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Bone Healing Comfrey Compress

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Healthy Living, Herb, Herbal Remedies

Broken bones, bruises and sprains are a part of life. Having homemade old-fashioned herbal remedies on hand are perfect for your herbal medicine cabinet. Comfrey compresses help speed up the healing process, getting you back to life as usual in much less time.

A teapot pouring hot water into a bowl with dried comfrey leaves.

I love having homemade herbal remedies on hand to use at the first sign of illness. Items like our homemade elderberry syrup and our homemade arnica salve are so great to grab in times of need.

We also love having herbal remedies to help soothe a cough naturally, or even to boost our immune systems during the cold and flu season.

Can you believe we went over 13 years having children in our home before having to deal with a broken bone? But one snowy day, a steep hill, and a fun sled-ride ended that streak!

Thankfully, it was just a broken finger. A quick trip to the doctor for some x-rays and setting of the bone and we were back home.

Once home, I immediately went to my herbal medicine cabinet and grabbed my comfrey. The leaves of the comfrey plant are filled with cell-regenerative properties, essential oils, and nutrients that have been known for centuries to speed the healing of broken bones, sprains, and even bruising.

(We are not medical professionals and this is not meant to be taken as personal medical advice. Whenever using herbal remedies we recommend that you talk with your doctor.) 

What is a Compress?

A compress is used when a cloth (or another material) is applied to the skin for a period of time. It can be used under pressure (to stop bleeding, for instance) or simply placed onto an area gently (as you would this bone-healing compress).

A compress can be applied hot or cold (or anywhere in between) and can also be dry or wet. As with this herbal comfrey compress, you can add medication or herbal properties to aid in the healing.

What is Comfrey

Comfrey is a medicinal herb that grows well in certain parts of North America (as well as parts of Europe and Asia). Typically, a comfrey shrub will grow up to 5 feet tall and produce pretty little clusters of flowers (either purple, blue or white).

The comfrey leaves and roots contain powerful cell-regenerative properties, meaning it helps your cells repair and create new bone or tissue, or heal up a bruise or sprain.

A photo of comfrey with purple flowers blooming.

Uses of Comfrey

Comfrey leaves and roots have been used for more than 2,000 years in certain parts of Asia and were originally called “knitbone”. It has long been used to treat muscle sprains, joint inflammation, broken bones, and bruises.

In fact, this comfrey compress remedy speeds up the healing of broken bones in 1/3 of the regular time while also strengthening the bones during that healing process.

I’ve actually seen people heal from injuries by using this comfrey compress remedy in just a few days that they haven’t been able to cure with the doctors help in months and months.

A comfrey leaf.
A comfrey plant.

How to Make a Comfrey Compress

Making a comfrey compress is extremely simple. It’s as easy as brewing a cup of tea because that’s almost exactly what you’re doing!

Don’t wait until you have a broken bone in your home to have some comfrey on hand; this is one of those herbs that has so many great uses around the homestead, it’s definitely worth growing, and I would add it to this list of 15 medicinal herbs you can grow in your own garden.

Get some planted in your garden this spring!

A bowl of steeping comfrey with a damp cloth that's been dipped into the liquid.

Ingredients & Supplies Needed

  • Comfrey leaves (dried or fresh) – If using fresh comfrey leaves, just bruise them up and follow the preparation methods the same way. If you don’t grow your own, you can buy quality, organic comfrey here.
  • Nearly boiling water – Don’t let your water boil! Or, if it does come to a boil, let it cool down for a few minutes before steeping your comfrey leaves.
  • Heat-proof bowl – to make your tea. If you’re dealing with a smaller broken bone, use a bowl large enough to soak the bone directly in the tea.
  • Large plate or something to cover the bowl so the essential oils don’t evaporate out of the tea.
  • Clean towel or cloth to dip into the tea and wrap around the broken bone.
  • Large clean towel – to wrap around the damp cloth so nothing gets wet!

Making the Comfrey Compress Tea

To make a comfrey compress, you start by first steeping the comfrey leaves in hot water to make a “tea”.

1. Take two large handfuls of dried comfrey leaf and place them into a large, heat-proof bowl.

A small glass bowl filled with dried comfrey leaves.

2. Pour 2 quarts of nearly boiling water over the comfrey leaves, cover with a plate and let steep for 15 minutes.

Steaming water being poured into a bowl of dried comfrey.
A large bowl with a dinner plate over the top.

3. Either strain the tea or simply place the broken bone into the bowl and let soak for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can dip a cloth into the tea, gently wring out any dripping liquid, then wrap the broken bone in the damp cloth and cover with a larger dry towel to keep the liquid from getting everywhere. Leave the compress on for 20 minutes.

A clean white cloth being dipped into a bowl of water and comfrey.

4. Repeat three times daily until the bone has healed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use comfrey root?

You can use comfrey root in place of the leaves, however, you’ll want to be sure the root has been dried, then powdered in order to pull out the healing plant constituents with just the hot water.

Can I use this with a cast?

Typically speaking, it’s not advised to get a cast wet, so this method wouldn’t work well. However, you can make or buy comfrey salves that you might be able to use if the cast or brace is removeable.

It really depends on how bad the break is, as you don’t want to hurt the bone more by rubbing it with a salve.

A glass jar labeled "Comfrey" sitting next to other jars with medicinal herbs. In the forefront is a mortar and pestle.

More Homemade Medicinal and Herbal Remedies

Did you try this remedy? If so, we’d love for you to rate this remedy in the recipe card below! Also, let us know how it worked by snapping a photo and tagging us on social media @homesteadingfamily.

A bowl of steeping comfrey with a damp cloth that's been dipped into the liquid.

Herbal Comfrey Compress Remedy

This homemade herbal comfrey compress remedy has been used for centuries for speeding up the bone healing process as well as aiding in sprains, muscle strains, and bruises.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Compress Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 3 compresses
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • Large heat-proof bowl
  • Clean cloth large enough to wrap around the broken bone
  • Larger towel to cover the compress

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried comfrey leaves or two cups fresh, bruised comfrey leaves
  • 2 quarts water nearly boiling

Instructions

Herbal Tea

  • Place dried comfrey leaf into a large, heat-proof bowl.
  • Pour nearly boiling water over comfrey, cover with a large plate and let steep for 15 minutes, then strain or leave herbs in.

Soak Bone

  • Place broken bone into the large bowl and soak for 20 minutes.
  • Alternatively, dip a clean cloth into the tea, gently wring out any dripping liquid, wrap the broken bone in the wet cloth and cover with a larger dry towel. Leave the compress on for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat three times daily until the bone has healed.

Video

Notes

  • You can use dried or fresh comfrey leaves. If using fresh, gently bruise the leaves before steeping to help release their oils.
  • You can also use dried and powdered comfrey root. If using comfrey root, use about 2 tablespoons for two quarts of water.
  • Don’t use boiling water as this degrades the healing properties within the comfrey.
  • You can reheat the tea before each use, or use it at room temperature, whichever feels better to the bone. 
  • We are not medical professionals and this is not meant to be taken as personal medical advice. Whenever using herbal remedies we recommend that you talk with your doctor. 
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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