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Reply To: Materia Medica 2020-05-06T05:18:06-07:00

Home Forums Online Herbalism Programs Materia Medica  Reply To: Materia Medica 

Deena Class
Post count: 15

Hi, again, Liza! I hope you’re well! I have two questions related to Comfrey; one of them may be covered in the external preparations module (please let me know and I’ll find it, if so!) and the other has to do with using North American native plants.

1) This is the time down here in North Carolina to harvest Comfrey leaves for oil/salve making before they get moldy and weird. I have true Comfrey in a large container (Symphytum officinale), however, I’m trying hard to incorporate as many native plants as possible into my Materia Medica. I’ve recently found a bounty of native WILD Comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum, Family Boraginacea) in our back woods. I’ve read in my Peterson’s guide as well as on websites that it has the same cautions as Symphytum (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) and I keep seeing the exact same line (verbatim) about uses: “In nineteenth-century texts, authors suggest use as a substitute for comfrey (Symphytum officinale)”. However, no reference is ever given to the unidentified 19th century texts (which, as a professional researcher, makes me nervous!) and I haven’t found anyone (yet!) who has first-hand experience using it. I’m tempted to make oils of both the True Comfrey and the Wild Comfrey and do a little test (since both would be for external use only), but thought I’d check to see if anyone there has first-hand knowledge of Wild Comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum)? TIA!

2) To make an infused oil with fresh Symphytum leaves, would I tear or cut it up, cover with oil and use the cheesecloth over the top method as Amanda did with the Arnica flowers? I’ve only made oil with dried comfrey (I thought I HAD to dry it first!), so want to be sure I don’t end up ruining it with mold!

Thanks so much!