My husband is back on his feet without crutches! I believe it's because we put together a diet strategy incorporating healing foods.
Traditionally comfrey was referred to as knit-bone and was used as a poultice—and as a food—to encourage healing of broken bones and wounds. As part of our self-sufficient lifestyle living off the grid, I grow organic comfrey and a range of other medicinal herbs.
As soon as my husband returned from hospital after surgery on his broken ankle, I began including fresh comfrey in his meals.
I waited until the surgical staples were removed from his wounds before applying a comfrey poultice directly to his broken bones, but I didn't wait for long. Here's how I included comfrey in his recovery process.
Making My Fresh Comfrey Poultice
Two days after the staples were removed from my husband's broken ankle, I applied the first comfrey poultice.
Because I grow my own organic comfrey, I knew there was no danger of chemical fertilizer or pesticides on the plant.
It was a little disappointing that it was winter and most of my comfrey plants had died back, at the time my husband had the accident that resulted in broken bones, but I had enough plants in sheltered positions (including a couple in large pots) to create the first poultice. Now that it's springtime and my comfrey is more prolific, I am making more.
I pick the leaves, wash them in fresh rainwater (I live off the grid and carefully collect clean rainwater for drinking) and use the leaves immediately.
Comfrey is available in processed form from a variety of outlets. Many people use bottled products, but I always harvest from my own plants and use medicinal herbs fresh.
I use a cold-press juicer to crush fresh comfrey leaves when preparing a comfrey poultice.
The beauty of this type of juicer is that it separates the comfrey juice from the pulp. They can be collected in separate containers if you prefer.
Comfrey Ready to Apply
First I rub some juice into his leg, then I mix the comfrey pulp with the remaining juice and "plaster" it on thickly. Note the plastic kitchen wrap beneath his ankle... and the towel beneath that. A comfrey poultice can be messy.
Sit and Relax
Read More From Remedygrove
Healing Broken Bones
This is just one in a series of articles I've written about my husband's broken ankle. If you've followed his story you'll know that I effectively reduced his swelling using a natural product, allowing surgeons to operate within 24 hours of the accident.
You'll also be aware he has been eating specific foods to help strengthen broken bones.
You've probably seen the photos after surgery, and the x-rays showing the plates and screws used to hold his broken bones together.
Here are the photos most relevant to his use of comfrey after his surgical staples were removed.
Please note the dramatic difference between his leg looking like "a piece of meat" when the staples were taken out, and the second photo showing the smaller scar on his ankle, immediately after the comfrey poultice.
We were particularly impressed by the healthy pink area where the staple marks are barely visible. Unfortunately it was winter and I didn't have enough comfrey on hand to wrap it thickly around his entire ankle. I wonder how good the results might have been if I had.
When I only had a limited amount of fresh leaf, I chose to include comfrey in his meals, with only a small amount left to make into a poultice.
With the changing season and more comfrey leaves growing, I now plaster the comfrey on thickly.
How Does A Comfrey Poultice Feel?
My husband says the comfrey is very soothing.
After a week of spending all day every day on his feet, working and walking, he came home early today because his ankle was aching and he simply had to stop. It is only four and a half months since his accident and surgery—and he had been warned it could take a year or more before he would be back to normal.
Within an hour of me applying the fresh comfrey poultice, he said the ache was gone. He left it on for most of the day. Today I also put some underneath his foot, instead of just on his lower leg and ankle where the plates and screws were inserted, in case it might help.
Of course he finds it impossible to remain seated for too long, and insisted in short walks around the house. He said walking with the poultice on felt like treading in porridge. LOL!
What's Your Approach When Healing Broken Bones?
Comfrey has many uses in my home. I keep at least a little growing in a pot in case of winter emergencies (like my husband's broken ankle), and lots growing in the garden to use as a mulch and plant food during the vegetable growing seasons.
Ways to Use Comfrey to Aid Your Recovery
- As a poultice, applied over your broken bone.
- Fresh leaf used in stir-fries (please research your species of comfrey and proper dosage to avoid ingesting plants with potential toxicity).
- Juiced for a drink. Add some lemon juice, a little water and a teaspoon of honey to make it more tasty (again, please research your species of comfrey and proper dosage to avoid ingesting plants with potential toxicity).
Isn't Comfrey Toxic or Poisonous When Eaten?
Some governments have banned the use of comfrey tablets and capsules for medicinal use, yet have no objection to comfrey being used as a food.
If you study the debate, you will learn that an adult human would need to eat over 19,000 comfrey leaves to ingest an amount of comfrey comparable to the quantity given to baby rats in an experiment that resulted in liver damage.
It saddens me when government authorities ignore hundreds of years of traditional healing and fail to adequately question "research" before deeming a natural remedy unsuitable for widespread use.
Because we are never likely to eat 19,000 comfrey leaves in our lifetimes, let alone in a short period of time, we happily eat comfrey as a food. It is one of the main foods we use for strengthening broken bones.
I don't like buying tablets and capsules, and always prefer to grow my own organic produce.
Fortunately, comfrey is surprisingly easy to grow. :)
Does Comfrey Really Help to Heal Bones?
Despite breaking multiple bones in his ankle and requiring the surgical addition of plates and screws, my husband was walking unaided just three months after his accident.
We had been told by his doctors it would likely be a year or more before his ankle was properly healed.
Did comfrey help heal his broken bones? Yes, we believe it did.
Nature provides many remedies too valuable to ignore. Comfrey is one of them.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: What kind of comfrey did you use?
Answer: The difference in varieties of comfrey is really not worth worrying about. I use two types: some with white flowers, some with purple. I use the leaves from both.
Question: My daughter has a fracture on her foot. How often do I need to use comfrey oil on it?
