Symphytum Officinale: Grow Comfrey for Bruises and Eye Creams

| 12/30/2010 12:16:24 PM

H.CardenasHeidi Cardenas is a freelance writer and gardener in Lake County, Illinois, with a background in human resources. She has written about gardening for various online venues and enjoys The Herb Companion’s valuable resources. 

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is an herbaceous perennial with fuzzy green leaves and bell-shaped flowers.

Comfrey is a useful medicinal herb as well as a beautiful landscape plant.
Photo by H. Zell/Courtesy 
Wikimedia Commons  

It is a plant in the borage family native to Europe and the Mediterranean. Common names for comfrey include boneset, blackwort and slippery root. Comfrey has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful to reduce swelling and bruising and to treat scratches and cuts to prevent infection. A poultice made from fresh comfrey leaves and roots soothes and heals bruises as well as sprained and broken bones.

Comfrey is an easy herb to grow in the garden or landscape, although it grows large and is best in the back of borders or planted en masse along a fence or in front of an undesirable view. Keep this in mind when choosing a location to grow comfrey. It grows 2- to 3-feet tall in rich, moist soil and does best in bright light with partial shade. It produces blue, white or pink flowers in spring that attract bees and butterflies.

Comfrey can produce purple, pink or white bell-shaped flowers.
Photo by H. Zell/Courtesy 
Wikimedia Commons