Table of contents:
- On the history of the distribution of comfrey varieties
- Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
- Comfrey use
- Comfrey breeding
Video: Comfrey Medicinal, Or Zhivokost. Application, Description, Properties. Photo
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 07:13
Comfrey was mentioned as early as the 10th century in the famous medical poem of the French scientist and physician Odo iz Maine "On the Properties of Herbs":
“The root, which was excellently boiled in hot plums, mixed with honey, heals fractures and breaks … If someone doubts that there is so much strength in the comfrey, let him cook the crushed roots with boiled meat … Broken or crushed bones you will help with medicine. If, mixed with wine, they drink comfrey with pepper and honey, then both tears and wounds are treated with such an application. The bone that is broken holds the herb together with the ointment on the lard."
Immediately, readers should be warned that comfrey treatment should be treated very carefully, since in addition to many substances useful for the body, it also contains poisonous substances.
So, in Latin, comfrey is called Symphytum - accrete, because the underground parts of the plant have long been used as a remedy for bone fractures.
In the literature in Russian, there are other names for the plant: bone breaker, vis-grass, greasy root, larkspur.
On the history of the distribution of comfrey varieties
As an ornamental plant, the hard comfrey (Symphytum asperum) was cultivated in the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden as early as the 18th century. The court gardener D. Bush sent his seeds to England, saying that these were the seeds of the ornamental comfrey medicinal. In England, comfrey was quickly appreciated as an excellent fodder plant and was actively cultivated. At the beginning of the XIX century. it turned out that this is the same species that grows in the Caucasus, i.e. comfrey is hard. Comfrey came from England to many countries, not only to Europe, but also to the United States, Japan, and New Zealand.
And in England they began to grow another species of comfrey - foreign comfrey. This species is very close to rigid comfrey, but differs in less rigid pubescence. Some botanists do not recognize it as a separate species, according to others, this species is a hybrid between hard comfrey and medicinal comfrey(Symphytum officinale). In England, this species was called the Russian comfrey, it was especially appreciated as feed for poultry and pigs and as an excellent material for compost, including liquid fertilizer from infusions of its greenery, and was recommended to be grown on small farms - in small areas, along fences, near buildings, on wastelands. Interest in him especially increased during the Second World War. And in 1953, Lawrence D. Hills' book “Russian comfrey. One hundred tons per acre of livestock feed or compost for a farm, garden or smallholder."
There is information that in Russia, when the Apothecary Prikaz was organized in Moscow in the 17th century and the “apothecary gardens” were laid out, 20 poods of comfrey roots were brought there for breeding (from Polotsk and Smolensk). Comfrey began to grow as a fodder plant in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century. And at the end of the XIX century, comfrey was actively carried away in many Russian farms, especially in those that were conducted according to the English model. Comfrey was widely discussed in agricultural magazines of the time.
In the old abandoned estates, you can still find comfrey with blue flowers, planted at the end of the 19th century, but already wild. In the USSR, work with comfrey as a fodder crop began in the 1930s. The initial material for the work was samples from the collection of the All-Union Institute of Plant Industry, obtained from England and called tough comfrey. This comfrey has a high yield, winter hardiness, grows well after mowing. The yield of green mass in different growing areas can range from 300 to 1000 centners per hectare. Green mass is characterized by a high content of protein, vitamins and other nutrients.
Comfrey can be used both as green forage and for preparing silage, grass meal and liquid fertilizer. It can grow in one place for more than 10 years without reducing productivity. It seems to us appropriate to dwell on comfrey medicinal further in more detail. Let's make a reservation that all information about the medicinal properties of comfrey and its use is not accidental, but taken from sources approved by medical scientists.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Borage family, popular names: vis-grass, fat root, cucumber grass, bone breaker, larkspur. Perennial herbaceous wire-haired plant with a branched winged stem.
The leaves are alternate, large, harsh, oblong-lanceolate, with a prominent network of veins below.
The flowers are small, tube-bell-shaped, purple-violet, collected in inflorescences-curls. There are five stamens, adherent to the corolla, pistil with an upper four-lobed ovary.
Fruits are large black shiny nuts, located four in the calyx of the flower.
When rubbed, the leaves have a faint cucumber odor.
The roots are black, whitish at break, their taste is sweetish, slimy, slightly astringent.
Plant height 60 - 90 cm. Flowering time May - August. It is found almost throughout the European part of Russia, the Caucasus, Western Siberia, Central Asia. It grows among bushes, in gardens, in damp places along the banks of rivers, streams and flood meadows. For medicinal purposes, the roots are used, which are harvested in spring or late autumn. Comfrey roots contain starch, sugar, many mucous substances, tannins, asparagine, alkaloids cinoglossin and laziocarpine, glyoxyldiurend allantoin, digallic acid and traces of essential oil. The plant, as already noted, is poisonous.
Comfrey, or larkspur, is widely used in folk medicine in various countries as an internal and external agent. A slimy decoction and infusion of fresh roots reduce and stop inflammatory processes, reduce and relieve pain, kill many microbes, stop bleeding and heal purulent wounds well. Infusion of comfrey roots has an astringent and emollient effect. The infusion and decoction of the roots also has a remarkable property to enhance the regeneration (restoration) of various tissues, dull pain and promote rapid bone healing in fractures.
In Russian and German folk medicine, an aqueous infusion of larkspur roots is used for gastrointestinal diseases: diarrhea, dysentery, chronic intestinal catarrh, stomach and intestinal ulcers, chronic catarrh of the respiratory organs with profuse sputum production, with hemoptysis, bleeding, paralysis. And as an external one - with inflammation of the veins, periosteum, and especially with bone fractures and dislocations, pain in amputated stumps and sciatica. Comfrey is used internally and for various skin diseases, ulcers and wounds with simultaneous external use.
Infusion of comfrey roots is used for baths, washings and compresses for fractures and dislocations, bruises, joint pains, scrofula, various skin diseases, and especially for the treatment of old, poorly healing wounds and ulcers. Root powder serves as a hemostatic agent for nose and other external bleeding. Alcohol tincture of the roots is used for anti-inflammatory and analgesic compresses. For bone fractures, rheumatic and gouty pains, wounds and ulcers, apply ointment from the roots. The internal use of comfrey, as a poisonous plant, requires caution.
Methods of using comfrey officinalis
- Leave two teaspoons of fresh comfrey roots for 8 hours in 1.5 cups of cooled boiled water, drain. The resulting remainder of the roots insist half an hour in one and a half glasses of boiling water, drain. Mix both infusions together. Take a quarter cup 4-6 times daily before meals. Drink each portion in small sips.
- Mix one part of fresh or dry root with two parts of bee honey. Take one teaspoon 3 times daily before meals for 7 days.
- Heat three tablespoons of the roots for half an hour in half a liter of water in a closed vessel over low heat, not boiling, leave for 4 hours, drain. Use for baths, washings and compresses.
- Grind two tablespoons of fresh roots with two tablespoons of unsalted lard, use as an ointment.
The plant propagates by seeds, possibly by self-sowing and dividing the bush in spring and August; not demanding to soils, does not get sick, cold-resistant. Seeds can be sown in spring, but they show the best germination when sowing before winter.
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