Answer: I use fresh comfrey, not store-bought comfrey oil. I put fresh comfrey poultice on at least once a day during the initial healing period. I’m not familiar with ‘comfrey oil’ but I suggest you apply it a couple of times a day. Make sure you don’t put it onto an open/healing wound though. If she has stitches, avoid them.
I also suggest you take a look at my article about foods to help heal broken bones, if you’re looking for additional ideas. Plus if your daughter has swelling, I’ve written about that as well.
Question: Where can I get a comfrey plant?
Answer: Ask at your local plant nursery. They should be able to order one in. The plant you buy will be very small, but comfrey is quick growing if you plant it out in good soil and give it room to grow.
Your other option would be posting a ‘wanted’ ad on a local website or in your local newspaper where gardeners are likely to see it. All you need is a small piece of comfrey root to plant.
© 2013 LongTimeMother
Barb on June 06, 2020:
I broke my ankle had surgery they put in a plate and screws. After stitches were taken out, I have been using a comfrey poultice wrap for 2 hours at night. How long do I keep doing this? And can I use to much comfrey?
Tracey on May 19, 2019:
O i was sitting here all morning praying to JESUS because my little budgie fell of his stupid pearch playing up yesterday and hes seriously fractured his little tiny leg its so deverstating i have comfrey in the garden and i thought about it being a GOOD idea to use but how can i application it on jim its right where the leg jioned with the body hes on antihistamines now for the pain relief but they want to amputate his leg OMG im stressed out here
Samanthayau on July 13, 2018:
I have a broken wrist, resulting from a 6 feet fall. Doctor had a frame to stabilise the bones after surgery. It has been 6 weeks. Bones are not growing after examining the X-ray. The stitches look quite healed but not the bone. How do i speed up the bone growing process?
Waple Lewis on June 09, 2018:
Will comfrey poultice help a year old fractured hip.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 03, 2018:
Good luck with your cracked rib, Marly. Here's a link to some more foods to help fix it. https://remedygrove.com/remedies/Broken-Ankle-Heal...
Marly on June 03, 2018:
Thanks for this! I foolishly tried to move one of my goats backwards in the milkstand by pushing on her head gently. Obviously she has an instinct to push back...so I have a cracked rib. I'll be drinking my comfrey today, it's large and lush at this time of year. I use it in so many ways but never thought of juicing. Best wishes!
akshay ortho on May 10, 2018:
I just ordered steel insoles as suggested by my doctor for painful arthritis in my feet. The ordering process was quick and easy. The price for the insoles ($37.97) was high for what it is, just two thin pieces of steel shaped like a foot and covered with fabric; they slip inside my shoes. The fabric adhesive on the steel insole came loose at one spot on the edge of the heel, after wearing them just a few times. That will definitely be a problem if it continues to loosen, because it becomes sticky. The insoles do seem to help somewhat. They do not alleviate my foot pain completely, but orthofeet do help.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 24, 2018:
A few years have passed now, Ruth, and I can’t remember if he was taking antibiotics or not. I’m guessing the hospital probably prescribed them after his surgery ... but that doesn’t necessarily mean he took them. We tend to use colloidal silver and other alternatives instead of antibiotics. There is a slight possibility he may have been given antibiotics in the hospital, perhaps by injection, but too much time has passed for me to say for sure. Sorry I can’t be more certain.
Ruth Williams on April 22, 2018:
My question is I've been hesitant to use comfrey on deep wounds because it is so effective. Was your husband on antibiotics while you were treating him with comfrey poultices?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on August 30, 2017:
Thanks for sharing your experience, Debra. Yes, it often comes as a surprise to people that traditional herbal remedies can provide genuine relief and healing properties. Those who never try it will never know.
@Tammy, you can certainly try making a poultice or tea from your comfrey root powder. Personally I like to use my fresh comfrey leaves and I leave the roots in the ground (or split them to create new comfrey growth elsewhere in my garden) but I've heard of others who've used the roots.
If you get the chance to plant some comfrey and grow your own plants, I suggest you do it. Even if it isn't ready for your current bone break, it is a very useful plant to have in your garden. And the leaves are huge so you can make as many poultices as you like, unlike the limited amount of root per plant by comparison.
Best wishes for quick healing.
Debra Bunch on August 30, 2017:
I broke a pinky toe. Made tea of comfrey leaf then soaked my foot.
Soaked another leaf then wrapped it up with plastic wrap. Made a huge difference
Tammy Callahan on August 26, 2017:
I broke my foot July 31st. It is referred to as aLis Franc injury. They said non weight baring for 20 weeks. I had surgery Aug. 8th and he used two plates and eleven screws to do a fusion with the three bones in my foot. It was was the Big toe and the two toes next to it. He put me in a splint for two weeks and removed the sutures two weeks later on Monday Aug. 21st. He has me in a cast now and I am applying ice on it even though the cast guy said I wouldn't feel it. I can most definitely feel it. I purchased some comfrey root powder. Can this method be done using the powder? I would like to try it in 2 weeks when he takes the cast off.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 28, 2017:
I've just noticed other comments I didn't receive notice about when they were posted. So, sorry for the delay in responding.
Alice, I'm sure you did the best you could to help your much loved dog. I don't have any suggestions for you, and I urge you not to feel remorse about things you might have tried. You'll never know what the outcome may have been, and it really won't make any difference now. So please, just remember the love you shared. Sending you my best wishes.
Lindsay, there's no way comfrey could weaken the screws in your foot. Screws used in surgery are made of much stronger stuff than you seem to think. Good luck with your recovery.
And maui, best wishes to you and your daughter. Comfrey can be used in many different ways, so just do what suits you best. I trust your daughter is well on the way to recovery, and is happy with her healing foods.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 28, 2017:
Helen, just use a large leaf in some water and simmer it for about five minutes. Add a little honey to your cup of comfrey tea to sweeten it if you like, and adding some lemon juice is said to help release more benefits.
I add comfrey to my stir fry meals, and also use it in my blender with other greens like spinach for green smoothies.
Also worth noting, is that you can add comfrey leaves to your bathtub. Might be helpful for you if you take baths. It is great that you have lots of comfrey in your garden, so put it to work. Best wishes.
helen on July 26, 2017:
I have damaged vertebrae around T 5/6. Living on my own means using a poultice is not possible. What suggestions are there for making Comfrey tea. I have loads of Comfrey in the garden but now sure whether to use roots or leaves, and how much, etc.
firstname.lastname@example.org on June 17, 2017:
would you think a ticture of comfrey would be more affective?
great article. my daughters cast comes off in a few days; i plan on rubbing comfrey ticture on her arm. thanks for the list of foods for breaks..my lil one wont like all the spinish i make for her;)
Lindsay on June 04, 2017:
Hi, I have been wanting to get back to climbing asap since my surgery. I have had concerns that the comfrey might weaken the screw in my foot?
Alice on April 12, 2017:
My dog had an operation to remove cancerous anal glands, I used Cannabis Oil after the operation. It did not help as I expected. Is there any other herbal potion I could have used to aid the rehabilitation of such an event. the medical name for his condition was an adenocarcinoma. I had to have him euthanized 12 months after the operation, although only the first and last months were problematic, he was a happy boy.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 23, 2016:
Hi Lib. Four broken ribs must be very painful and difficult to cope with. Yes, you can use comfrey to help repair any broken bones, but I'm not sure how you'll manage to apply a poultice. Aren't you strapped or bandaged? Can you apply a poultice without too much trouble?
The main thing I'd advise for you at this time is to concentrate on eating the right kinds of foods to help heal broken bones. There's a link to my article about appropriate foods within this article. Plus, Mobicosa is an all-natural product that will help with pain relief and reducing inflammation. (I've mentioned it and given links in replies to other comments here). I suggest you try Mobicosa capsules and/or gel ~ as long as you're not pregnant or allergic to seafood. I've written about it in other articles.
Hope you're quickly on the mend!
Lib on November 23, 2016:
I've just gotten home from hospital today after a quad bike roll over and breaking my 3rd to 6th ribs, i was wanting to know if I could use comfrey to help with the repair of my ribs as the pain is unbelievable and I hate taking to many pain killers
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 09, 2016:
Don't let go of the dream, Shira. I trust the day will come when you're growing comfrey and other useful herbs in your garden. :)
Shira on November 06, 2016:
You are awesome! I did something similar to my boyfriend's broken ankle with castor oil. I wish I had a garden, I hope to live off grid one day.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 18, 2016:
Good luck with your recovery, Kim. I suggest you follow some of the links on this page to other articles I've written, like the one about foods to help speed recovery of broken bones. Comfrey poultices were one important element of a whole package of things we did. :)
As for removing the hardware, my husband has had no problem with his so he has no interest in having it removed. He hates the idea of having unnecessary surgery and more time 'wasted' recovering from it. So I'm guessing it is there to stay. I hope you have similar success.
Kim Goldberg on October 17, 2016:
Thank you very much for this post about how to make a comfrey poultice for a broken ankle. I broke my ankle 13 days ago, and am going to have staples removed in 3 days. My foot will be put into an aircast at that time. I intend to use comfrey poultices at that time. One thing I would like to know is, does your husband plan to have the "hardware" removed at a later date? I too had 2 plates with screws put in during surgery to stabilize the fracture while it heals. I would rather not live with foreign metal objects in my body for the rest of my life, and hardware removal is often done automatically after fracture has healed. But other doctors remove hardware only if patient has a problem with the hardware. What is your husband planning to do? I believe hardware cannot be removed sooner than 1 year post-op or longer than 2 years.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 13, 2016:
If we lived closer, Lynda, I'd give you some of the gel to try. I can't stress how brilliant it is for ankles and other joints. Natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Probably a bit late for the comfrey to do much to help. I'm guessing your bone's well healed by now. However the gel might be useful if you get a chance to try it.
95% is very impressive, but I understand your desire to reach 100%. I'm wishing you every success. :)
Lynda Makara from California on October 10, 2016:
My accident was one year ago and I've done everything I can to speed healing (good nutrition, supplements, lots of physical therapy). I did not know about comfrey until I read this a couple of days ago. I still have some pain in the tendons and have recovered about 95% of the range of motion. Even with that, I can do just about everything I did before but I won't be satisfied until I reach 100% recovery.
Your post was very interesting and right up my alley. I only wish I'd known about this a long time ago.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 10, 2016:
Within three months my husband was back on his feet without crutches. Pain was long gone by then. As for the same range of motion before he broke his ankle, I can safely say six months. That's when he was up walking on our sloped roof again. lol. In fact, he was helping a friend to replace their roof about that time. Couldn't believe he was able to walk on his ankle at such extreme angles for so long. lol.
But you have to remember, we used comfrey as I explained here. Plus I fed him lots of foods for broken bones (as I explained in another article). And we used lots of gel and capsules (available here) as well. http://www.newzealandsbest.com/#USA (I wrote about it in my article about 'How to reduce swelling fast on a broken ankle'.) And he was writing the alphabet with his foot a few times every day as soon as he could. All those factors played a part in his recovery.
