• Leanne Vickery

Comfrey Poultice - Old School Herbalism

Being able to forage in in my garden to find something with the ability to heal is what pulled me to herbalism and my subsequent training to become a Medical Herbalist and Clinical Naturopath. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale or Symphytum x uplandicum), has a long history of medicinal use yet it is also surrounded by controversy. This is due to the fact Comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are toxic substances. Because of this Comfrey is restricted to external use only in most countries.



I am using this herb to help increase the bodies ability to heal a broken ankle that has not knitted together over a considerable amount of time. (Another common name of Comfrey is Bone-knit).


How to make a Soothing Comfrey Poultice


- Pick a bunch of fresh organic comfrey leaves..........


- Wash and put through a cold pressed juicer, or use a stick blender with water to get it nice and soupy!

Tip# Using a cold pressed juicer means you don't need to add water to blend, so the poultice contains all of its yummy active constituents, undiluted.


- Apply the juice to the ankle or area treated then apply the pulp (or the soupy mixture). You can place on a gauze first if you prefer or if there is an open wound).

Tip # Place a towel under the area treated, followed by glad wrap. Place comfrey mixture on, then wrap in glad wrap to stop juice from dripping , and help keep the poultice moist so the skin is able to absorb the constituents.



This can be used for an hour every day.

My regime is to use comfrey cream (I made this up in the clinic with a herbal extract of comfrey mixed with vitamin E cream ) to be applied in the morning . The fresh poultice will be applied at night for an hour. (supplements and herbal tonics have also been prescribed).


History of this Injury: Motorbike accident with fractured fibula and talus (in the ankle joint). Surgery was needed, with three screws to connect the ankle together. (two screws already existed from a previous injury). 6 months recovery. 12 months later, new xrays and CT scan taken and the bone has not knitted together and further surgery requiring a fusion of the subtarlus joint. 6 months recovery time is also needed. The surgeon has advised that this ankle will never be normal (you can see the x-rays below). There is no "gap" between the joint and at the end of the day the joint is bone on bone. As it is not possible to have surgery due to work requirements we are trying all possible avenues to heal this ankle to the best we can, to avoid more surgery.



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