Seed Swaps

Comfrey for Bruising

04 Jan 2012
Cloudy 32°C / 90°F

While knowing that comfrey was used for bruising, I had never tried it because, well its a BRUISE and I couldn’t be bothered.

Christmas Eve I took the pup out to the backyard after dinner and he wanted to play. So there I am in the barely lit garden, chasing him around (his favourite game) when all of a sudden I’m flying…briefly. Fortunately I missed the ceramic laundry trough the water chestnuts are in, but unfortunately I didn’t miss the single short section of concrete path. My arm took most of the fall, but not all of it as I reflexively protected my head.

After icing for an hour, the bump on my brow ridge was still sore and my eye was darkening rather dramatically. For over half a century of falls and knocks I’ve managed to neither break a bone nor get a black eye, until now. Next day it didn’t look too bad, so I ignored it, but it got blacker, more swollen and the bruising was still spreading over the next two days. OK, here finally is a bruise I had trouble ignoring so bring on the comfrey.

I pasted several comfrey leaves in a mortar and pestle, stuck the mass in the cut off toe of a thin sock, tied it up and held it in place with a sleep mask at night. The results have been dramatic. The bruising started reversing, shrinking in size and leaving only a faint yellowing as it went. None of the usual healing bruise stages of green and vivid yellow occurred.

On the nights when I had trouble sleeping and didn’t have the poultice in place for as long, the healing was less obvious the next day. When I was able to keep it in place longer, the bruising next day was more noticeably decreased. The accompanying swelling went down faster than I usually heal, though possibly black eyes do heal faster than other bruises?

I kept the poulticing up for about a week and stopped when all that could be seen is a fingerprint sized black spot below the eye. I’m curious to see how long it will take for that to go on its own. So far, it seems that there is a slow change over several days, much like I ordinarily heal from bruising.

While the bruise healed much more rapidly with the comfrey, I didn’t notice that it had much effect on the bump which is still there and still sore. Also, the bit of eyebrow I ‘shaved’ off on the concrete doesn’t seem to be regrowing any faster than it would ordinarily.

What caused the fall (besides stupidity)? I tripped over the poor little Davo! Must put a tree guard back around it as the tiny new growth is not visible at night and the 10 cm of trunk blends too well into the mulch.


1) Back Yard East Side Garden comfrey
2) Now a bit easier to see
3) Two days after, when I decided comfrey was worth trying. The ‘after’ photo looks just like this, but no bruise!



Oh no!

Posted on 05 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

Hope you feel better, soon.

Posted on 05 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)


Folia Helper


it sounds like it worked. ok with seven kids someone will be getting a bruise. and we will try it thanks for the a solar lite next to the tree it should work.

Posted on 05 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

I’m fine now. I think the shock of it was the worst part. I was running towards the two floodlights and couldn’t see my own feet (apparently!).

I haven’t had much success with rue ointment for bruising, so really wasn’t expecting fresh comfrey to work so well.

Posted on 05 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

I love comfrey. You can also take these leaves and freeze them in ice cube trays. These are good for burns too. I’m glad you didn’t get hurt worse!

Posted on 08 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

Thanks for the tip, Fhaith! Funny you should mention burns. Tonight when I discoverd too late that the potholders were put back wet, did I drop the loaf of bread coming out of the oven, or did I reflexively catch the hot tin with the inside of my wrist? Hmm. An ice cube of comfrey would have been handy tonight. I’m curious to see how much of the blistering the comfrey will sort out by morning.

Posted on 08 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

Well, I must say I’m impressed with comfrey for burns, too. I iced the area for a good hour, added smashed comfrey leaf and wrapped it on with some plastic wrap, which was all I could find without banging around in the bathroom (the house, excluding me was asleep at the time). I don’t know how much of the immediate pain reduction was from the comfrey or just the exclusion of air, but it was an immediate relief.

Today I couldn’t believe it was the same burn. There is the sort of healing I would have expected to take a good 4-5 days. And to think I’ve been ‘wasting’ this stuff on my garden!

Posted on 09 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

Wow – that’s a doozy! I’m sorry to hear about your injuries, but it’s neat that you’re growing such a great remedy!

Posted on 23 Jan 12 (about 6 years ago)

Redloon, I am quite taken with the remedy and think the frozen pulped leaf like Fhaith suggests would be a great thing to have on hand. It would be handy when in the middle of cooking and the unexpected happens. Both ice and remedy, in one.

Posted on 23 Jan 12 (about 6 years ago)

I’ve been thinking of growing comfrey as a compost input, and now here’s another reason to grow it! Preparing comfrey pulp ice cubes for as-needed use does sound like a great idea.

Posted on 25 Jan 12 (about 6 years ago)

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