If you are prepared to make a real effort during the early months, the recovery process is surprisingly quick. We know a few local men who still have restricted movement years after their accidents. But, in chatting with them, they confessed their recovery periods relied heavily on beer and television. That kind of lifestyle choice won't do it. Good luck. :)
Lynda Makara from California on October 09, 2016:
Can you tell me how long it took for your husband to be completely healed, pain free and with the same range of motion as before the accident?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 23, 2016:
As you can see from the photos, I use fresh comfrey leaves to make poultices. I'm not sure how much comfrey powder you have, Cher, so I don't know how successful you'll be. However, if you are trying to heal broken bones, it is worth trying.
I would mix some comfrey powder in a small bowl with hot water. Not to make the consistency of tea, but more like a paste. I'd wait until the comfrey paste cooled, then spread it over the broken bone area and cover it with plastic wrap. If you can't get the paste thick enough to stay on the appropriate part, try spreading the comfrey paste on a piece of gauze bandage first. Put the bandage in place, then wrap it with plastic. You should be able to re-heat and reuse the comfrey paste a few times if you only have a limited amount.
One more point about using comfrey powder to make a poultice. I would be a little concerned about putting any kind of powder on a fresh wound like my husband's leg straight after surgery. I wasn't bothered when using the fresh comfrey poultice because it was wet and juicy, but sometimes a 'powder' can feel kind of sharp and abrasive (particularly near fresh wounds). So please make sure you are confident your poultice won't aggravate the injury. If the skin is healed over, you should be okay.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 23, 2016:
Yes, Mary, the man who gave you the comfrey roots is correct. You can use comfrey leaves in tea, and you can use your comfrey in a bath.
If you want to freeze comfrey leaves, I suggest you juice them first. Mix the juice with the leaf fibre, and seal it in a plastic bag before freezing.
Cher D. on June 22, 2016:
I have comfrey powder, how would i make a poultice?
MARY Sarvino@Gmail.com on June 10, 2016:
I have three plants I received the root years ago he sad you could make tea from it I know about the use in garden and polis if I made lemon mint tea could I drink or maybe in a warm shallow bath does it freeze will
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on September 09, 2015:
That's the kind of friend we all need, La'au. Friends who share their knowledge and experience make the world a better place.
Sounds like you gave the helicopter crew a fright. lol. I'll bet they were happy to see you wave. :)
La'au on September 08, 2015:
For a cyst use broadleaf plantain poltice. It's great for draining infections.
My experience with comfrey:
Went to doctor 3 times for the compound fracture of my fifth metacarpal. Each time they would only put on a splint which would press the fracture in the direction it was injured. "I can feel the bone shards separating", I would tell the nurse as she put on the splint. I tried to explain that we needed to press the bone in the opposite direction from the impact, perhaps with a tennis ball and a. roll of pennies as a splint between the 4th a and 5th metacarpals. They just dismissed and talked down to me like I was a crazy person.
Each visit I would rip off the splint as soon as I left the ER and re-do it my soothing way.
3 weeks in I ran into a friend who told me to ignore the doctors and listen to my body, using massage and "wild comfrey". I could only find a $10 tincture at Whole Foods. I put 3-5 drops on my tomgue 3 times that day and applied it topically, while massaging the 1.5" long 'bone shard' back flush with the rest of the bone. I tried being still and holding the bone together with my other hand, that evening, while breathing and thinking healing thoughts (meditating?) that evening at the beach. I drank a 22 ounce Supporo beer that evening to help relax. (I don't usually drink.) I woke up that morning with a huge orange coast guard helicopter hovering about 15 feet over my head. Open my eyes, waved, and they flew off
That was the first morning I did not have to press my pinky metacarpal bone shards back into place. Day #22 after the injury. Day #2 of using comfrey extact.
It's been healed ever since. And doctors who've seen subsequent xrays said I had "good bone regrowth". Perfectly set, nice uniform webbing, just a little thicker.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 10, 2015:
Hello Colin. I'm not sure if you're saying you have a cyst on your skin or 'in' your ankle fracture ... ie near the bone?
I'm not a doctor, as I'm sure you're aware, but I'll share my thoughts since you asked. Comfrey should help with your fracture, but I don't know what effect it would have on a cyst. If I had a problem with a cyst, I'd use the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf, and also use colloidal silver.
I don't know what difference comfrey will make to your fracture in just two weeks, but in my experience it is certainly worth trying. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Colin Reid on July 09, 2015:
I have a cyst in my left ankle fracture and have been wearing a splint for 7 weeks now and my x ray in 2 weeks time and was advised this could take 3 months to heal.. Do you think comfrey would help and shade of a few days of recovering?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 26, 2015:
Kim, I have no direct experience with Boneset, but my understanding is it is mainly used for fevers and flu. Native Americans called influenza 'break bone fever' because a very severe flu could make bones feel like they were breaking.
Based on my experience, comfrey does the job when it comes to healing broken bones. Make sure you have the bone set / realigned before using it though.
Kim on May 26, 2015:
Hi - wondering if the herb Boneset would also work to do the same thing and if so - which is better or faster between the two?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 25, 2015:
Thanks for taking the time to tell your story, Lady Mina Miakoda. It saddens me that doctors no longer tap into Nature's medicine chest the way your dad did.
I wonder if your doctor shared your dad's comfrey recipe with other patients .... or if he just kept it to use if ever his own family members broke a bone. That was very generous of you to give him some comfrey root. To think, he could have planted it and then given some to future patients to use. Not likely though. :(
Thanks again for sharing your experience!
Lady Mina Miakoda on April 24, 2015:
AWWWW..... I t is so good to read from someone that knows what they have. Miraculous Comfrey, yes it is. My dad was a known orthopedic surgeon and was also a strong believer in the medicinal powers mother earth provides us with. He used a fresh poultice of Comfrey and Corydalis on broken bones with miraculous results. My story that follows is by no means any medical advise of any kind, but only the personal experience of a self employed single mom desperate to get back to work to support her family.
