Comfrey has been known for centuries to alleviate aches and pains and is still used today to treat cuts and grazes. Best of all, it grows and grows and grows. Ofcourse this one fact had me sold, so best to investigate my new favorite greenery.
As I mentioned this plant is a fast grower. Should you choose to pot it, I would recommend a deep, wide pot. The plant has a deep rooting system and should you be adding it to the garden will be helpful in clay soil by , make sure to leave enough space around it and separated from other herbs. This will ensure that your plant does not overwhelm the rest of your garden.
I was very surprised to see the rate at which the leaves grow back after being harvested. Within a couple of days young leaves were sprouting and at that rate I could probably harvest at least once a month, if not more!
Comfrey can also be used as a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer. The liquid feed is excellent for potassium hungry produce like potatoes and is simple to make. Soak a handful of leaves in enough water to cover and let it stand for a couple of days, up to a week. Dilute the liquid 10:1 and see your potatoes smile. As for the rest of your veggies, comfrey is happy to accommodate you as a mulch and being an excellent micro-nutrient accumulator you should add it to your compost. The leaves are full of nitrogen, silica, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Just be sure to sun dry your leaves for a couple of hours BEFORE adding them to any soil, to prevent them from taking root. Unless you want to grow another comfrey bush, which you will 🙂
Comfrey is sometimes known as “knit-bone” as it has traditionally been used as a poultice to heal broken bones. Now I don’t know about broken bones but The Farmer can most assuredly testify to the soothing relief from such a poultice. He had been struggling with a lingering discomfort caused by an ankle injury, so I chopped some leaves soaked them in hot water for a couple of minutes and placed the leaves on and around his ankle before bandaging it up and sending him to bed. There was definitely a decrease in the swelling, and this must of alleviated the associated pain.
There is a surprising amount of practical every day uses for this plant and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Happy Gardening.