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Comfrey poultice for horses

Comfrey poultice for horses

The scientific name for comfrey is Symphytum, and it is of the Boraginaceae family. Typically, when someone speaks of using comfrey for medicinal reasons, they are often referring to Common or True Symphytum officinale Comfrey.

There are at least 21 named types of comfrey. Common or true comfrey Symphytum officinale has been in the United States since as far back as the s. True Comfrey typically has cream, yellow or purple flowers. Russian comfrey Symphytum uplandica is a hybrid that is often used for livestock feeding and often has purple, pink, red or blue flowers. Wild comfrey Symphytum Hidcote Blue is invasive and typically has blue flowers. Typically all species can be used interchangeably although livestock tend to prefer Russian comfrey.

Comfrey has been used for medicinal reasons for thousands of years. Historically, comfrey has been referred to as boneset or knitbone because of the curative properties in healing wounds ranging from sprains to broken bones.

Comfrey contains allantoin which is known to reduce inflammation and stimulate cell growth. Comfrey has also been used to treat other ailments including bronchitis and ulcers.

Because of this, you are strongly urged to use comfrey only externally and never on broken skin or open wounds. Historically, comfrey was used for medicinal purposes, but in modern times, it is thought by some to be toxic and regulated in several countries.

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In the s, research was done that showed comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have caused people to become ill when ingesting other plants that contain the substance. However, the plant was banned in from being used in supplements in the United States. Studies were done in other countries that showed rats died from eating comfrey; however, there were questions about the amount of comfrey they ingested.

While there are a number of people who stand by the results they see from using comfrey medically, the medical profession and the FDA have ruled that it presents a high risk. Comfrey is very easy to grow and will return year after year as a perennial in most zones It prefers full sun and soil with a pH of 6. To grow comfrey, you will want to begin with roots, crowns or live plants.

It will produce a small yield in the first year, with larger crops in each consecutive year. Plants will grow to about two feet tall, and while they do spread, they are not likely to take over your garden. It will take three to four years for a plant to reach full maturity. Comfrey is very resistant to both bugs and illness. When your comfrey plant is between one and two feet tall, you will want to cut the stalks about two inches above the ground.

Lay the plants to the side, out of direct sunlight while you gather all of them together.

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You should be able to pick another batch of comfrey leaves in between two to four weeks depending on your growing season and your weather. Because of this, we have a number of herbs growing around our property that I use for both culinary and medicinal purposes. One of my projects last summer was to learn how to use comfrey for arthritis pain.

One of the easiest ways to use comfrey for arthritis pain is to create a simple comfrey poultice. This poultice can be applied to the sore muscles or joint to help reduce inflammation.

Note that comfrey should not be used for more than ten days in a row according to the FDA for safety reasons. To create a poultice, you will need the following materials:. Mash the comfrey leaves using a heavy wooden spoon or pestle until it has formed a thick paste.Last Updated on October 23, Several weeks ago I fell and broke my collarbone. Falling and getting hurt is one of my biggest fears when living with multiple sclerosis MS. There have been times that fear was overwhelming. It becomes paralyzing making it fearful to take a step.

Thinking about it, I can still feel the fear.

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I live in a household with an indoor cat and dog and two outdoor cats as mousers. We live in a rural area with more mice and ground squirrels than people. Our pets love being around us and follow us everywhere we go. The outdoor cats even come out to greet us when we are pulling into our driveway.

Having MS, I always worried about tripping over one of our pets. Do all pets do this? Or are mine trying to trip me? Unfortunately, not this time.

I tried catching my balance but down I went. Right on top of my dog, he turned yelping and my face smacked into his very HARD head then hit the floor landing on my shoulder. I felt like I got punched in the face. There was blood pouring out of my mouth. At first, I thought I lost a tooth but it turned out to be my lip.

It split open, so off to the emergency room we went. As the doctor was stitching up my lip he asked if I hurt anywhere else. I told him my shoulder was sore so they took a few x-rays. This time the pain was nothing like before so I thought it was sore from landing on it. I left the hospital looking like I was in a fistfight. I had five stitches on my lip, a bruised face, and my arm in a sling.The nearest we can tell from the kids' fuzzy retelling is that she hyperextended her knee while standing on the trampoline.

Apparently they weren't even jumping at the time. We took her to our family doctor and he wasn't overly concerned but since she can't walk on it he scheduled us to see an ortho-something specialist this week.

We are blessed that this was our first "emergency" trip to the doctor in our almost 9 years of having children.

comfrey poultice for horses

In the meantime I've been applying comfrey poultices everyday, trying to work some herbal magic on her ligaments. Can't be certain to the extent it's working however she's had very little pain and almost no swelling.

