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Comfrey

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Re: Comfrey

Post  llama momma on 3/28/2017, 3:23 pm

Does anyone on the east coast or Midwest have comfrey Roots?

I'd love to SASE or small box to you to return it to me all prepaid shipping of course.  I'd be interested in doing this now.  And we could discuss anything I might have to trade also.  Just PM me. Thanks.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  llama momma on 6/6/2017, 5:35 pm

If you have comfrey and chickens, that is a good thing!  According to Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily, comfrey is a pain reliever, anti inflammatory, heals wounds, high in protein and vitamin B12, promotes muscle, cartilage, and bone growth.  This was quoted from her book, Gardening With Chickens.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 6/7/2017, 12:31 am

GB, I forgot to thank you for the comfrey seeds. I have misplaced them in my computer room, they are here somewhere. Embarassed dangit

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Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/7/2017, 10:26 am

One of my comfreys is getting ready to flower!



She's about 3 ft tall and 2 ft wide now, and is very happy living near the compost pile which makes it easy to harvest the leaves for the pile a few times a year.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  llama momma on 6/7/2017, 11:23 am

Looking Great CC !!
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Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 6/7/2017, 4:34 pm

cc, ist year of growing comfrey. how do you use it? it getting too big for the raised bed. 
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Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/7/2017, 5:02 pm

Hass55, cut it back and put the leaves into your compost pile.  It will regrow, about 3 times in my area.  Or you can use them as mulch, or make tea for your plants.  Or you can heal externally with them.  Lot's more uses.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/comfrey-leaves-zmaz74zhol
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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 6/7/2017, 5:24 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Hass55, cut it back and put the leaves into your compost pile.  It will regrow, about 3 times in my area.  Or you can use them as mulch, or make tea for your plants.  Or you can heal externally with them.  Lot's more uses.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/comfrey-leaves-zmaz74zhol
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CC
I would like to have some comfrey to use in my compost bins but have no idea where to find it.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  Robbomb116 on 6/7/2017, 11:07 pm

trolleydriver wrote:
I would like to have some comfrey to use in my compost bins but have no idea where to find it.

Online on decently expensive from what I've seen.   But it was a while ago I looked so I don't remember how much.   It was also during my "this is starting to add up" period where I decided to not get too ambitious my first year.   So it might not have been too expensive,  just one if the costs I cut this year.  thinking

It's on my list of future plans though!
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Re: Comfrey

Post  Kelejan on 6/8/2017, 12:32 am

Just about a couple fo hundred feet down the road from me, I have access to about 13 beautiful plants that grow on the boulevard that belongs to the City.  It's that plot of land that fronts a house but does not belong to the house.

I harvest it three times then let it grow to flowering stage.  It took me some years to find out what it was.  Most people like me cut the grass as that is something we are supposed to do;  but this frontage is so large that the house owners never bother.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 6/8/2017, 5:48 am

CapeCoddess wrote:Hass55, cut it back and put the leaves into your compost pile.  It will regrow, about 3 times in my area.  Or you can use them as mulch, or make tea for your plants.  Or you can heal externally with them.  Lot's more uses.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/comfrey-leaves-zmaz74zhol
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CC
thank you
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Re: Comfrey

Post  plantoid on 6/8/2017, 7:18 am

Comfrey  needs a bit of TLC to get the most out of it . 
 You only need half an inch of root with a tiny bit of greenery/top on it to start with .

 Sending out such chips is best done in a small strong cardboard box with damp kitchen towel wrapped round the chips & then slip them in a polybag that you have gently squeezed the air out of before you tie the top off.  

This will give you maximum chances of successfully sending the chips through the postal system ,knowing that they will grow .       Soak the chips in clean cold water for a couple of hours to hydrate them before putting them in plant 6 inch or bigger pots to grow on to about 5 inches tall before putting them out in the beds or boarders .

 I've sent several dozen such chip cuttings like this to folks  all over the UK in the last five or more years with great success .

Plant them out in deep well manured soil at least 2 feet apart if at all possible to get some really strong plants .  Adding a teaspoon of the Michrozial fungi stuff to the planting hole really does give them a fantastic root system the quality of which is reflected in the mature plants .

 Our comfrey  forms a spring /summer & autumn wall of greenery  a single row of plants wide ( approx 3 foot ) and 24 feet long .
I'm harvesting my Bocking 14  three times a year when the flowers have been in bloom for two to three weeks  , cutting it right back to 3 inches tall . Then adding a fork full of home made compost round the crown once th greenery has be taken away


 Last year I spread out the last harvest for the sun to dry it out .. Strangely for Wales it didn't rain & the dried out plant harvest  was dry enough to put through the chipper machine  . If it gets wet it's a disaster as it will clog the machine in seconds  .

 The resultant cut up stuff was kept in a woven polysack hung up inthe shed ., It has now been sprinkled  in beds that were being cleared or prepped for over wintering crops except the root beds  & used as a light dressing  on my onions , garlic & cabbages this years growing season .

 Other years I've cut up the harvested plant material  by hand in to strips a copuple of inches wide and layered them in th working compost bins lasagne style .
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Re: Comfrey

Post  yolos on 6/8/2017, 8:30 am

trolleydriver wrote:
CapeCoddess wrote:Hass55, cut it back and put the leaves into your compost pile.  It will regrow, about 3 times in my area.  Or you can use them as mulch, or make tea for your plants.  Or you can heal externally with them.  Lot's more uses.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/comfrey-leaves-zmaz74zhol
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CC
I would like to have some comfrey to use in my compost bins but have no idea where to find it.
TD - I have been researching Comfrey and following is information I have compiled.  When researching, I have been directed to two places to purchase it.  I have decided that the variety I want is Bocking 14.  If that is what you decide, you can purchase it from horizonherbs (link below).  I do not know how reputable they are but it is a starting point for you.  These are old prices but it will give you some idea of the price.  Near the end of this post is a link to a lot of articles about comfrey.
 
Comfrey
 
This video is One Yard Revolution.  He directs watchers to Horizon Herbs link at the bottom of his video.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFDd0Osm6cY
Horizon Herbs has it and I believe they ship internationally. Best wishes getting the comfrey!


Bocking 14
https://www.horizonherbs.com/search.asp?mode=results
 
1 plant for $3
6 plants for $12
20 plants for $35.
 
http://www.coescomfrey.com/order.html
Bocking 4
Crown Cuttings  10 for $22.00
1 year old - 10 for $44.00
2 year old – $9.00 each
3-4 year old - $ 14.00 each
 
Comfrey, Russian Live Root Cutting (Bocking 14 Cultivar), 6 root bag, organic
 
Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) --The roots and leaves contain the valuable cell-proliferant allantoin. Salve speeds healing quite noticeably. Contains PAs. By popular vote here at Horizon Herbs, the most useful medicinal plant in our entire garden (see my book "Making Plant Medicine" for more on this).  Besides making medicine from the dried root, we use the leaves for curing our goats of any intestinal ailment, which as you may know intestinal ailments can often prove fatal to goats. Furthermore, we have great results making the fresh leaves into biodynamic tea, which we apply to our plants in a pot to increase vitality, growth, and to green up all those leaves! Excellent ingredient for compost piles--fresh leaves compost fast and make a nitrogen-rich compost!  Organic, farm-derived, vegetarian and free of cost.
How do I plant it?  You take the cutting out of the bag of moist coir and plant it with the roots down in the ground and the crown up toward the light.  Firm the soil around the cutting and bury the crown just below the  soil surface.  It will soon send shoots into the light.  Water after transplant.  Comfrey is not only a cell proliferant to human or animal tissue, it is a cell proliferant to its OWN tissue, so it will grow agreeably fast.  If you get several cuttings, plant them from 1 to 2 feet apart, in regular garden soil, in the full sun to part shade.  Comfrey will suffer if it gets too dry, so water it weekly, at least.  Plant anytime ground can be worked.  Comfrey is shipped in all seasons, so please wait to order until your ground is prepared, or be ready with soil and pots if your ground is frozen. 
Can I plant it in a pot?  Comfrey doesn't do well in pots for an extended period, but it will survive in a pot for awhile.   Don't overwater, and keep the plant in the light and give it sandy soil mixed with compost in a gallon or larger pot.  It will try to send a root out the drainage hole of the pot and find some real dirt. 
What's the difference between this plant and true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis)? The Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is a sterile hybrid that will not self-seed and is extremely robust and vigorous.  The true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) is a bit less vigorous of a grower, has more elongated leaves and (I think) prettier flowers, and does indeed make seed.  Although both types of comfrey (Russian and True) are useful for making medicine and making compost, in an ideal world one would use the bocking cultivar for producing large amounts of biomass for permaculture gardens, composting, and animal feed, and one would use the true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) for medicinal purposes.  Again, both types (and other species as well) are used interchangeably in agriculture and in medicine. 
We ship Comfrey during all seasons, so if you do not want the roots delivered within normal turnaround (1 to 2 weeks) then please specify your preferred shipping date.  Use the "customer comments" field at checkout.
Shipping via priority mail only.  Choose PLANTS (with asterisk) or ROOTS via Priority Mail at checkout.
 