In 1998 I fell and broke both of my wrist, right thumb and had a torn ligament on my right hand. As a single mom and a therapist, my main goal in life was to take pain away from others. This was my only income at that time and I could not collect disability due to being self employed. I explained to the doctor I was seeing at the time, that he couldn't cast both my hands, but he said it was necessary or I would have permanent damage. He also wanted to do surgery on my right hand and said my recovery time could be approx. 6 to 8 months. This was a HUGE dilemma for me, being that I would be completely disabled, even to go to the bathroom, if you know what I mean...both hands casted???
I couldn't argue with the doctor, so after he did a soft cast on both hands, I went home and told my 15 year old and good friend next door, to pull my cast cutting kit out and remove both casts of my wrist. I instructed my friend to cut Comfrey from the garden and got a few dry Corydalis roots I had. I asked her to follow my recipe and she wrapped both my wrist as I asked (Oh I added Arnica for the pain). I fell asleep with this and when I woke up in the morning, all the swelling was gone and the pain was cut by more than half. I did this daily for 3 weeks (canceling 1 of my doctors appointments) and my only side effect, was having a green tint on my skin (lol). Now, (3 weeks later) I have full movement on both of my hands. I do have to mention, that I had my son and friend, do instructed massage treatments on them as I went, and hot paraffin with specific Essential Oils. I went to the doctor, who wanted to remove my right cast and schedule me for surgery. He was so upset to find me with both cast removed and just an elastic bandage. He asked me why, and I confessed with pride, blaming it all on my dear old dads recipe. He immediately ordered the nurse to bring paperwork for me to sign, releasing him from any responsibility or that he had anything to do with this. Basically, that he was not responsible for any damage. I smiled and signed his papers. I then suggested, or asked, if he could please take an X-ray (I was curious) to see if there was any improvement, which was obvious, being that my hands were moving almost like before the accident. He said fine and was still upset. Needless to say, he was puzzled when viewing the films, and whispered to the nurse to bring out the old films to compare. WHAT???? have I just taught the good doctor something new???? LOL he was a little in disbelief and said that was a coincidence. Then he wrote my formula down and asked me how to grow or get Comfrey. I brought him a root on my next visit 3 weeks after that, were I now was back to my clients doing full treatments and using my hands doing medical massage and acupressure. YUP folks Comfrey works like a charm. I've used it in many of my clients with incredible results, but PLEASE always know that this does not mean you should not go to the doctor. That is always your number 1 priority. This is based on my personal experience and please do not take this as medical advise. Today, I continue to follow my dads and grandmothers secret ancient recipes of healing salves and such, and I add my own touch to them. Unfortunately I can no longer do treatments due to my disability, but I continue with the retail side of it, due to my old and new clients demands. Many blessings
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 31, 2015:
Good luck with your healing, AnamChara. We also made sure he ate the right kind of foods to aid healing as well. I hope you're back on your feet soon. :)
AnamChara on March 31, 2015:
Thank you so much for your wonderful posts. I recently broke my ankle - both tibia and fibula - and had surgery to insert plate and screws. Sutures come out in a few days and I'm eager to use comfrey to speed the healing. Your photos are very helpful especially re: poultices. It's encouraging to know that your husband healed quickly.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 09, 2015:
Hello Sheldon. It sounds like your friend has major issues. I honestly don't know whether or not it would help with muscle wasting. Maybe you should ask yourself if you think your mother would suggest it. It sounds like she had more experience with comfrey than I've had.
Best wishes to you and your friend.
Sheldon Johnson on March 09, 2015:
Hello, I'm new to this hub, my mother been a long time user of comfrey as she use to drink it as a child growing up in the south.
She witness first hand a slew of health benefits treating various illnesses with comfrey.
I recently know someone very dear to me who suffering from muscle wasting as a result of pharmaceuticals they was taking.
My question is would you think that the comfrey root or leaf might be helpful in repairing their damage muscle tissues?
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 03, 2015:
Hello MattU. I have written a few hubs about my gardens etc. I can't remember ever writing about what exactly grows near my comfrey plants, but I'm sure you'll pick up some tips about how I keep my garden thriving if you read them.
I suggest you keep an eye out for a retired person with lots of time on their hands who could help you learn more about gardening. There's bound to be people with lovely gardens in your region. If you offer to help them when they're weeding, you'll have lots of time to chat. :)
MattU on February 19, 2015:
Sorry my question may have been too overly ambitious. I do expect you to be growing more than just one comfrey plant.
I am curious to see what kinds of other plants are doing well and growing near the groups of comfrey. (within 15 ft radius)
(I didn't mean to offend, I'm just really interested in the design and layout of gardens that are thriving. It is my goal to learn from people with experience, which you have.)
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on February 18, 2015:
Hello Matt. You make me laugh. I'd need a lot more spare time than I actually have to list all the plants in my garden.
It sounds like you expect me to be growing just one comfrey plant, but that's not how my garden is designed. I have large amounts of comfrey growing in four distinctly different parts of my garden ... to have on-hand for easy use as mulch and animal feed.
When you start learning about permaculture, you'll get an idea of what my garden's like. Good luck with your studies.
MattU on February 18, 2015:
I am studying Herbalism and Forest Gardening, and I was wondering how your garden is laid out.
Im curious to to see what kind of arrangement you have designed for your plants to grow. What are all of the different plants you are growing (everything from tree to ground cover)?
Does your comfrey grow near a fruiting tree or shrub, such as Pear? - Not only will the comfrey help heal us, but it helps the garden to be rich in nutrients, by accumulating Ca, K, P, Fe, Mg, and Si with its long tap roots. And as you know, comfrey mulch provides Potassium and Nitrogen to the soil.
