This herb has fallen into disrepute, or is that new-found fame?
Grey-blue, leathery, hairy leaves on short, brittle stalks sprouting from clumps of soft, snotty roots. Purple bells on scrawny sticks may form seeds after years of cultivation.
The leaves may be picked like spinach. The roots can be harvested by digging carefully a little way from the plant, and then slowly clear the soil towards the plant base. The roots are very brittle and not too visible. Attempt to break off a few of the thickest strands, then close the hole back up.
The leaves are chopped fine to make teas or poultices. The roots are rinsed and brushed to remove all traces of mud. Cutting, chopping, crushing will all extract the copious slime inside the root. The juice oxidises very quickly, and should be protected or used immediately.
The juice can be mixed into cold cream for a wonderful skin protector. The tea is said to help with bone problems. Much has been said regarding liver toxicity; Greenpets shall abide and not recommend this internally, even if we use it in emergencies. Externally, this herb is magical in its ability to close even very bad wounds. Herein we discovered a great danger; closing up a wound with comfrey requires the utmost hygiene and wound sterility, or you close up the devil in the nunnery. It takes days for infection to show, the wound seals in hours; that festering puss gets grown closed before you realise what you have done. This was possibly the biggest disaster we ever had from using herbs. On the other hand, you won't believe the speed with which it seals a wound. The snotty sap from the roots makes a great addition to skin creams.