Comfrey Comfort-Skin Relief! April 22 2019, 0 Comments
Known from medieval times as “knitbone”, Common Comfrey is one of nature’s most plentiful gifts, used for everything from stomach ulcers and hormone balancing to healing topical bumps and bruises. Thanks to the inclusion of the allintoin compound, Comfrey is well known to re-build cells and tissues, and for that reason, is a popular ingredient in topical salves and liniments. In recent years, studies have shown that feeding Comfrey in excess can be toxic to human and animal livers, so for this article, we will focus on the topical application of Comfrey.
Plant parts and uses
The root and leaves of Comfrey can be used for topical application. Because the roots include mucilage, you can grind up the root and it will form a sticky paste that can be applied directly to the skin. Alternatively, you can boil the roots and leaves to create a tincture or tea, which can also be applied topically or inside a carrier (such as a salve or oil). Comfrey should not be applied to open wounds, but is a great healer of muscle soreness, rashes, burns, and other skin irritants.
Most common uses for horses
Keep some dried Comfrey in your tack room as an emergency base for bumps, bruises, burns, sprains, and tendon injuries. You can make a poultice from the leaves by soaking in hot water, wringing out the water and placing in a clean cloth and putting directly on the affected area. Or, create a tincture to put in an oil base or salve and rub into the effected area. Lastly, try making a spray by boiling the leaves for 8 hours and mixing with water and spray on sore muscles or hooves to encourage a quick recovery and promote skin/laminae health.
Comfrey is a hardy perennial that grows in full sun or partial shade. If growing Common Comfrey, it’s best to grow from seed and cut back frequently as it will take over the garden. Not only does Comfrey do wonders for your horse’s health, but it also works as a fantastic soil amendment, infusing nitrogen into the soil with its deep roots, and a great compost builder and mulch.
Like the sound of comfrey but would rather buy it? Check out Zephyr's Leave it Be Salve- a great natural salve for all skin irritations, including comfrey, of course.
This is a re-print from the Herb Blurb Column I am writing in Equine Wellness Magazine, one of the largest publications in North America focused on natural and alternative therapies for horses. https://equinewellnessmagazine.com/