Symphytum officinale, Comfrey
Clusters of white, purple or pink tubular flowers. Green, lance shaped, hairy leaves. Medicinal; roots and leaves. Leaves can be used to make a liquid feed.
• Hardiness: H7 (-20 and below)
• Type: Herbaceous Perennial
• Height: up to 1m
• Spread: up to 1m
• Soil type: Chalk, Sand, Clay, Loam
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Upright
• Flowering colour: White, Purple Pink
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: Yes
• Caution: Do not take Comfrey internally unless prescribed. The leaves can cause contact dermatitis
This herb has a long tradition as an effective tissue healer. One of comfrey's common names is ‘Knitbone’ which gives us a clue as to what was one of these traditional uses. The allantoin that it contains has been shown to stimulate the cells responsible for collagen, cartilage and bone formation. As use of comfrey may accelerate the healing process, its use on open wounds should be avoided in case it causes the wound to heal from the top down, thereby trapping any infection inside. Historically it would also have been used to treat digestive problems such as gastric ulcers and colitis, but as comfrey contains ingredients that are thought to be harmful to the liver, it is no longer used as an internal medicine.
Caution: External use only. Do not apply to open wounds.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.