What the heck is a comfrey poultice?
Comfrey is a shrub that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has long, thin leaves, clusters of purple/blue flowers, and can grow up to five feet tall. We initially planted some Comfrey on the side of the house to feed to the rabbits. I’ve heard it has more vitamins for rabbits than alfalfa, so I planted it for them. Fortunate for me!
Poultice is a word not heard much these days. According to the dictionary, a poultice is “a soft, moist mass of material, typically of plant material or flour, applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation and kept in place with a cloth.”
Boom, Comfrey Poultice!
This Comfrey poultice came in quite handy (and I use that term literally) the other day when I was stung on the pinkie by a wasp. I’m highly allergic to wasps, to the point that I carry an Epi-Pen. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use the pen, but following the sting, my hand swelled double it’s size.
Comfrey is good for any trauma to skin tissue. Swelling, bruises, according to some, even broken bones can benefit from a Comfrey poultice. Don’t believe it? You’ll have to try for yourself. I don’t recommend getting stung by an insect to prove it, but even a minor skin issue can get some relief.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in 8-10 Comfrey leaves. (Comfrey leaves have little hair-like bristles on them and the boiling temperature will burst those.)
After only a few minutes, remove the leaves with tongs, shake the excess water off, and place them in a food processor.
Once they’ve turned to pulp, slather a thick layer on the infected area and cover with a bandage. If you don’t want your bandage to get stained green, you can cover skin with plastic wrap first.
Leave on the skin for at least one hour up to overnight.
Once finished, wash the skin, discard the pulp, and launder the bandages. Repeat as needed throughout the healing process.
(Note: if you don’t have fresh Comfrey, you can use dried Comfrey. Just soak it in cold water for an hour, then place in a pot and bring to boil, strain and place in food processor. If using a powder, boil a small amount of water and add enough powder to make a paste.)
I think old-fashioned herbal remedies work, that’s why they’re still around, but in all fairness to modern medicine, I spoke with a pharmacist the day I was stung and he recommended hydrocortisone cream to relieve the swelling and itch. It had no effect at all.
I’ll stick with my poultice.