 
Bocking 4
Because the Bocking #4 is so deep rooted, it will thrive in drought where most other plants are helpless. We do not sell the Bocking #14 strain of Comfrey as “it is shallow rooted and subject to drought,” and “it is disliked by rabbits and chickens — as being too bitter” according to Lawrence D. Hills, the world’s foremost expert on Comfrey.
Plant Comfrey in “fertile holes” to get established and it will thrive and live even through the hottest Summer or coldest Winter. Comfrey needs a 3 foot spacing for proper root development and highest yields. Strong, mature plants on a 3 foot grid will have the larger outside leaves touching the adjacent plants after 4 to 5 weeks growth.
Comfrey can also be grown indoors, in pots (1 to 5 gallon size) for a continuous harvest of fresh, small leaves. For this purpose best results are obtained by planting two-year or 3-to-4-year plants in the larger pots or 5- gallon buckets.
Plant crowns or plants NOW and have fresh leaves in two to three weeks!



[size=32]Fast Growing, Bountiful Harvest[/size]
Comfrey roots can grow down 8 to 10 feet and out to a 3-foot radius bringing up minerals and nutrients that have leached down for thousands of years. Comfrey is a “dynamic accumulator”— each plant a super “nutrient-pump”— producing versatile, valuable leaves — year after year.
Comfrey leaves can grow to be 10” wide x 20” long with prominent veining and some soft bristles underneath. The top side appears smooth. The smallest leaves are slightly fuzzy and all leaves are tender. Large strong plants become a “fountain of leaves” comprised of 15 to 25 shoots and leaves, small to large, coming right out of the ground. The plants can be 2½ feet high by 2½ feet in diameter every month of the growing and harvesting season.
Comfrey begins its growth early in the Spring; the first cutting here in Nantahala, NC (3400’ elevation) is in mid-April and the stronger plants will be in the “fountain of leaves” stage. This growth should be cut off 2“ above the ground and as needed throughout the growing season. These fast growing leaves can be cut 3 to 8 times a year with each plant yielding 3 to 8 pounds per cutting.
Comfrey produces a small yield the first year, a larger yield the second year and comes into full production in the third season. Plants will continue producing leaves for 25 years or more and with optimum conditions you will reap thousands of pounds of nutrient-rich leaves from each plant.
For best results: Keep your comfrey plantings CLEAN (free of weeds and grass), CUT (monthly cuts bring on new growth) and FED (use organic fertilizers such as manure).



[size=32]Planting Among Trees in Orchards[/size]
In Permaculture, comfrey is often left to grow around trees without cutting. The larger outer leaves will lay down forming a nutrient-rich mulch and ground cover. Leaves can also be cut and scattered around the orchard. However to obtain the highest yield as a crop, it should be kept free of competition from grass, weeds, and tree roots. The plants are then cut when at peak growth and manured.



[size=32]All About Roots, Crowns/Offsets, One-Year, Two-Year & 3-to-4 Year Plants[/size]
NOTE: When planting root cuttings OR crown cuttings (laid flat) in a more dense, clayey soil and during cold Fall or Spring time, plant about 1½” to 2” deep. In sandy soil when it’s hot Summer, plant deeper — 3” to 4” deep. Water well and keep the soil moist. Use mulch (if available), but add extra nitrogen (as in manure, urine, etc).



Root Cuttings
Root cuttings are sections of lateral roots and are 2” to 6” long depending on the diameter. They develop buds 20 to 40 days after planting, and are best planted in beds, rows, or pots, and transplanted to permanent locations when a year or more old. Roots are laid flat and covered with 1½“ to 4” of soil when planted (see NOTE above).

