Thursday, 4 February 2016

Comfrey by Unity

Comfrey - Symphytum officinale

Gender : Feminine

Planet : Saturn

Element : Water

Powers: Safety during travel, money, protection, healing, hex breaking, bringing together

Magical Uses: Worn or carried, comfrey protects and ensures safety during travel. Also tuck some into your suitcases so they are not lost or stolen while travelling. The root is used in money spells.
Because it's a healing herb, it's also perfect for using in healing spells and pouches.

Folk names: Assear, Black Wort, Boneset, Bruisewort, Consohda, Consound, Gum Plant, Healing herb, Knit back, Knit bone, Miracle herb, slippery root, Wallwort, Yalluc, Gavez, Smeerwartel, Karakaffes, Ztworkost

The folk names refer to comfrey's strong healing action which was used in the past for broken bones. It will also knit flesh together, speeding the healing of wounds. Applied as a poultice or ointment, it can be used to treat bruises, discolorations and sprains. It is safe to use as long as correct guidelines are followed. Comfrey is often referred to as a miracle herb because of its healing properties.
Comfrey has a long history of use for its healing and anti-inflammatory effects on bone fractures, arthritis, sprains, inflamed joints / tendons, cuts, sores, skin ulcers, bruises and other injuries. It is soothing to the skin and was used for scars and blemishes. It was also said to promote a youthful complexion.

The healing properties of this herb are so potent that it is important to ensure when using it as a poultice that the affected area is completely clean, as it causes the skin to heal so fast that dirt or debris can end up being trapped under the new skin.

This herb had such a reputation for repairing tissue that it became popular for less virtuous brides to bathe in comfrey before their wedding day to restore their virginity!

The Latin name Symphytum means 'heal together'. It is now believed that allatoin (a main component of comfrey) is responsible for the growth and multiplication of skin cells.
In the past, comfrey root was widely used internally for healing ulceration in the digestive tract, bronchitis and other chest complaints, but in recent years comfrey has come into disrepute because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This is a large group of chemicals, some of which are toxic to the liver. Poisoning has been reported in people eating other plants with high levels of these alkaloids, but there are very few reported cases of liver damage from eating comfrey root. Some herbalists argue that comfrey has been used for hundreds of years without problems , and others blame it on Russian comfrey which has much higher levels of the alkaloids than the common comfrey , but it is better to err on the side of caution rather than risk any problems and use comfrey only externally on unbroken skin.

Different ways to use Comfrey:

The broad leaves of comfrey can be soaked in warm water, laid on a small towel or flannel and used as a compress for sprains.

Comfrey also makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden. Simply add the leaves to a bucket of water, let them rot down and pour the resulting smelly mixture around your plants.

Pick comfrey leaves and let them dry in the shade; crumble them up and put them in a jar, then fill the jar with olive oil and stir well. Place on a sunny windowsill for 4 weeks and give it a shake every day. Strain it and bottle or use it to make an ointment.

Put 300ml of infused comfrey oil and 25g beeswax in a bain marie or a small bowl on top of a saucepan of hot water, keep it on a low heat and allow the beeswax to melt. Allow to cool slightly, and then pour into sterilized jars and leave to set before putting on lids and labelling.


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