(The comfrey and pear prefer a similar fungal-bacteria balance in the soil. The pear shades the comfrey, inhibiting its aggressiveness. The comfrey dynamically accumulates many nutrients from the DEEP soil and feeds them to the topsoil, aiding the pear. The two plants share pollinators but flower at different times, so they support each other's pollination needs. Deep-rooted comfrey partitions the soil resources with shallow-rooted pear. )
Have you heard about Forest Gardening? It is basically designing the garden to mimic a forest in order to achieve the benefits of low fragility, high resilience, diversity, functional interconnection, recycling and conservation of nutrients in the soil, insect balance, low maintenance requirements, minimal to no waste pollution; however every plant is specifically chosen by design, to have multiple beneficial uses, either edible, medicinal, or symbiotic.
[7 layers (canopy, understory, vine, shrub, herb, ground cover and rhizome) combine to create a naturally balanced system, where you may have hundreds of different plants thriving in the space where there are normally 10 or less.]
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on January 19, 2015:
Hello shar. I am pleased you have both comfrey and mobicosa. They are both extremely helpful when recovering from broken bones. Do you have the mobicosa gel or the capsules?
If you have the gel, I suggest you apply it a few times a day (if there's no plaster in the way and you can get to your son's skin near the break) for a month or more ... and after that, just whenever he feels he needs it. My husband used the gel at various times for months. The gel will be absorbed into the area around the break, without having any real effect on any other parts of his body. I actually think that's a good thing when your only problem is a broken bone.
If you have the capsules, don't overdo it. If your son is young and healthy, there is no real advantage to continuing the capsules past the initial stage of pain relief, anti-inflammatory and rebuilding cartilage if it has been damaged. Try giving him just one in the morning and one in the night (with food) ... and then just one a day once his pain is replaced by boredom. In other words, the pain doesn't remain unbearable so there's no point in continuing taking things for pain. (Of course if your son also suffers from arthritis, it would be worth continuing - but if not, I'd suggest he stop taking the capsules as he starts to feel better.)
When it comes to how long it will take to heal his broken bones, I really don't know. Even if I knew which bones he'd broken, I am not qualified to say. That's the kind of question you should ask your doctor ... and then be pleasantly surprised when he heals much faster. :)
The doctors warned us it would probably take a year or more before my husband was 'back to normal' but it was only about three or four months before he was close to 'normal' again - and able to walk okay.
He had frequent visits to the specialists, did all the exercises suggested by the physio, and had lots of xrays etc documenting his improvements. It is important not to just 'assume' improvement. It would be dreadful to make an injury worse by being impatient.
You asked if I have any other suggestions. My suggestions are these ...
Encourage your son to do whatever exercises are suggested to him by your doctor or physiotherapist - and do them a lot. Different exercises apply to different stages (eg weight-bearing vs those before you can put pressure on the broken bones.) Also google for appropriate exercises - but make sure you know what stage your son is at in his recovery so you don't make anything worse.
The other key thing that I believe helped with my husband's quick recovery was the food he ate. If you go back up to my article and look for the section titled 'Healing broken bones' there is a link to an article I wrote about foods for broken bones. Just click on the words 'foods for broken bones'. In that other article I shared my research about appropriate foods to include in his meals.
I do hope this is helpful for you and your son. Good luck for a speedy recovery!
shar on January 18, 2015:
Hello, I have used comfrey for the past few years but in tincture form. We harvest our own this year for the first time. But recently my son broke his hand and we only had the tincture, so he has been taking it internally. We also have the mobicosa. Can you suggest an amount of time it takes to heal the bones? And any other suggestions.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on September 27, 2014:
Hello Cindy. Here's a few suggestions to help with the wound on your heel. You can use your dried comfrey in a couple of ways.
You could make a footbath. Start by making a 'tea' by pouring boiling water over two or three teaspoons of comfrey then, when it has had time to infuse (the leaves will soften and the water changes colour), add enough cold water to make it safe for immersing your heel. I'm thinking it is best to tilt a container so you don't need too much. But if you were using a bucket and putting your whole foot in it, you'd probably need to use more leaf. I suggest you strain the tea as you make the footbath. (If you do make tea for a footbath, you might like to try drinking a bit while you are soaking your foot. Add a little honey or lemon juice, depending on your personal taste.)
If you strain the tea for a footbath, don't throw the leaves away too quickly. You might find you get a second tea from them - particularly if you add some more dried leaves to the brew.
If you choose to make a poultice, you are aiming to make a 'paste'. You can do this with hot water, but then you have to decide whether to apply it directly to the wound (which might not be a good idea if you have bits of leaf that can get caught in the wound) or to spread it within fabric that will hold the leaf but allow the 'juice' to pass through. You would cover the poultice with plastic wrap (we have a product called Glad Wrap in Australia, used to cover food. You'll see a photo of it on my husband's ankle.) You can use a hot water bottle to keep the poultice warm ... but I don't know how advisable that is for a paraplegic. I'm guessing that might be difficult when you can't feel the effects ... so I'd be inclined to think the footbath (not too hot) is your best option.
Another brilliant herb for healing wounds is aloe vera. (Aloe Vera Barbadensis is the best healing variety.) If you can get hold of some aloe vera, just peel the skin off a leaf and mash the clear flesh up with a fork and then spread it over your wound. You can leave it sitting there for ages while it works its magic. :)
I hope this is helpful for you, Cindy. Just let me know if you have any more questions.
Cindy Watford on September 26, 2014:
I am a paraplegic and I have a wound on my heel that won't heal although there isn't any infection and the cells looks great, I can't get it to heal over. I have dried comfrey and need to know how to make a poultice.
