The Book of Comfrey

Chapter 2



Comfrey is a very economical addition to your pet-family's or your livestock's diet. Once the plant is established it will be a dependable, re-occurring food source. It is a good source of nutrients. Many grazing animals and some fowl enjoy it. Comfrey is considered a nutritious, low maintenance, handy and free addition and supplement to a variety of animal diets.

Some of the domestic animals that may benefit from and enjoy Comfrey added to their diet are: chickens, cows, pigs, goats, horses, rabbits. The use of Comfrey is always controversial, even within the animal population, so do your research and consult your veterinarian before introducing Comfrey into the diets of animals that are in your care. 

*Consult your veterinarian to see if Comfrey is a good choice, for your livestock or Pet Family member. They will also be able to advise you of the correct feeding directions such as; consistancy (Fresh or dried leaves), amounts, frequency and what feed mixture (if applicable) to combine it with.


3-1) Comfrey Tea Fertilizer:

A liquid plant food called "Comfrey Tea" can be made from the plant by putting the leaves and stems in a jar, or container, adding water and leaving the concoction sit until it rots into a stinky mess. Depending on the size of the container and how strong you want it, it can take a week to several weeks to to ripen. Once ready the fertilizer should be diluted with fresh water to make it less potent and to extend its quantity. It is often just called "Comfrey Tea" but I prefer "Comfrey Tea Fertilizer", to clearly distinguish it from being confused with being a  "Medicinal Herbal Tea". They are two very different drinks indeed and we do not want any mix ups about what "this" tea is intended for. This fertilizer concoction will have the properties of the vitamins and minerals which Comfrey is famous for pulling

from the ground. Most plants and trees do not have rots that reach these vitamins and minerals so  the fertilizer tea provides a good delivery system.

Once done "simmering", depending on how many leaves/stems are used, you may need to dilute it with water three to four times so that the strength does not burn the roots of the plant it is applies to.

3-2) Soil Amender: 

Comfrey is an excellent for improving the condition of soil. There are several components to this phenomena. The first is that once mature the lateral roots reach deep into the ground, reportedly 8 to 10 feet. ( I personally have never dug one that deep - but would love to see that. ) At these depths the roots are able to reach vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are not accessible to other plant life. The roots draw these components to the surface to nourish its own system of stems and leaves. In doing so it also nourishes the ground around it.

Second, when the Comfrey leaves are left on the plant and the normal growth cycle is left to play out the leaves will die and fall to the ground. As the season progresses the leaf matter, which is composed of the nutrients pulled from deep below the ground, decay into the soil depositing their rich attributes. When left to play out the soil only gets richer and richer, The quality of this improved soil can be seen and felt. 


3-3) Green manure: 

is another form  

3-4) Compost Activator:


3-5) Companion Plant:

One of Comfrey's many uses is as a companion plant in flower gardens and in orchards. Because of Comfrey's ability to deliver valuable vitamins and minerals, unattainable by other plants, from deep within the ground gardeners and orchardist strategically plant Comfrey beside and among the plants/trees in their flowerbeds and orchard. The soil around the companion plants is also enriched when the plant is left untouched and allowed to wilt and decay forming on site green manure. The companion plant offers the convenience of fertilizing the plant without the work of repeatedly transporting matter to the site.



4-1) Vase and Hand Held Bouquets:

A few stems of Comfrey flowers make a beautiful addition to your wild flower bouquet. Just a few. Leave the bulk for the bees and other insects and pollinators that depend on them for their nectar.

4-2) Garden/Ground Cover:

Comfrey, which grows to about 3 feet tall makes an excellent ground cover or an attractive addition to a flower garden or a pollinator garden. It is beneficial both in visual and soil health aspects. If used as a back boarder in a flower garden leave a path to get to it, it will need to be trimmed several times during the season or it will droop and fall on near by plants, or at the very least look messy (If it is in a place where visual appearance matters). Leaves will get white mildew spots which do not bother other plants, but will need to be cut back to allow for a tidy appearance and new growth. Mildew happens to all Comfrey plants and just provides a signal to you that it is time for a trim. 



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