might benefit from. I am required by law to tell you that my statements are not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”- even if Comfrey actually DOES cure or prevent a disease… The FDA has decided that ONLY A DRUG can make any claim to heal, and that if a substance does actually heal, it must be classified and approved AS A DRUG by the FDA (in an incredibly expensive process.) So although it’s currently illegal to tell you this plant will heal anything, I am legally allowed to tell you how it’s been used throughout history (to heal) and to share any personal experiences I’ve had using the plant myself (free speech). This article is to help you understand what Comfrey is capable of, and familiarize you with some common forms of application so that you can use your own brain and make your OWN diagnoses and treatment plans. You are much smarter and more capable than the FDA gives you credit for so don’t be deterred by the scary jargon. These amazing solutions are God given, really inexpensive (… that’s where the FDA really takes issue) and fairly simple as you will see.
**Nothing can replace your own intelligence nor hurt you like your own lack of it. Please don’t mistake the “slow action” of herbs for “no action” . When you consider that herbal treatments are HEALING your body- not just masking symptoms, it’s easy to understand that they are MUCH FASTER ACTING UPON YOUR HEALTH THAN DRUGS, yet the results can be slower to see.
First, Some Facts:
- As a landscaper, Comfrey can be helpful with erosion control and it is EXTREMELY drought resistant with roots 8-10′ deep.
- Useful for fodder and natural garden fertilizer.
- This natural hybrid is an extremely low-maintenance crop, resistant to rust and has very few problems with pests or disease.
- Perenial in USDA Zones 2-9. Originating in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, it is cold hardy to -40, and can survive up to 120 degrees.
- Bocking #4 seeds are sterile and it does not send out invasive runners. (It will eventually widen and propagate new plants around an established plant- which can be divided to replant elsewhere.)
- You can replicate and divide from any single, 1″ piece of root or crown (crown pieces will leaf out faster than root pieces) and it can be planted ANY TIME the ground is not frozen! (For real- just stick a piece in the ground a couple inches below the surface and it will grow!). 1 caveat- it can take full sun, and is shade tolerant, but needs some sun to thrive.
*A WORD OF CAUTION: Bocking #4 is my first choice for medicinal purposes (as well as forage) because of the low to nearly non-existent level of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in the leaves (although I would probably feel comfortable using any form available to me).
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids are known carcinogens and may be damaging to your liver.
HOW damaging? Studies on Comfrey show that the average cup of Comfrey tea is about as carcinogenic as a PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH (definitely worth outlawing if you ask me) and a similar sized glass of wine has about 144 times the amount of Pyrrolizadine Alkaloids.
The many varieties of Comfrey have been used for centuries to treat a variety of pain and inflammation related issues including muscle, joint, ligament & tendon problems, inflammation, bruises, skin ulcerations, wounds, burns, eczema, psoriasis, bees stings, spider bites (including brown recluse) staph infections, bedsores, tumors, shingles, athlete’s foot, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins, gout, sprains, strains, and bone fractures.
WHAT MAKES COMFREY SUCH AN EFFECTIVE HEALER?
Comfrey contains a special substance called allantoin, which is a cell proliferative. In other words, it makes cells grow faster. This is one of the reasons why bones treated with comfrey knit together so fast, wounds mend so quickly and burns heal with so little scarring. Additionally, it is rich in calcium salts, mucopolysacharrides and calcium, all of which encourage rapid growth of cells and tissue repair. The qualities of these elements that regenerate cells also serve to neutralize the cell-inhibiting action of the Pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Allantoin, the same substance that helps to regenerate cells, is found in the placenta of a pregnant mother which helps the baby grow rapidly. After the baby is born, allantoin is also found in the mother’s milk — abundantly at first and less so as the child grows.
“Comfrey The Wonder Plant” PDF Download
If you would like more info on Comfrey including how we personally use it both internally and externally as well as how to grow and care for your Comfrey roots, it is now available as a FREE, downloadable INFO PDF.
SUSTAINABLE INFO PDFs
- Learn “How To Ferrocement” – downloadable PDF
- Introduction to “Comfrey the Medicinal Wonder Plant” PDF – downloadable PDF
- Complete Guide On “Our Secret Low Phytate, Whole Grain Bread Dough.” – PFD