Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Matteo10572, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    I just planted about a dozen Comfrey plants of the Russian bocking 4 variety. I plan on utilizing it mostly to fertilize my garden with and for medicinal purposes.
    Does anyone already have Comfrey in their gardens and use it?
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  2. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

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  3. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

  4. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    Here is a video on making a fertilizer tea from Comfrey.
  5. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    I hear that it is great fodder for chickens and rabbits as well as other farm animals. All I have is minnows in my rain water collection but I suppose I will throw a leaf in the water and see what happens at some point.

    I am also somewhat puzzled about the internal consumption of comfrey. I see posted warnings about not using it for internal use but people and animals have consumed it for hundreds of years or more without issue. Seems like the warnings might be propagandized research that was formed specifically to end up with detrimental results. Heck, water will kill if given too much. What are y'all's thoughts?
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I will have to study up on this. I don't know anything but I would think the warnings are real. The other week I bought some loose tea. It had nettles in it. I questioned because nettles itches when you rub up against it. The herbalist said that the drying and processing of is what takes the danger out of it.
  7. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    My issue with the warnings is that in order to achieve harmful effects in mice, PA's that constitute only a very small constituent in comfrey plant were concentrated and injected intravenously into mice at a relatively enormous dosage. Considering that Comfrey has been consumed by so many people for so long, I would expect large numbers of people dying on record. The very few recorded incidents I found were sketchy at best. I am not promoting that anyone should eat it but I am definitely saying do some research. A have seen many recorded instances of folks eating comfrey and feeding it to their animals and family without any negative effects and many positive ones though. I hear it makes a great fritter when battered and fried and animals love it when let wilt to counteract the fuzz on it that irritates.these questions are exactly why I posted. Hopefully some familiar with it can post and clear things up.
  8. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

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  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have read up on this and I personally would use it externally. It has some great healing properties. Many articles and comments on healing wounds, one stated it drew infection from a wound. The warnings of liver damage bother me thus I wouldn't ingest it. Comfrey really seems to be a great plant fertilizer sort of like a natural Miracle Grow.
    tulianr likes this.
  10. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    It's not like normal modern medicine typically effects the liver, or has horrifying side effects you aren't well informed of...
    tulianr likes this.
  11. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Hmmm.. Raised in the family religion; you were to drink comfrey tea instead of "polluting" your body with coffee/caffeine. We lived. [bateye]
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  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I have a potted comfrey plant...I use the leaves as compost activator and as an ingredient for weed tea....the garden drinks the tea...not me!

    Edit: The plant can be aggressive in its spread, so using as a container plant, or curbing it with a border will stop it taking over a garden bed.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    tulianr likes this.
  13. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    I have been growing Comfrey for the last ten years or so. Google it, its good for lots of things. I generally dry it and use for tea. Just use a tea ball in a steaming cup of water. As chelloveck said it can really spread if you let it. I had a friend try to till some under where it was spreading in his garden.... Bad idea. Each little piece that the tiller shredded and spread around, turned into a new start.
    duane likes this.
  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The doctor that I go to is is a 67 and was raised in Austria with a lot of German relatives. He said that his family and his aunts said that they would not have survived WW II and the period after until about 1949 without comfrey. Never said just how they used it, but I think they ate it for the food value and used it for medicine and for the garden. Was a weed that they gathered and used. Guess that future liver damage vs hunger and scurvy might change your view point. Have to try to get more information from him the next time I meet him. That said a lot of the foods we used to eat were not "usable" in their unprocessed form. Acorns, poke weed, nopales and a lot of the foods from the Pacific islands come to mind. Would love to know if there is a trick to using comfrey that I do not know or what it can safely be used for. Seems that most books are either fully for it or totally against it and don't really give you a balanced viewpoint.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  15. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I noticed a couple of y'all mentioned it can become invasive. Anyone know how well it can compete with Bermuda grass? I have some places I wouldn't mind it taking over and choking the grass out.
    Ganado likes this.
  16. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    I have been able to keep mine contained pretty much to two plants about 6 feet apart. These plants die back during the winter and re sprout in the spring. By the end of May they are four feet tall and about the same diameter around. By the end of June they are flowering and are probably about 5' tall. I usually cut them back to the ground. Right now (middle of August) they are back to 4" tall and starting to flower again. Most of the re starts I see are within 4-8' of the main plant. I dig them up within a few months before the roots get too deep. Never had them get out of control by keeping after them. I have transplanted quite a few comfrey plants at my get away property about 70 miles north east of where I am living. The deer and elk love them. Same deal there. I put a cage around the plants the first year to protect them from the critters. After that even if they eat them to the ground, they just re sprout.
    I drink comfrey tea pretty often. I have also used it on cuts and bruises. Works great and have never had an issue. I know one person who has eaten it as part of his salads for many years. He is 87 years old and still ticking better then most.
    ditch witch and Ganado like this.
  17. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    It's ok to make the leaves into a tea. Just don't ingest the roots. Use the roots clean and ground into a paste or make a salve. This plant is really great for helping close wounds

    @melbo. This was for you in case one day you run out of bandages [hope you never have to use them]
  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I planted a comfrey plant plus have a few coming up via seed. The smaller ones I will bring in and grow throughout the winter. I searched and found a "recipe" for use in the garden.

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