Root cuttings take 1½ to 2 years to grow to the size of a one-year plant. Crown cuttings will make a large one-year plant in 1 to 1½ years. One year plants will reach full maturity in 3- to 4- years.
Large fields are planted using root cuttings or crown cuttings, the ground being prepared as when planting corn or potatoes. On large, mechanized farms it is set on a 4 foot grid, to allow room for machinery to cultivate between the plants. Large machinery is used for soil preparation and then frequent, but shallow cultivation. Keeping all grasses and weeds down is necessary to allow the plants to get established. After the plants have become established, cultivation can be reduced to 3 or 4 times per year. Comfrey can be planted as close as 18” apart in rows if intensive cutting of small leaves is desired.
Manure, and also a mixture of commercial fertilizer composted with manure, is used on some of these large plantings. This mixture has worked very well for those wishing to use artificial, commercial fertilizers, however you will have very poor results with artificials used alone.
In the Spring of the third year, you can seed white Dutch clover or Ladino clover throughout the planting. The clover will help provide nitrogen and keep the leaves clean. Raw mineral bearing rock dust is applied as fertilizer for the clover and Comfrey, This is broadcast one-half ton per acre, per year. Aged manure is applied at the rate of one bushel in the Spring and one-half bushel after the second cut is removed, per plant. This is dumped directly onto the plant itself. The Comfrey quickly grows up through the manure. “Raw and crude” chicken manure can also be used once the plants have a strong root system; in three years or more.
Large plantings using thousands of root cuttings (4,840 per acre on a 3-foot grid) require different methods and equipment. On a small-garden or homestead scale using crown cuttings or plants, it is best to use prepared holes. For roots, simply make furrows 2 to 4 inches deep and lay root cuttings in them spaced about 8 inches apart, to get them started growing into plants.
A bed can be set with root cuttings spaced 8 inches all over it (see NOTE above for depth). Transplant to permanent location in a year or so. Also soil-filled one-gallon pots can be massed together, set on plastic, and a crown cutting or root cutting set in them. The pots are easily watered/fertilized and can be transplanted, transported or sold at any stage. The plastic on the ground prevents the roots from penetrating the soil. Plants in pots are subject to winter kill unless pots are protected with mulch, etc.



Crown Cuttings

Crown cuttings and what we call “offsets” are cut sections and new growths respectively, from old mature plants; usually 5 to 25 years old. They are the same grade of planting stock, are interchangeable as to size and quality, and are sold as the same Item, namely Crown cuttings. They are a body 3” or more in length with sprouts or shoots at one end. When planted they are laid flat or placed with the sprouted end up just above the soil surface or covered with 1½ to 4 inches of soil (see NOTE above). Crown cuttings and offsets already have sprouted buds or “growing points” and should have visible top growth 2 to 8 days after planting.



One-Year, Two-Year & 3-to-4 Year-Old Plants

One-year old plants have a body with crown and some roots. They are obtained by setting crown cuttings and allowing them to grow for a season/year. When planted they are set in their natural growing position. The green sprouting parts are leaf shoots and this top is placed with the sprouted end up just above the soil surface or covered with as much as two inches of soil. Firm the soil around the roots.
Crown cuttings and 1-year plants are best set in permanent locations, 2½ to 3 feet apart. However, planted on a 2- foot grid they will totally shade the ground keeping out all weeds and grass. The highest yield and optimum root development is obtained with the 3-foot grid spacing.
Remember --- Plant Crowns or Plants NOW, Have Fresh Leaves in Two to Three Weeks!
Two-year old plants produce fast growth, being much stronger than younger planting stock. These are best when you need some strong and quick-growing leaf producers.

Three-to-four year old plants are the very best for producing a lot of leaves fast. These and the two-year plants are used for the “fountain of leaves”, indoors or out. They look great as an ornamental planted in groups of three.
Black plastic sheeting (6 mil) can be rolled out over plantings on 2- to 3- foot grids made on level ground. Holes are cut out in the plastic to allow growth of the Comfrey. Fertile holes are best used with this technique and plants can be fed later with liquid manure/urine. The plastic keeps all grass and weeds out and holds moisture in.



[size=32]For Best Results — Use “Fertile Holes”[/size]
This method is to simply dig a hole for each plant on a 3- to 4 foot grid or 2- to 3 feet apart in a row system. Fill the hole half to 2/3 full with aged manure of any kind, add dolomitic limestone powder if your soil is acidic, Comfrey prefers a sweet soil — 6.0 to 7.0 pH. Fill hole to ground level, blend and mix well with a narrow shovel. Soak with water, set a plant or crown cutting to correct depth, then firm the soil. That’s it!



Sizes of Fertile Holes
Generally, 1-gallon volume holes are dug for crown cuttings, 2 to 3 gallon holes for one-year plants, and up to 4 or 5 gallon holes for two-year and 3-to-4 year-old plants.
We have used a two-man power auger, digging holes 2½ to 3 feet deep and 10 inch diameter. They are enriched as mentioned above, then plants are set. The fertile holes get the Comfrey “super-charged” and quickly sending roots down and shooting leaves up. However, Comfrey will grow if simply put in shallow holes with some manure dug in later.
Here it is best said, “Sow sparingly and you will reap sparingly”.
The best long-term results come from digging the holes large and adding a variety of soil amendments (Azomite trace minerals, rock phosphate, green sand, high nitrogen manure, compost, rich barnyard soil, etc.) It’s hard to overdo it when adding these soil amendments as they will feed the plant for many years into the future. Comfrey can stand higher levels of nitrogen in manure than any other plant on Earth. Plant plenty of these "nutrient pumps" and behold the yield!



