I recently wrote an article about an incident with my dog and how comfrey worked so well for her healing. Well, that was only one comfrey success story among many. This prolific plant really does wonders for the body.
Comfrey was once called knitbone because it works so well to repair tissue. This is thanks to the abundant allantoin compound it contains, which is a cell proliferant. The amazing thing about comfrey is that it knows which cells to grow and which cells not to, meaning that it only stimulates cell growth for healthy cells and will not do so for malignant cells. (1)
My husband tore his ACL in high school, which was replaced through
surgery. However, the thing about ACL tears is that once you tear it, replacements are likely to tear and likely to get arthritis. A second tear and replacement happened, and when the third tear occurred, he didn’t really want to get it replaced again. So I gave him comfrey fomentations for his knee by making a concentrated comfrey root decoction, soaking a towel in the warm mixture, and applying it to his knee. It definitely helped him feel better, but he unfortunately didn’t stick with it long
enough. He still uses them off and on whenever his knee bothers him. He’ll do fomentations for about a week, and then inevitably his knee will feel better, and he’ll stop using the herb so the problem returns a while later.
Now my sister also had a knee problem, though it was a different one. As an
avid runner, she was willing to stick with any program that would allow her to get her running shoes back out. She didn’t fully know what the issue was with her knee, but I trusted that comfrey would solve it. So I gave her comfrey too, and showed her how to make a fomentation. I told her to apply the fomentations 6 nights per week. After a few weeks, she called me up to tell me that the comfrey was working great, but she had to alter the program somewhat because of an unexpected side effect.
After about a week of using the fomentations on her knee, the area around her calf muscle would get inflamed and become painful. Continuing the fomentations made it worse, because the comfrey was draining the inflammation from her knee down to her calf. Instead of using the fomentations 6 days per week, she would do them for one week and then take one week off to allow the inflammation that had drained into her calf to dissipate. Then she would start the program again. She continued this for
several weeks until there was nothing more to drain. Once the problem was resolved, she was finally able to go running again.
The comfrey success with my dog showed just how important it is to act quickly, but these stories show how important it is to take care of an issue until it is resolved.
Comfrey will work in either situation, but if you want lasting results, you need to work at it until the root cause is fully addressed and healed.
- Herb Syllabus, Dr. John R. Christopher, 2010. Page 156.
Olivia Chasteen is Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also certified lactation consultant and a homebirth natural mama who runs www.mamaearthwellness.net where she shares herbal information for parents, families, and anyone who believes they have the power to create health.
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