Comfrey – The “Knit Bone” Herb

Comfrey knits broken bones back together and doubles the rate of cell growth, rapidly speeding up healing rates. It is my favorite herb. Comfrey is a sweet, cooling herb with expectorant, astringent, soothing and healing effects. It reduces inflammation and controls bleeding.

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 comfrey-treated bones knit so fast, wounds mend so quickly, and burns heal with such little scarring. Comfrey is often called knit-bone or healing herb.

My first experience with comfrey happened about 30 years ago. It was before the advent of car seat laws, and I was driving our two-door sedan around a curve in a nearby countryside. My seven year-old was seated on the right side, and had fallen asleep against the door. As I rounded the corner, the door, which sometimes did not latch properly, swung open, and she rolled out onto the road and into the ditch.  As you can imagine, my mother heart almost stood still, aghast at what I thought I would see as I stopped. To my relief, she stood up, so I knew that she hadn’t broken a leg, or rolled under the wheel. But she HAD gotten severe road rash. The skin and flesh was rubbed away to the bone several places on her face, knuckles, and hip.  Other areas were severely brush-burned. My husband’s mother came to the rescue, introducing me to comfrey and recommending that I make a tea of it to soak the wounds. After cleaning the wounds we soaked them in a strong, comfrey leaf tea.

Since some of the worst wounds were on her face and hip where we could not soak them, we dipped clean rags in  the comfrey tea and laid the wet cloths over them. (comfrey poultice) We soaked her hands in the tea, too. She cried when we put her hands into the soak because of the open wounds. To help her keep her mind off the immediate pain we read her some of her favorite stories. The pain would subside and we would soak her for 20 minutes, twice daily. Then we would wrap the wounds to keep them clean and dry. Within one week, fresh, pink skin had formed over most of the brush burns and she could use her fingers to write again.  In 2 weeks the deepest wounds were almost completely healed. Not only that, but there was so little scarring that today the only noticeable scarring is a ¼ inch one on one knuckle of her right hand and a bit of scarring on her hip where we did not do the comfrey soaks. We were favorably impressed, to say the least. This was the first, but not the last time, we have used comfrey to help with healing. If we were to repeat the process today, we would apply comfrey salve when we wrapped the wounds to keep the wound moist and further speed the healing.

Comfrey Soak

  • Bring a quart of water to boil.  Turn off the heat.
  • Add 2 large fresh comfrey leaves or ¼ cup of dried leaves.
  • Cover pan and let the leaves steep for at least 20 minutes.
  • Strain and use for a soak.

Use as warm as you can tolerate it.  Soak the affected part for at least 15 – 20 minutes.  Dry the area and cover with comfrey salve.  Bandage. Repeat at least 3 times a day.