“Sow bountifully and you will reap bountifully”.

http://www.allotment-garden.org/?s=comfrey&submit=Go
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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 6/8/2017, 8:46 am

yolos ... thanks for the research and all that good information.  I would have to purchase from a Canadian supplier (if there is one).

I did find one seller in Eastern Canada but he is all sold out this year. I've also sent an email to a local organic gardener ... Greta at https://www.seeds-organic.com/

Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.

http://www.cbif.gc.ca/eng/species-bank/canadian-poisonous-plants-information-system/all-plants-scientific-name/symphytum-officinale/?id=1370403267023

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Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/8/2017, 10:12 am

I wouldn't eat it, TD.  But it sure is great a leaf is placed on festering wounds or problem areas.  I used comfrey salve on my hip and leg when I got home from the hospital, but avoided the incision until it was completely healed over.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 6/8/2017, 1:28 pm

thanks yolos. great info
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Re: Comfrey

Post  camprn on 6/8/2017, 9:40 pm

I've comfrey in my garden, dont baby it and it thrives. My advice to those planting your first comfrey, consider carefully where you put it as you will never be able to get rid of it.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 6/8/2017, 10:28 pm

camprn wrote:I've comfrey in my garden, dont baby it and it thrives. My advice to those planting your first comfrey, consider carefully where you put it as you will never be able to get rid of it.
how fast and how far will it invade?
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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 8:29 am

trolleydriver wrote:...
I did find one seller in Eastern Canada but he is all sold out this year. I've also sent an email to a local organic gardener ... Greta at https://www.seeds-organic.com/
...
Just received an email from Greta at Greta's Organic Seeds in Ottawa. She does have comfrey plants for sale. Now I have to decide if I really want to bring this plant into my yard.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 6/9/2017, 11:33 am

It appears that wild comfrey can be very invasive from the spread of seeds. However, the seeds of the hybrid Bocking varieties are usually not viable and it will not spread via seeding. However, it will stay where you plant it. By that is meant that if you try to dig it out, you will always levae behind a bit of root and that will grow back into a full plant.

The quote below is from the website at this link:
https://notdabblinginnormal.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-comfrey-but-were-afraid-to-ask/


"If I plant it, will it spread like a weed? That depends on what variety of comfrey you have. Common comfrey Symphytum officinale, seeds freely and therefore may well become a problem. Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) on the other hand, produces very little viable seed, so conveniently stays where you put it. But it will always stay where you put it, as you’ll never dig it out without breaking off a little bit of root, which will re-grow, so choose the position of your comfrey patch with care. The Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey was developed during the 1950s by Lawrence D Hills, founder of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now called Garden Organic) and is even richer in the useful minerals. The Bocking 4 cultivar was developed to be more suitable as animal fodder but I can’t source any in the UK or France and have only found Richters in Canada selling it."

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Re: Comfrey

Post  camprn on 6/9/2017, 4:41 pm

has55 wrote:
camprn wrote:I've comfrey in my garden, dont baby it and it thrives. My advice to those planting your first comfrey, consider carefully where you put it as you will never be able to get rid of it.
how fast and how far will it invade?
It is slow, but progressive. Also, it has deep roots that are nearly impossible to get all of when attempting to transplant.

Pick a spot and there it will stay.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  plantoid on 6/9/2017, 6:41 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:I wouldn't eat it, TD.  But it sure is great a leaf is placed on festering wounds or problem areas.  I used comfrey salve on my hip and leg when I got home from the hospital, but avoided the incision until it was completely healed over.
  CC would you PM me with details of your salve please ..... I'm due to go into hospital fro a complete knee replacement on 21 June 2017 .

 The comfrey is good to harvest in the next few days ... I'll also run a check with the pharmacist for compatibility with the salve for all the medication I'm taking .
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Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 6/10/2017, 8:49 am

Is the issue with liver toxicity only with internal ingestion or can I happen with the external application on the skin?
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Re: Comfrey

Post  camprn on 6/10/2017, 9:32 am

I used to make my own comfrey salve.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 6/10/2017, 9:45 am

has55 wrote:Is the issue with liver toxicity only with internal ingestion or can I happen with the external application on the skin?
Don't put it on an open wound.

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Re: Comfrey

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