How to Use a Comfrey Poultice to Heal a Broken Bone

But she still can't put much weight on it and since we hike so vigorously I want to make sure everything's ok, so we're off to specialist regardless. Since it's so early in the growing season I cleaned out my comfrey patch in one day treating her knee. Thankfully a friend, who I got the transplants from last year, has a lot so I cleaned out her patch next. I washed and dehydrated the leaves to have an easy supply.

Fresh is best but not always easy to access.

comfrey poultice for horses

Comfrey is SO easy to grow. I recommend it as one of the first things to grow in your yard, especially if you have little kids who can be prone to injuries. Comfrey, together with plantain which is no doubt growing like a weed in your lawn already, are a good start to an herbal first aid garden.

I am an affiliate for both. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a very small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation. You and I both know HOW much my kids are always hurting themselves. I'm thinking I may need a field. Thanks very much for this simple recipe. I am about to make some up to put on my horse's strained knee.

Here's to hoping it helps! This is my first year planting comfrey. I'll try this recipe. Thanks for sharing with us.

I've used plantain for years. I am not sure how much comfrey is absorbed via the skin, however you need be very careful with comfrey and not take internally. It is a very toxic herb for the liver and can kill!

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Choosing the Best Poultice for your Horse

Anonymous on May 12,p. Rosanne on April 21,a. Anonymous on Aug. Anonymous on Feb. You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form. All Content Search. Monthly Archives.Even today, years after pyrrolizidine alkaloids were found and identified in Comfrey aka Symphytum officinaleherbalists continue to recommend its use.

A few years ago, after I had commented on an online site about the dangers of using Comfrey, a well-known animal herbalist called me on the phone. Comfrey can kill. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are very toxic to the liver and are also carcinogenic cause cancer.

The way that they work is by blocking small blood vessels in the liver. This leads to cirrhosis and eventually liver failure. In humans, use of comfrey for as little as 5 days in children or 19 days in adults has resulted in severe liver damage and death. Even long term use of very small doses can be harmful, as the damage is cumulative and the damage is irreversible. Generally speaking, the root has higher levels of these molecules than the leaves.

What about topical skin use? Pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be absorbed through the skin as well. Also, the analytical method used to assay these compounds is a bit unreliable.

Both the leaves and the roots of Comfrey have been shown to cause cancer. Rats fed Comfrey 0.

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What is most often labeled as symphytum officianale is actually symphytum uplandica. Wild comfrey symphytum officianale is a smaller plant with yellow flowers, produces seeds, and should not be eaten.

The hybridized comfrey that is big, tall and has blue or purple flowers was cultivated specifically to be eaten as a green at the dinner table by the entire family with the alkaloids being bred out of the leaf almost, if not entirely.

It will not produce seeds. I would never ingest comfrey root of any kind, considering the high amounts of poison in it.

I got a lovely comfrey starter at a seed plant exchange in Taos. I use it for my chickens, horses and dogs.


I make a crushed compound with coconut oil and use topically. While I understand that it does have the potential to be toxic, for rats.

comfrey poultice for horses

I have not seen any negative responses from my animals. They look for it. Not just rats. It is just an opinion. I do BOTH.

Common Uses For Comfrey Plus An Arthritis Pain Recipe

My dogs, ASD, live longer than average and do not have fleas.For centuries, poultices have been used on horses to relieve soreness and inflammation. Generally consisting of clays that help reduce swelling or draw out infections, they often contain medication or herbs to improve effectiveness. Basically, a poultice consists of a soft, moist material that is applied to the affected area, and can have a cooling or warming effect depending on the ingredients and how they are applied.

Cold therapy poultices helps to reduce pain and minimise swelling and the trend is to use this as a preventative treatment after exercise. These can be cooled in the fridge before applying. The poultice is then covered with a damp cloth or damp brown paper, to retain the cooling effect, before bandaging. While there are many commercially produced poultices and clays, that are great for the time-poor horse owner, the tried-and-true methods of using herbs and other readily available produce are still well recognised and used today.

A poultice is therefore a moist, often heated application for the skin to treat inflamed areas, improve circulation and draw pus or invasive matter.

A bucket, Epsom salts, bran, hot not boiling water, the corners of hessian bags are ideal to make a hoof poultice, but are difficult to find these days so substitute hessian with an old tee shirt, tea towel or similar material, and a bandage. Add approximately 2 heaped tablespoons of Epsom Salts to litres of hot water and dissolve, then add bran until you have a moist firm consistency like thick porridge.

