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Comfrey

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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/9/2017, 6:26 pm

@Ginger Blue wrote:
@sanderson wrote:I just searched for seeds and all I found was "Annie's Heirlooms."  Another, a Comfrey farm sells root and crown cuttings.  CN, would you be interested in splitting an order of roots or crowns?  I'll work up the cost and let you know.  I'm thinking 12" pots for mine.  Or maybe we could just split a seed packet.  Cheaper that way. ??

Sanderson, I purchased a packet of seeds from Outsidepride, last year.  I'll be sending some to CN tomorrow and will be happy to share with you, as well.  Nothing on the package indicates these are a special variety, so I suspect they're true comfrey and may be invasive unless contained.  Let me know if you'd like some.

GB
I really messed up on my seed-starting this year and lost track of what I planted. Turan and Beetles identified these as comfrey, which means they came from you. Thanks, GB. Right now these babies are in the house, safe from our triple-digits. Should I keep them inside and protected or try putting a couple outside in the "real world" to toughen up?


Today it's too hot to play outside, so I'm binge-watching Youtube garden videos. I just watched one that says to use comfrey leaves as mulch around tomato plants. Anybody try this?
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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/9/2017, 6:32 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:The original link is broken, so, why do I want to grow comfrey?

The leaves are a great addition to the compost pile where I use it in place of manure.  I cut it back 2 or 3 times a year for that purpose.  You can also make comfrey tea to water or spray your plants with.    
Medicinal example: I taped a piece of leaf on a festering wound my mother had that wouldn't give up the ghost, and the next day it completely drained and then healed quickly.
This is awesome! I just lost my main manure source -- both of our sweet horses died in the past month and we aren't getting any more. Sad I still have chicken and rabbit manure, but not in large quantities. If comfrey can be a manure substitute, that is great news. cheers
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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/9/2017, 6:46 pm

@camprn wrote:I've comfrey in my garden, dont baby it and it thrives. My advice to those planting your first comfrey, consider carefully where you put it as you will never be able to get rid of it.
That's one of the great things about our hot, dry climate. Nothing can ever spread beyond the boundaries I set, because there's no water. Razz
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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/9/2017, 7:13 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.
According to Sloan Kettering:

  • Comfrey contains compounds that are toxic to the liver and can cause liver cancer.


So, if we use it as mulch or in our compost, are we spreading carcinogens to our soil and on to the plants we eat? 
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Re: Comfrey

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/9/2017, 7:39 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.
According to Sloan Kettering:

  • Comfrey contains compounds that are toxic to the liver and can cause liver cancer.


So, if we use it as mulch or in our compost, are we spreading carcinogens to our soil and on to the plants we eat? 
It seems more likely that bacteria break the compounds down again, detoxifying them.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/9/2017, 8:07 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.
According to Sloan Kettering:

  • Comfrey contains compounds that are toxic to the liver and can cause liver cancer.


So, if we use it as mulch or in our compost, are we spreading carcinogens to our soil and on to the plants we eat? 
It seems more likely that bacteria break the compounds down again, detoxifying them.
I like the sound of that. thanks, Beetles.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/10/2017, 6:59 am

@countrynaturals wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.
According to Sloan Kettering:

  • Comfrey contains compounds that are toxic to the liver and can cause liver cancer.


So, if we use it as mulch or in our compost, are we spreading carcinogens to our soil and on to the plants we eat? 
It seems more likely that bacteria break the compounds down again, detoxifying them.
I like the sound of that. thanks, Beetles.
Here's more, I didn't have enough time to find an article last night. The toxic compounds are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). This article studied PA degradation from plants other than comfrey - but PAs are all similar molecules so the results are relevant. The scientists say "Pyrrolizidine alkaloids and taxines were shown to degrade completely during the composting process."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579691
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Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 7/10/2017, 11:51 am

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Interestingly, the Government of Canada does not like comfrey and says it is a poison when ingested as a herbal medication because it causes liver damage.
According to Sloan Kettering:

  • Comfrey contains compounds that are toxic to the liver and can cause liver cancer.


So, if we use it as mulch or in our compost, are we spreading carcinogens to our soil and on to the plants we eat? 
It seems more likely that bacteria break the compounds down again, detoxifying them.
I like the sound of that. thanks, Beetles.
Here's more, I didn't have enough time to find an article last night. The toxic compounds are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). This article studied PA degradation from plants other than comfrey - but PAs are all similar molecules so the results are relevant. The scientists say "Pyrrolizidine alkaloids and taxines were shown to degrade completely during the composting process."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579691
thanks
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Re: Comfrey

Post  trolleydriver on 7/10/2017, 12:32 pm

In the study, what do they mean by 1200 degrees C cumulative temperature?

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Re: Comfrey

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/10/2017, 2:56 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:In the study, what do they mean by 1200 degrees C cumulative temperature?
I can't get to the article, but here's a definition
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cumulative%20temperature

The abstract says the cumulative temperature is for about 3 months, so about 90 days. 1200/90 = 13 1/3
If the reference temperature is 42*C, adding 13 gets to 55*C (~131*F.) This temperature makes sense for an average hot composting temperature.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 7/11/2017, 2:12 am

Very interesting.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/11/2017, 7:13 am

Here's another article relevant to composting poisonous plants:
https://laidbackgardener.wordpress.com/tag/can-you-compost-poisonous-leaves/

Summary - Yes: rhubarb, walnut leaves, foxglove, and nettles    No: poison ivy/oak/sumac
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Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/15/2017, 4:02 pm

I just cut down a stock of comfrey and blended the leaves in the Vitamix with some filtered water. I then divided the mix between 3 five gallon buckets of water and proceeded to water my sfg veggies with that. Has anybody tried this? If so, what were the results?
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Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/11/2017, 7:57 am

Sprained both ankles when I fell off the stoop leaving work last night - one slightly, the other a bit more severe. Once home I immediately raised both legs onto pillows and iced.  Then applied comfrey salve.  

This morning I found this lovely video about how to make a poultice using comfrey:
http://ancestralthunder.com/heal-a-sprain-with-comfrey/

Seems a bit messy to me, and so far the salve is working beautifully, but if I ever need to bring out the big guns, this may be the way to go.

I love you comfrey.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/11/2017, 8:31 am

Oh, CC! So sorry to hear this! And glad the salve is working...
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Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 11/11/2017, 5:17 pm

Ouch, sounds like something I would do! Sad Thank you for the comfrey info.

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Re: Comfrey

Post  llama momma on 6/2/2018, 12:19 pm

I have comfrey available if anyone is interested.  It's true in that it's very hardy !  Sorry the pic is sideways.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 6/2/2018, 4:13 pm

I successfully sprouted seeds sent to me. I was think of planting them in the 3'x3' backyard flower bed. They would be perennials, hopefully. Zone 9A. ??

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Re: Comfrey

Post  ronbart on 6/2/2018, 8:12 pm

@sanderson wrote:I successfully sprouted seeds sent to me.  I was think of planting them in the 3'x3' backyard flower bed.  They would be perennials, hopefully.  Zone 9A.  ??
How did you sprout your seeds? Did you have to chill them first? I tried to start some from seed this spring and had no luck. Luckily I found started pots at a small local nursery. I have some seed left and want to try again.
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Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 6/2/2018, 11:36 pm

I started them in small plastic seedling pots with Mel's Mix. Watered from the bottom. I hope you have good luck.

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Re: Comfrey

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