Comfrey leaves are dried, ground up, and mixed with water, a
moisturizing oil, or aloe vera to form salves or pastes that can be used
externally to promote the healing of skin ailments, while reducing
inflammations and infection. When the crushed herb is applied to an
injured limb, the allantoin is absorbed through the skin to speed
healing. When a compress is applied immediately to a sprained ankle, it
can significantly reduce the severity of the injury.
A lotion or solution of comfrey leaves
made by soaking them in hot, but not boiling, water andcan be applied
to abrasions to soothe the irritation.
Dried roots may be ground up and
dissolved in hot water to form a mucilage that can bind together such
open skin ulcers as bedsores, that have resisted other forms of healing.
Although the root has similar properties as the leaves, it tends to be
colder in nature and more nourishing in action, therefore, better suited
in treating varicose ulcers.
The combination of tannins and mucilage helps soothe bruises and scrapes.
Externally, comfrey leaves are useful
in healing stubborn skin ulcers, bedsores, and other lesions. They can
also promote the healing of minor burns, eczema, and psoriasis, soothe
bee stings and spider bites (including those of the brown recluse), and
treat skin staph infections and athlete’s foot. A poultice can be made
from freshly chopped leaves and applied directly to the wound and
covered lightly with a bandage. This should be changed every day, and
the wound cleansed with water (not tap) and a mild soap. The area can
first be cleansed with hydrogen peroxide if there is infection present.