Use Comfrey Root as a Natural Remedy

Comfrey root has many natural healing properties, and mixed with other natural herbs, comfrey can create a very potent cold remedy.

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by AdobeStock/Charlotte B
Comfrey roots and leaves can provide natural healing properties for all different types of ailments because of its high allantoin content which makes cells grow faster.

Some time ago, a friend was holding a router between his knees as he changed the bit. Then his grip slipped, and his knee hit the switch. Before he could turn the machine loose, it made several deep cuts on his hand. As he ran to the house, he grabbed a leaf off a comfrey plant, stuck it in his mouth and started to chew. Once inside, he grabbed a jar of cayenne and threw some cayenne down into the cuts to stop the bleeding. He then put the pieces of comfrey leaf he had chewed up over the wound. The cayenne soon stopped the bleeding, and he bound up the cuts with a cloth.

Two weeks later, he came to an herb meeting our community holds occasionally and told us about the accident. Everyone crowded around to see his hand. It had healed so well that you couldn’t see a scar.

The genus name for comfrey is Symphytum, which means to “unite or knit together.” The name com-firma means simply, “knitting of bones.” You can use the leaf and the root, fresh or dried.

Comfrey contains a special substance called allantoin, which is a cell proliferative. In other words, it makes cells grow faster. This is one of the reasons why comfrey-treated bones knit so fast, wounds mend so quickly and burns heal with such little scarring. Comfrey is often called knitbone or healing herb.

This same substance, allantoin, is found in the placenta of a pregnant mother which helps the baby grow rapidly. After the baby is born, allantoin is also found in the mother’s milk — abundantly at first and less so as the child grows.

A few years ago, I was tossed off my little black mare and got a couple of broken ribs. I couldn’t breathe and thought I’d die. After a couple of days — when I could move — I put a comfrey poultice on my chest for a little while. After a few more days, I applied another poultice, then another. By this time, I felt fine and went back to riding.

Comfrey is rich in vitamin B12, which is important to vegetarians, as very few plants have B12. It is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, E, A and pantothenic acid plus calcium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.

Dr. H.E. Kirschner, M.D., author of Nature’s Healing Grasses (available on, describes one of his most interesting cases involving comfrey: “A middle-aged woman came to me with a large malignant ulcer below the eye and close to the nose. I prescribed a comfrey poultice and a “green drink” containing comfrey leaves. Soon after the application of the comfrey leaf poultice, the painful swelling subsided and rapid improvement was noted. Only a few months after the initial treatment, there was complete healing of the infected area, and the malignant ulcer had disappeared.”

Dr. Kirschner devoted four chapters in his book to comfrey. He says it’s great for lung and bronchial problems, skin and stomach ulcers, arthritis, skin cancer, tuberculosis, asthma and even works as a beauty aid.

Comfrey is very rich in chlorophyll (“green magic”), which is one reason why Dr. Kirschner used it in his green drink. After all, the only difference between chlorophyll and our blood is that our blood molecule is built around an iron atom and the chlorophyll molecule is built around a magnesium atom.

Personally, I think it is one of our greatest herbs. I’ve seen it work miracles. Too bad we don’t use it more often. Why not grow some?

An Amazing Cold Remedy Formula

I have seen many people who suffered with colds, flu and other infectious ailments get a lot of relief from this combination of natural healing herbs.

It is also good for cuts, bruises, fevers, burns and plagues. Many clubs and groups have made this formula and praise its worth.

It is easy to make, and it keeps for a long time. Keep some on hand.


  • 32 oz (8 parts) apple cider vinegar
  • 20 oz (5 parts) glycerin
  • 20 oz (5 parts) honey
  • 8 oz (2 parts) garlic juice (press)
  • 8 oz (2 parts) comfrey root concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) wormwood concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) lobelia seed or leaf concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) marshmallow root concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) mullein leaf concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) oak bark concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) black walnut bark concentrate
  • 4 oz (1 part) skullcap leaf concentrate
  • 4 oz. (1 part) uvaursi or hydrangea or gravelroot concentrate


  1. Make each concentrate individually.
  2. To make 1 part, soak 4 ounces of each herb in 16 ounces of water for 4 hours.
  3. Simmer 30 minutes and strain off herbs.
  4. To concentrate liquid, simmer liquid on very low heat and reduce to 1/4 or to 4 ounces.
  5. Add all ingredients together.

Makes 1 gallon of anti-cold remedy.

As a preventative, 1 teaspoon morning and night.

For colds, 1 tablespoon morning, noon and night.

For flu, 1 tablespoon every other hour.

For plague, 1 tablespoon each hour.

A Natural Remedy Explained

When I was studying with local physician Dr. Christopher, he told us a story everyone would like to hear, especially during flu season.

He said while giving a lecture in Snowflake, Ariz., the conversation turned to various contagious illnesses. Someone asked if he had a plague remedy. Puzzled, he said no. No one had ever asked for a plague remedy before. Then someone asked what they could do in case there was a plague. Dr. Christopher said he stopped talking for a minute, thought of some good immune system-boosting ingredients, then dictated a formula to the class that could be used in case of a plague. They went on to discuss the ingredients of the formula which are included above.

The most active ingredient in the formula is garlic. It will kill germs upon contact. When garlic was tested against three of the best antibiotic drugs on the market, garlic proved to kill all types of germs faster than the drugs. Garlic has many healing properties also. This is why garlic is the leading herb in my herbal antibiotic formula. A great many books have been written on garlic both as a food and as a medicine.

The next ingredient is apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is a catalyst and a carrying agent that also has antibiotic properties. According to D.C. Jarvis, M.D., in his book, vinegar is the most healing and stabilizing medicine you can use.

Glycerin is used because it is a demulcent and has healing properties.

Honey is an emollient and a great infection fighter. It is great for healing and preventing scars.

Comfrey is one of the greatest healing herbs we know of. This is because of the allantoin in it as discussed earlier.

Wormwood relieves pain and kills parasites and pinworms. Parasites cause a lot of sickness and stress within the body.

Lobelia is one of the greatest catalytic herbs that there is. It has the power to draw all the herbs together to work as one.

Marshmallow root helps the kidneys to get rid of toxins, and it fights against gangrene. It is also an emollient or a softener.

Oak bark is a tonic and helps to build the cells. It also helps to rebuild and feed the circulatory system.

Black walnut bark is a composition. It is almost equal to iodine, except it isn’t poison. It is also a great fungus fighter.

Mullein heals and soothes the respiratory system.

Skullcap is a fine nerve rebuilder.

Hydrangea, uvaursi and gravelroot are some of the best solvents there are in the herbal kingdom. They break up plaque and inorganic deposits and aid in cleaning out the body.

A year later, Dr. Christopher gave a lecture in a neighboring town in Arizona. Someone asked for the formula. He asked them how they knew about it, and they replied that a few months back many in their town developed a terrible sickness, especially the young children. The doctors tried many medicines but nothing proved effective. A mother of a child asked if she could try a homemade remedy. The doctor gladly consented. In a few days, her child improved. Soon all were well. God bless and good health to you!

Originally published as “Comfrey: The Forgotten Herb” in the December 1994/January 1995 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.