Comfrey (Symphytum officianale) is an attractive and useful plant, with large, hairy leaves and bell shaped, purplish flowers. Native to Europe and temperate parts of Asia, it is in the same family as borage and forget me not. Comfrey can be grown almost anywhere and in most types of soil, but is happiest with some shade. The leaves and roots have been used medicinally for thousands of years, dating as far back as Roman times, and the plant is used as a fertilizer by organic gardeners. The following are just some of the reasons why comfrey is sometimes referred to as a “wonder” plant.
1. Comfrey has a high allantoin content, which increases cell production, helping wounds to heal rapidly.
2. Comfrey poultices, salves and creams are recommended by herbalists for healing bruises, sprains, fractures, pulled muscles and torn ligaments.
3. Comfrey contains mucilage, which coats and soothes irritated tissues.
4. Comfrey leaves can be used in the garden by placing them around your plants as mulch. AS they decompose, they can be cultivated into the soil.
5. Comfrey is a fantastic compost activator. It enriches compost, as well as encouraging it to heat up.
6. Comfrey grows very quickly, and can be harvested up to 4 times in a growing season.
7. Comfrey has more nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) than most commercial fertilizers available.