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Comfrey

 

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Comfrey also known is comphrey. It is a important herb in natural gardening. It is having many medicinal and fertiliser uses. Comfrey has been cultivated since about 400 BC as a healing herb. The word comfrey, derived from the Latin word for "grow together", reflects the initial uses of this plant.

Greeks and Romans used comfrey to stop heavy bleeding, treat bronchial complications, and heal wounds and broken bones. Poultices were made for external wounds and tea was devoured for internal ailments. It is native to Europe, growing in damp, grassy places, and is far-flung throughout the British Isles on river banks and ditches. Comfrey is a comely tough plant which will grow from small pieces of root so do choose your location with care. It is easier to kill most weeds than comfrey. If you do required to move a comfrey bed the old bed will need to be killed off.

Comfrey is a fast growing plant, producing pythonic amounts of leaf during the growing season, hence is very nitrogen hungry. Although it will persist to grow no matter what, it will benefit from the addition of animal manure applied as a mulch, and can also be mulched with other nitrogen rich materials such as lawn mowings, and is one of the few plants that will tolerate the application of fresh urine diluted 50:50 with water, although this should not be regularly added as it may increase salt levels in the soil and have adverse effects on soil life such as worms. The medicinal herb or clean hay can be made by drying leaves by spreading them out in open areas.

Comfrey will swiftly regrow, and will be ready for further cutting about 5 weeks later. Comfrey produces the loftiest yields in full sunlight and under cooler conditions. Comfrey should be harvested by using shears or a sickle.

Comfrey has been used to treat a broad variety of ailments ranging from bronchial complications, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. Components of comfrey also include mucilage, steroidal saponins, tannins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, inulin, vitamin B12 and proteins. Comfrey is also rich in fibre and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.

Other minerals which are present are magnesium, sulphur, copper, zinc, selenium and germanium. Drying comfrey for use as a medicinal herb or clean hay is not easy for mechanized farms since at least three days of dry weather are needed to cure it in a windrow, and the leaves may get dirty when laying on the soil. The comfrey may turn a dark color, but it is still acceptable to livestock as a rummage. Comfrey must be cut and allowed to sag for a minimum of 24 hrs when used as silage. Mixing up to 25% comfrey with small grain or corn forage serves as an frugal method to make high quality silage.