Comfrey for fodder, ancient medicinal

Article posted in UK Permaculture Magazine touts the many benefits of nutrient dense comfrey. Author Paul Alfey begins with a bit of it’s history.

“Comfrey has been cultivated, as a healing herb since at least 400BC. The Greeks and Romans commonly used comfrey to stop heavy bleeding, treat bronchial problems and heal wounds and broken bones. Poultices were made for external wounds and tea was consumed for internal ailments. Comfrey has been reported to promote healthy skin with its mucilage content that moisturizes and soothes and promotes cell proliferation.”

Comfrey Cultivation

Author also cultivates a quarter of an acre of alfalfa(shown in photo above) for use as biomass and animal fodder.

Comfrey is a good plant to use to establish ‘pest-predator’ relationships in your garden and promotes biodiversity, in his experience.

“The bell shaped flowers provide nectar and pollen to many species of bees and other insects from late May until the first frosts in late autumn. Lacewings are said to lay eggs on comfrey and spiders overwinter on the plant. Parasitoid wasps and spiders will hunt on and around comfrey.”

He cautions against regular human consumption although comfrey has traditionally been used in nutrient rich, restorative teas.  Comfrey grown in less polluted areas might provide just the borage remedy or fodder needed. It grows in climate zones 4-9, best in full sun where it will spread rapidly in well drained soil. For more about the benefits of comfrey, click above.

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