Comfrey – A Modern Botanical Marvel

by Annegret Pfeifer

Here at Kettle Care Organics we have used Comfrey generously in our formulations since the beginning of the first product, the Herbal (Aid) Crème. It actually started the journey of Kettle Care Organics in 1983, due to its effectiveness to soothe and nourish the skin. Considering that Comfrey has been used as a traditional treatment in Japan for over 2000 years, one might wonder what makes it such a powerhouse for the skin? Looking at its chemical components, the most celebrated ones for skincare are Allatoin, Rosmarinic Acid and Tannins.

Allatoin has skin soothing, tightening and firming properties, and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a protective moisturizer especially for sensitive skin.

The Rosmarinic Acid is a strong antioxidant and aides to guard the lipid linings of skin cells. Hence say good-bye to dry and dull skin.

Tannins are beneficial to protect from bacteria and toxins, thus aide healthy and toned skin.

Unlike other manufacturers that use synthetic, man-made Allatoin, we believe that nature offers the best combinations of nutrients. Thus, we extract Comfrey from the actual plant that is grown for us by local organic Terrapin Farm. We carefully air dry the botanical and then utilize it in our extracts and oil saturations. We love to add Comfrey generously in our formulations, as it is such a beneficial stimulation for the skin.

Yet, this lush green Comfrey plant is also an effective as soil-builder, nutrient powerhouse for animals and a beloved pollinating plant by bees and butterflies. I remember when my mother discovered the Comfrey plant, way back in the 70’s. She told us that Comfrey would practically grow everywhere. It would be nutritious feed for our sheep, mineral rich mulch for our garden and healing to our skin. We had never heard about this plant before and it sounded like a marvel.

Once my mother started it in her vast garden, it was there to stay. Its deep roots enabled it to sustain through dry weather and give it some rain, it grew fast and lush.

The sheep loved to graze on its thick, fuzzy haired leaves and it definitely improved the quantity and quality of their milk. Butterflies and bees loved its purple flowers! Just standing next to the plant, I could hear a symphony of buzzing, while watching bees and butterflies bustling from flower to flower.

The Comfrey leaves turned out to be the best mulching and fertilizer that broke down fast and produced strong plants. We usually pruned the Comfrey 4 times during the growing season. It was fun to cut the big bushes down like going through a jungle – only to watch them grow back profusely in no time.

My mom used the Comfrey leaves for poultices to treat minor skin issues, bruises, muscle sprains and joint inflammations and it usually did the trick in no-time. She told us that in folk-language Comfrey meant ‘grow together’ and was also called ‘Knit-Bone’ as it sped up the healing of broken bones and sprains. As a kid I soaked up those stories and to this day the sight of a Comfrey plant in the garden just makes me smile. Wouldn’t it be great if we all would have such a marvelous plant in our garden or on our patio? If you do consider growing it, I recommend to look for the ‘Russian Comfrey’, as it does not have seeds and only propagates through its sturdy root system. It is easier to control in your garden.

As nutrient dense as Comfrey is, it is recommended for humans to use it only externally. Due to Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in the plant, it can be toxic to the liver.

At Kettle Care Organics, we currently have the following products that are formulated with a generous amount of Comfrey: