COMFREY (knitbone) Harvest: Evidence of benefit for ankle distortion, back pain, abrasion wounds and osteoarthritis

Herbal harvests provide an opportunity to stock your ‘at home’ apothecary with a variety of plants with healing properties; a first aid preparedness strategy. I originally planted the comfrey to use as a nutrient rich organic fertilizer tea for my garden; harvesting for my herbal apothecary is an added bonus. I will be harvesting the roots as well.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale L) has been used medicinally for over 2000 years to treat a variety of ailments. Research attests to it’s many healing properties. Comfrey, also known as boneset, knitbone, black wort, wall wort, and slippery root, has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, and has been valued throughout the centuries as an agent that makes bones grow together.

The internal use of unprocessed comfrey is not recommended.

“Randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial (published in Phytomedicine 2007;14:2–10) has demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy and safety of a comfrey root extract ointment in the treatment of patients with painful osteoarthritis of the knee. Today, topical preparations of comfrey root extract are clinically proven and licensed in several countries to treat muscle and joint ailments.” 1

Farmers value comfrey as a nutritious fodder for cattle as well as fertilizer.

Enjoy harvest season’s many blessings!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design,



Botanical print image: Photo n. 13745 – common comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Otto Wilhelm Thomé: Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz (1885) – Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber. Source: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and / or modify this image under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.
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