ALL THINGS TOPICAL

Lazy Gardener

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Mini, what kind of comfrey do you have? does it re-seed? I have Bocking 14. My understanding is that all of the Bocking strains are sterile. My chickens are not at all interested in eating my comfrey. I do keep chopping it down, just for the compost value of it. I have it planted between the trees in the orchard. Mostly, I let it dry in place, but have tossed some in the chicken run, on the HK and in the garden. I'm interested in using it for topical salves. My understanding is that b/c comfrey is so great at causing cell proliferation, it may not be a good choice for someone with skin CA issues.
 

Mini Horses

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I have Bocking 4. Hearsay is that the 14 is bitter & 4 not. Also, 4 has deeper rooting . I just know that my animals love it. I have tasted these but, no 14 to compare.

No re-seeding, sterile. Have to use root stock to start. It's a prolific plant once established. This is 2nd start for a field of it. First one they ate roots and all! Started these with older, larger root stock crowns. Just ordered a few more crown and some smaller root stock. This is organic stuff. I'll get there, takes time & some expense. These I've potted in 5 gal tubs until they are well established. I'm special fencing to get a patch of it working. It will be about 2 yrs to get "enough", planted & growing well enough for goats and chickens supplemental feed.

Need to "think" where to have that before I set these out. I'm looking at a raised bed type in back yard to start them, leaving a few there as a "mother load"...in ground. Large potting about 30 of them to later transplant at a permanent site. I had about 40 growing and chickens devoured all!! Didn't expect that. :thIt's like 36% protein. :bow

It is & has always been great to help heal and not scar..."knit-bone" is nickname. And the Russians have used it orally for centuries. They say "liver damage" is why we should not eat it. There was a farmer who used it for his flock and when butchered, not ONE had damage. Also, none had liver flukes which had been quite prevalent in that area of the country. Like ALL medicines...there are offsets for use. I want to use it for salves/infused oils. It is reported to greatly help sprains, bruises, not just broken bones, etc. Proof has been that there are chemicals in this plant that are acknowledged to perform such healing.

Things that have been used and worked for a thousand years have now got Big Pharm growling. No $$ in it for them. When you hear the risks for many current drugs, I just shake my head and say "no thanks"....if I needed this med per a doctor, I'd say no.
 
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Hinotori

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The only legitimate concern I've seen for comfrey is when ingested. There was some evidence that it's property of encouraging cell growth could possibly speed cancer growths if you have it. I don't think the follow up studies on that were done.
 

Mini Horses

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Many of the old plant based treatments have only a hundred years of use for a basis. Studies need funding, hard to get quite often. Word of mouth was free.

Now the cannabis oils are getting $$$....because there is huge $$ to be made. Just glad I don't need today's drugs. Not saying modern meds are bad but, some standards are still great. An aspirin & Absorbine Jr work for me. Occasionally I take an Aleve -- if tugging & lifting a lot of fence, posts, hay, etc. Depends. :cool:

With herbals you don't have the "standardization" of a processed product. So there is some amount of trial & error for each persons use and the plant strength. Reactions & results vary with that. :idunno

Plus, some people lack common sense. :lol:
 

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As for all the contraindications of the old fashioned herbals. One needs to ask this question: Who is funding the studies that support all of the dire warnings? The older I get, the more cynical I become. Of course Comfrey use would be "dissed". It is easy to grow, it is high protein. It's use as a topical just-might-could keep your money in your wallet instead of running to the dr. for a rx. for a costly medication that is approved by the FDA. Have you looked at the warnings listed on ANY of your PO RX meds lately?

I think I would avoid using Comfrey internally. However, I see no reason not to play with it as a topical salve when there are no indications of skin cancer.

@Mini Horses , where did you buy your Bocking #4? I think I need to get some of that. Perhaps plant that closest to my chicken flock. I can still use the #14 for composting. I've had ? 7 plantings of it for at least 4 years, and it's well behaved. The base of the plants is only about 8" wide. I've heard that it is so great as a soil ammendment b/c it mines minerals from deep in the soil. The roots can travel 10' deep.

Agreed, farmers have used comfrey as a livestock feed for YEARS. Of course it's use is frowned upon now. Every # of comfrey fed to the flock/herd is a # of feed not bought from the feed store. This is the voice of an elderly cynic. :old
 

Britesea

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A Short History of Medicine.

Doctor, I have an ear ache!

2000 BC Here, eat this root.

AD 1000 That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.

AD 1850 That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion
.
AD 1940 That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

AD 1985 That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic
.
AD 2000 That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

Author unknown.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I stand corrected. I thought I had Bocking #14. I went back and looked at the info from the supplier I bought from, and he sells #4. So... unless he has changed, which I highly doubt, I have #4. Here's the name of the supplier I bought from a few years back.

http://www.coescomfrey.com/comfrey.html
 
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