Comfrey grows profusely in Europe, North America and western Asia. Its leaves are a dark shade of green and are covered with short hairs. As a healing agent, comfrey can be made into an oil that has been used in folk medicine to treat skin infections as well as wounds. Herbalist David Hoffmann writes in his book "The New Holistic Herbal," that comfrey’s healing properties are due to its high content of allentoin, a connective tissue stimulant. It also contains binding tannins and has certain anti-inflammatory properties.
Comfrey Oil for Cuts
Comfrey oil is a powerful healing agent for skin wounds and rashes. Caution should be taken with deeps wounds as it may act to heal the skin so quickly that the new tissue may cover the wound before it is able heal deep down and this may result in an abscess or skin infection, says Hoffmann.
To make your own comfrey oil, coarsely chop fresh comfrey leaves and stems to expose as much plant material to your carrier oil. Fill a clean glass jar with the herb and cover with oil. Organic olive oil is recommended since the skin easily absorbs it. Place a layer of wax paper before closing the lid tightly and make a label that reads the name of the herb and the date. Store your jar in a cool shelf away from sunlight for at least four weeks. Strain out the herbs and store your oil in the refrigerator to avoid rancidity. Use it on wounds or skin rashes of any sort.
Comfrey Oil as a Poultice
If you have an infection where you don't want to apply the oil directly, making a poultice is a good alternative. Blend four cups of chopped comfrey leaves and stems with 1/4 cup of carrier oil such as jojoba, almond or olive oil. Without straining out the herb, wrap the comfrey oil paste with a cotton cloth. You can freeze this poultice to help reduce inflammation and pain, otherwise apply directly onto the affected area for at least 30 minutes.
Comfrey Oil for Bone Fractures
Comfrey oil uses are not limited to superficial wounds. If you have fractured a bone or torn any ligaments in a part of your body where it is not possible to place a cast, such as a rib, you can apply comfrey oil directly onto the skin or in a poultice to of promote rapid healing, according to the article "How to Speed Fracture Healing," by Dr. Susan Brown, published in the Better Bones website. Comfrey oil will also help reconstruct any torn muscles that might have been injured.
- "The New Holistic Herbal"; David Hoffmann; 1995
- "The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism"; Simon Y. Mills M.A., M.N.I.M.H.;1988
- Better Bones: Fracture Prevention and Healing
- "The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicine"; Matthew Wood; 1997