For a suspected abscess or inflammation apply the poultice to the sole of the affected hoof, including up over the coronet if needs be. Pack well, then place the hoof into the hessian corner or similar, apply the bandage around the lower cannon bone, then down over the fetlock, securing the hessian in place.

The horse should be kept in a yard or a stable, poulticed overnight, removed in the morning. It may need to be re-applied over nights until all the necrotic or infected material is drawn out. Cabbage : Drawing and soothing, anti inflammatory. Chop or grate, boil lightly in a little water, add bran or similar to bind then apply. For painful breast feeding in humans a whole cabbage leaf over the breast gives rapid relief.

This would apply to mares when foals are weaned as well and you can give them sage tea orally, cups a day, to dry their milk up more quickly. Poultice can be applied warm or cold.

Carrot : Drawing and soothing. Grate carrot, do not discard any of the juice. Some endurance riders use carrot or cabbage poultices immediately after an endurance race to bring rapid relief and a faster recovery to the horse. Apply warm or cold. Castor oil : A powerful drawing poultice. Bruise the leaves of Castor Oil plant widespread weed, common in wasteland and apply. A rub can be made from 2 parts castor oil and 1 part apple cider or wine vinegar — massage twice daily to aid in the reduction of topical tumours, some skin conditions like ringworm and mange.

Apply as a warm poultice. Comfrey : To assist in rapid healing. Comfrey will reduce splints inflammation of the interosseous ligament and the splint bone if applied whilst the splint is still active. First ask your vet to make sure you have no breaks or fractures. Grate or boil, retaining all fluid for use in poultice. Use as a warm or cold poultice.To create this article, 21 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 8, times.

Learn more A comfrey poultice will help heal fractured or broken ribs in as little as two weeks, and fractured or broken limbs in as little as three. In this article you will learn how to prepare this poultice, how to apply it, and be able to address an emergency of this type should you have no immediate access to urgent medical attention.

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Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Explore this Article methods. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Co-authored by 21 contributors Community of editors, researchers, and specialists October 10, The comfrey itself is the only thing requiring a little effort to attain, but preparation time takes no more than 8 minutes once you learn the procedure with everything on hand. This age old remedy comes in quite handy.

Using this same herb that can be readily purchased online if not available through your local health food storewhen applied 3 times daily, has a comforting warmth and heals the wound quickly much like the miraculous medicinal qualities of Aloe Vera. Method 1 of Evaluate the size of the area that needs to be wrapped.Poultices have been used for healing over thousands of years; in fact, we can consider poultices to be one of the earliest forms of topical medicine.

The most popular poultice used throughout history is mud.

comfrey poultice for horses

The ancient Egyptians used honey, tree resin, meat and lard for poultices. The early Chinese dynasties used herbs and foods like carrots, bran, mustard, capsicum, opium, and ginger.

American Indians made poultices from clays, and added plants including onions, pumpkins, bloodroot and red clover. Poultices assist the flow of debris out of an injured area, they can help increase circulation, and the clays like smectite can help remove excess fluid. This allows fresh tissue fluid to circulate into the area, bringing protective blood cells, nutrients, and oxygen to the site.

Most modern commercially available poultices are made with clay. However, not all clays are alike.

Q&A: Using comfrey

They also do not all work the same. Some clays absorbwhile other clays adsorb, and some clays do both. Clays with absorbing properties expand when wet. They act like a sponge to soak up toxins. Common absorbing clay are green Illite clay, red Moroccan clay, sea clay, bentonite clay, and kaolin clay. Clays with adsorbing properties contain molecules that adhere to the surface of another substance.

In essence adsorbing clays act like a magnet, pulling positively charged toxins to them. Not all clays are alike.

Some clays absorb, while other clays adsorb, and some clays do both. Traditionally, poultices are made by hand. Modern poultices have become commodities that are mass-produced and blended in stainless steel industrial mixers. Clays with adsorbing properties the smectite clay family including bentonite have an electromagnetic charge that will act on the metal.

This reduces the action of the clay when applied to skin. Metal does not render the clay useless, but it does reduce the osmotic benefits. The right combination of essential oils or herbs can augment the healing process of an injury and be more beneficial than clay alone.

If you need stronger anti-inflammatory or anti-bacterial effects then choose a poultice that combines clay with therapeutic essential oils and plants. Many premixed commercial poultices for horses provide a single clay, such as bentonite or kaolin.

However, bentonite or kaolin clay can be blended with an absorbing clay like sea clay, Moroccan clay or French green clay to increase the anti- inflammatory and rejuvenating properties these clays provide.