Samuil Hippi from Samoah on September 18, 2014:
To be honest, I didn`t even know how Comfrey looks like until I saw your hub and did some more research on google :)
The power of nature is truly amazing!
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on September 18, 2014:
Hello Virt Clin. I am not comfortable displaying links to sites I am not familiar with so I have not approved your comment for display. However I do thank you for visiting. :)
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on September 18, 2014:
Hello samihipendo. Comfrey is great to have available if you ever need it. :)
Samuil Hippi from Samoah on September 18, 2014:
Hm, this is the first time I`ve heard of Comfrey being used to help heal broken bones! Thank you for sharing this information!
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on August 28, 2014:
Sharon, I'm not a doctor. If I had bursitis, however, I'd be looking for a natural remedy that reduces inflammation because doctors often prescribe anti-inflammatories. Yes, comfrey may help. If you cannot get comfrey gel locally, try the amazon link I provided in the article.
There's also another natural product useful for pain relief and reducing swelling (plus arthritis, if that's contributing to your bursitis). I wrote about it here. https://remedygrove.com/remedies/Mobicosa-review-n...
Both products should help with the pain. Good luck. :)
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on August 28, 2014:
Herman, I agree with you. Nature's medicine chest holds many magnificent remedies.
Sharon on August 26, 2014:
Where do you find the gel? Is this just for broken bones? I have bersidis (not spelled correct) and also a knee injury that causes much pain. Would this help?
Herman on August 11, 2014:
Some years ago, I fell on my ribs and possibly broke one or two of them. My partner had comfrey in the garden and made a poultice for me. I kept it on for the day and night. I was amazed at how soothing the poultice was! This stuff was clearly doing something for me. It just took the edge off and I swear I could feel it working on me. Definitely a believer, Thank You Mother Earth!
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 13, 2014:
Hello, Susan. I am not a doctor, and if you are concerned about your neck I suggest you go to your doctor for a diagnosis. However if it turns out to be arthritis, you might be interested in the natural therapy I used to fix my arthritis. Here's a link to the hub. https://remedygrove.com/remedies/Mobicosa-review-n...
Good luck fixing the problem. :)
Susan on July 12, 2014:
Long TimeMother, do you think comfrey would help my grinding bones in my neck? How would you go about fixing it? Please let me know! Thank you. I never heard of comfrey before, but I think it grows wild in Britain.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 20, 2014:
Hello PandaCat. I admire your mother's ability to cope with a stream of broken bones. I have plenty of comfrey, but I'm not sure I'd have the stomach for watching my children repeatedly fall from horses. lol. She was one amazing woman if she let you all continue riding. :)
Thanks for your comment.
PandaCat on May 19, 2014:
My mother had always used comfrey on us kids (six daughters who rode horses- there were plenty of broken bones etc. for her to mend). I was so shocked to learn the gov't does not consider it safe for use. Of government studies really have proved little beyond that studies are not good for rats...
Thank you for posting this information- great to be able to find it easily.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 26, 2014:
catsclan, good luck with your next knee. Maybe try some of the mobicosa I refer to on another hub as well. There's an interesting video on that hub I encourage you to watch. :)
Thank you KE. Just sharing news about what works in our home, in the hope that it will help others. :)
Kelley Eidem from Panama City, FL on April 23, 2014:
This is truly an awesome hub. I hope everyone votes it up as awesome. Love it.
email@example.com on April 16, 2014:
I could not get the swelling down in my knee after knee replacement for months. I will try this when I have my other knee replaced!
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 03, 2014:
Sorry, I have just noticed comments that remain unanswered. I will work through them now ...
Sandra, I do have that information and will look for it when I get a chance. I am about to go on a trip, however, and won't get time until I get back. Hope you can wait a little longer. :)
Anna, thank you.
Gina, I will edit this hub to provide you with information about the juicer. :)
Christina, I don't know the answer to your question.
Sherry, thanks for answering Andrea's question. I have never used dried comfrey in a poultice because I grow plenty of comfrey in my garden. From reading Sherry's comment, however, it sounds like it is worth trying.
If I was in a position where I was using dried comfrey, I would probably immerse it in a very small amount of hot water and leave it to steep and soften. Then when it had cooled, I'd apply it.
The key to success would be making sure there wasn't too much water in the mix.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 29, 2014:
Hello, Owen. I have never seen comfrey spread like that, but I don't chop the earth up where mine grows. I know it is easy to grow new plants from root pieces ... and I never plant it close to waterways because I've heard the roots will head for the water.
Do you harvest the leaves and sell them to local farmers? Comfrey is a great feed for animals.
Owen on March 28, 2014:
back in the 60s the local hippies brought one Comfrey plant to my farm knowing its benefits , and within 5 years had spread 200 yards in all directions now 50 years latter has spread 2-3 miles .This is the only plant that easily takes over twich grass (quack grass) and turns low grade soil into high grade loam in a few years that Ive seen.In Canada it grows twice a summer 5 feet high,and the smallest piece of stem or root will start another infestation.So be informed! this fantastic plant has a root system only a backhoe can dig out, and takes a backseat to no other plant only extream freeze up and will return with a few warm days.
Sherry on March 10, 2014:
I'm not sure. I've read great things about both. I just don't have access to to fresh, so dried was the next best thing and it worked for me.
andrea on March 10, 2014:
Does dried comfrey work as well for healing, or on fresh comfrey leaves?
Sherry on March 08, 2014:
I used a fomentation of dried comfrey and enough water to moisten when I sliced of a thick chunk of flesh from the tip of my index finger while using a kitchen mandolin. I cleaned the wound with diluted lavender EO, packed the wound with the comfrey, wrapped it with gauze and sealed it with plastics wrap. Within a few days, it looked like the comfrey completely replaced my missing flesh. With daily repeats, I could see the skin and flesh growing back and within two weeks it was completely healed with absolutely no scar! Comfrey is Amazing!
christina on March 08, 2014:
Would it work with healing a hietel hernia?
