Make A Comfrey Poultice

A poultice is the application to an affected part of crushed herbs or other matter to assist healing. It is used to draw out infection and toxins, and to reduce inflammation - the poultice works by absorbing them, through the skin. In the process, nutrients may be introduced into the affected area as well.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), or 'Knitbone', as it is commonly called, is a well-known healing herb with an exceptional capacity to heal tissue and bone (it contains allantoin, which promotes the growth of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage, and is easily absorbed through the skin).

Some conditions for which a comfrey poultice may be useful:
Cuts, scrapes, burns, sprains, strains, fractures, swollen glands, ulceration of the skin, painful swelling, heat, and inflammation, arthritis, abscesses, bedsores, and more.

You can easily make your own poultices with fresh comfrey, or other herbs and natural ingredients.

1. You will need fresh comfrey leaves (quantity depends on size of area to poultice), clean untreated gauze or cheesecloth (long and wide enough to cover the affected area), a scissors or knife to cut up the leaves, boiling water, elastic bandage.

Figure 1

2. Cut the comfrey into shreds and pour a small amount of boiling water over them.

Figure 2


3. Let sit until comfrey is softened, its juices are released, and it is cool enough to handle.

Figure 3


4. Separate the layers of gauze, and place the softened comfrey on it, arranging it in the approximate shape and size needed for use.

Figure 4

5. Re-fold the layers of gauze, enclosing the comfrey.

Figure 5

6. Place the comfrey-filled gauze poultice in a bowl and add a small amount of hot water to bring it to comfortable warmth for application.

Figure 6

7. Apply the poultice to the affected area.

Figure 7

8. Wrap lightly with a stretch bandage to secure the poultice.

Figure 8

9. Leave the poultice in place overnight or for several hours throughout the day.

Figure 9

Tip: For times when hot water isn't available or time doesn't allow for shredding, place fresh whole leaves in gauze, crush well to release the juices (a firm squeezing, or crushing with a round rock or rolling pin on a firm surface would work well), and apply with wrap. A warm body or body part will provide its own warmth to the bandaged poultice. If the area is not bandage-able, comfrey paste or salve may be best.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace veterinary or medical advice. Always consult with your veterinarian or health care provider.