The Simplest Comfrey Poultice for Sprains

Updated on June 14, 2018
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Amelia has been an avid gardener since childhood and enjoys experimenting with natural and sustainable gardening methods.

This amazing perennial will grow almost anywhere (USDA zones 3-9) and has myriad uses.
This amazing perennial will grow almost anywhere (USDA zones 3-9) and has myriad uses.

After spraining my ankle last week, I decided to try a comfrey poultice. I decided to make a simple poultice without added water or flour and have been pleased with the results. I felt an almost immediate improvement.

It’s hard to do almost anything on crutches, so I didn’t make the poultice until I was cleared to walk with the walking boot alone. Of course, finally being able to do things like wipe the counter, vacuum, and get out to my garden…well, I guess I overdid it. The next morning my ankle was pretty tender. However, after applying this comfrey poultice, the soreness subsided within minutes, and I was able to walk without discomfort for the rest of the day. The next morning my ankle was much better, and as soon as I applied a fresh, frozen comfrey poultice, any remaining soreness was gone.

What is Comfrey?

Comfrey is a perennial plant that has unusually long roots and is able to mine minerals from as deep as twenty feet. Its long leaves have been used for centuries to treat sprains, brakes, infections, and boils. Comfrey’s curative properties are due to a substance called allantoin, which aids in growth and longevity of new cells.

Supplies

  • 1 ACE bandage
  • 2 Comfrey leaves
  • 1 Small rag or towel
  • 1 Meat tenderizer mallet
  • 1 Cutting board or mat

Instructions

  1. Pick comfrey leaves and wash.
  2. Cut leaves into little pieces with scissors or knife
  3. Make a pile and whack it with the mallet until it coalesces into a moist little lump. Be thorough because any hairs that remain can be irritating.
  4. Place the lump on the rag or towel .
  5. At this point you can either freeze it or go straight to step 6. If you are applying to an ankle or any round part of the body, freeze it in a rounded shape, as shown. Any poultices that will not be used right away should be put in a bag after freezing.
  6. Press onto sprained area.
  7. Wrap with ACE bandage or saran wrap to keep it in place.
This poultice is so simple.  Just comfrey, a rag, and something to hold it on.  If desired you can use a long strip for the rag and tie it on with that.  This is for a double batch.
This poultice is so simple. Just comfrey, a rag, and something to hold it on. If desired you can use a long strip for the rag and tie it on with that. This is for a double batch.
The more finely chopped or cut the leaves, the easier the pounding.
The more finely chopped or cut the leaves, the easier the pounding.
Two poultices ready to freeze or use.  I did a double batch and had one ready first thing the following morning.
Two poultices ready to freeze or use. I did a double batch and had one ready first thing the following morning.
Freezing in a rounded shape makes it easier to apply to an ankle or wrist.
Freezing in a rounded shape makes it easier to apply to an ankle or wrist.
Wrapping is easier if you have someone else to hold poultice in place, but can be done alone.  Freezing it helps keep it together while wrapping.
Wrapping is easier if you have someone else to hold poultice in place, but can be done alone. Freezing it helps keep it together while wrapping.
Wrapping serves a double purpose of support for ankle and poultice.
Wrapping serves a double purpose of support for ankle and poultice.
This walking boot was from an injury DH incurred last year.  Inflatable bladders on the inside made it fit me snuggly as well.  The physician's assistants encouraged me to keep using it.
This walking boot was from an injury DH incurred last year. Inflatable bladders on the inside made it fit me snuggly as well. The physician's assistants encouraged me to keep using it.

Note

The recipe can be doubled but gets unwieldy in larger batches. The pounding can become quite messy. For a sprain, change poultice twice a day or more often for icing purposes. I hope your healing is swift and painless!

Warning

I hope it goes without saying that this is not a substitute for medical attention, but I found it to be a very useful addition. Always seek medical attention as needed. Also, comfrey can be toxic, so do not ingest or use internally, and don’t use it for more than ten days at a time or twenty days a year or if liver damage is present.

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

  • I want to soak just my leg in a Comfrey bath. How do l do it?

    A Comfrey bath is another way to enjoy the healing properties of comfrey. To make a comfrey bath, simply make a large pot of comfrey tea (not for internal use) and pour it into your bath. To just soak your leg, just choose an appropriately sized container, fill it with warm water and add the comfrey tea. To make the tea, fill a pot or quart jar loosely with fresh comfrey leaves chopped or torn and pour over it boiling water. If you are using dry comfrey, only 1/4 cup is needed. Steep for 10 minutes. Pour liquid into your bath. You can use the whole quart for a full bath and half or less for your leg bath. Leaf material can be saved for a poultice, and will be even less prickly for the soaking.

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