Gina on March 07, 2014:
What kind of juicer is that?
anna on March 06, 2014:
simply amazing all i can say
Sandra Castellino on February 27, 2014:
I've been using comfrey for decades. I make my own salve using olive oil and beeswax -been doing so since 1973.
Do you know where the information is about what the studies were actually about - the 19,000 leaves for the alkaloid to do damage.?
I've been using it internally for 4 decades including during pregnancy with only outstanding results. And I need to be able to present the evidence to relatives who will read about it being toxic to the liver.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on February 12, 2014:
Thank you Kukata Kali and rls8994. Comfrey is certainly worth having in a garden - not just for broken bones. :)
rls8994 from Mississippi on February 08, 2014:
Wow, this comfrey is an amazing gift from nature. I had never heard of it until now. I love learning about different plants and herbs that have many benefits for our health. I have actually wrote hubs on a couple of these herbs. Thanks for sharing this info! Great post! :)
Kukata Kali on December 12, 2013:
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on December 11, 2013:
Hello, Elizabeth. What a brilliant solution to mastitis! I never thought of comfrey all those years ago when I needed it. I used cold cabbage leaves, straight from the fridge ... but with the benefit of hindsight I would definitely have tried comfrey leaves. For starters, they are less bulky and easier to fit in a bra. lol.
Thanks so much for your comment. :)
Elizabeth Handler on December 11, 2013:
I have never used comfrey for a broken bone-I've only broken one in my life. I have used it, however, for mastitis. I nursed my five children. When I had a plugged duct, sore breast, etc, I would put a fresh leaf on the affected part, and put an old bra (comfrey stains) over.
In the evening, when is took my bra off, the leaf would be dried out, thinned and wrinkled. I would peel it off and put on a new leaf. Within two days, the infection and soreness would be totally gone.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 25, 2013:
Hello, doreen. It is great to see comments from guest readers. I am very pleased you have found me here at hubpages. If you click on 'longtimemother' at the top of the page, you'll be taken to a list of my hubs including some about my organic gardens. Comfrey is one of my favourite plants. If you are growing it, I guess you are already using it as food for your plants. :)
Here is a link that leads directly to my hub about foods that help heal broken bones. I wrote about how I add comfrey to our meals there.
I hope it helps. :)
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 25, 2013:
Oh, kathy B. It's all in the timing, they say. A broken toe can be extremely difficult to tolerate. I can't help you this time, but who knows what the future holds ... maybe someone else in your life might benefit if they break a bone.
May I suggest you also take a look at this link. The gel would have been very helpful to you. I keep the gel in my fridge at all times in case I need it. I have also written another hub about how I used it on my husband's broken ankle to great effect. There should be a link on the hub I'm sending you to.
Be careful of that toe! :)
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 25, 2013:
Hello Heather. lol. Potato, tomato, chilli and eggplant are all related to the deadly nightshade. I'm sure studies could be done to make them look toxic too. :)
dpenn on November 25, 2013:
hi i have a lot of comfrey in my garden and was wondering how are u using it as a food?.. thanks doreen
kathy B on November 25, 2013:
I wish I had known about this 4 weeks ago when I broke my baby toe. I suffered in pain for weeks!
Heather on November 25, 2013:
From what I understand, the studies used an alkaloid from the comfrey plant and not the whole plant as nature intended. They did the same with lobelia. If you took an alkaloid from a strawberry and tested it, it would probably also be toxic...
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on November 21, 2013:
Good idea, Thundermama. You never know when you'll need it. Help it get established and it will serve you well for many years. :)
Catherine Taylor from Canada on November 21, 2013:
What an interesting hub. I now have a new appreciation for the power of this incredible plant and plan on growing some of my own. Very well written and informative.
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 26, 2013:
lol. I've been tapping into nature's medicine chest for a long time now, aviannovice. There are foods and herbs to help every ailment I've encountered so far. :)
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on October 25, 2013:
You've done so well for yourself living off the grid. Sounds like you are getting to be a qualified herbalist!
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 20, 2013:
Hi Jodah. Comfrey is brilliant. We grow lots of it for all the reasons you mentioned and more, although personally I don't batter anything.
Even during drought ours stays alive, probably because it has been in the ground for years and the roots have managed to reach far enough down to tap into underground water. (You don't have to drill very far to sink a well here.) Frost is the only thing that makes ours die back.
Thanks for the visit and the vote. :)
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 19, 2013:
We have a whole garden patch devoted to comfrey. It dies back during the dry weather, but as soon as there is decent rainfall it comes back. Mostly we use it added to the compost to break it down more quickly, either in leaf form or made into a tea. The poultry also like it so we let them have a share. Luckily we haven't had to deal with any broken bones...touch wood...but would definitely use it to aid recovery if need be. Haven't used the leaves for food yet, although a friend said it was often used as mock fish or fish substitute battered etc. Great, informative hub, look forward to reading more. Voted up ++
LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on October 17, 2013:
Comfrey is just one of the many remedies in nature's medicine chest that I greatly value, FlourishAnyway. Every day we have people telling us how they can't believe my husband is back to 'normal' life so soon (including his doctors) and I think that has a lot to do with working with nature.
I have to give credit to the brilliant surgeons and the plates and screws they put in his leg, but I doubt he'd have progressed so far, so fast if we'd not taken advantage of nature's gifts.
Remember comfrey if ever you need it! :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on October 17, 2013:
This is so interesting. Before your hub, I had never even heard of comfrey! The hub inspired me to look it up and read a little more about it. Your husband's foot is looking much better these days. (Owwww.)