I have a serious question about using comfrey leaf as a bone knitter. I have read that it has been used as such. A dear friend of mine's husband broke his leg (compound fracture) in an explosion almost 2 years ago. He has had many surgeries and done therapy and all the rest. She just told me tonight that they will be going to another specialist next week and he is probably going to recommend another surgery to actually try and stimulate the healing process again, as he feels it has stopped. This may include scraping the bone to stimulate re-growth and healing or taking bone from his hip and putting it in the slot that hasn't seemed to have healed together as they thought it would. They are about to the end of any medical insurance and his employment will only hold his position through August of this year. So if he opts for another surgery it will be with NO weight baring for at least 3 months after that. He is on slight weight baring now, but in severe pain still. The break is just above his ankle. Would comfrey compresses help in this situation? And her other question was, there will probably be a high risk of infection to the bone with surgery, so could compresses be applied lower than the break and still be effective? At least until the skin healed enough to allow for compresses over the actual break? This has been a sad ordeal for their family. They own a farming business and the dh also works as a machinist. But he has already been denied any disability and they don't qualify for assistance due to the farming equipment they own. They are just trying to hold onto as much of their livelihood as possible, but it seems you can only get help if you have nothing. Any suggestions or ideas would be a wonderful help. RW
Could he wait to have surgery for a few weeks & try the comfrey instead? It seems to me that waiting a few more weeks to do surgery wouldn't change the outcome of the surgery but comfrey has so many stories of near miraculous healing for old injuries that wouldn't heal that it would be a good idea to give it a chance. I would use comfrey root & soak the foot & leg as long & as often as possible. He could use a canning kettle or something like that to soak in, he should have the coming WELL ABOVE the break because there is probably damage above as well. The joints, muscles, & ligaments are probably damaged as well because of lack of use & what little use they DO get he is standing & moving differently which puts unnatural strain on the leg. I once got a very bad sunburn on my lower legs that was so bad I couldn't bear to stand & I got 2 new trash cans the right size for my feet to fit in & tall enough to come to just below my knees & put the in comfrey in those to soak in, the plastic probably wasn't very good for me but it was the only thing I could find deep enough.
Dr. John Christopher has several good books that include stories of using his Bone, Flesh & Cartilage (BF&C) formula which contains: 6 parts oak bark, 3 parts marshmallow root, 3 parts mullein herb, 2 parts wormwood, 1 part lobelia, 1 part skullcap, 6 parts comfrey root, 3 parts walnut bark or leaves, & 3 parts gravel root to heal crushed & mangled bones.
His book Every Woman's Herbal says the following:
"One of the most outstanding examples of this formula's use came from a family whose father had really ridiculed Dr. Christopher. He was a businessman, but he liked to fuss with his automobiles. He had taken the motor out of a car, & hoisted it into the air. One of his daughters was playing down on the floor of the garage when something happened to the hoist & it came loose, dropping the car engine on this little girl, mashing her pelvic area & hips. The doctors told her father that the injury was too severe to do anything about. This man had heard about the BF&C formula, & he used it as a formentation over the entire area where it had been mashed. The particles went jelly-like over a week or two & then started to form. They formed the bones & the pelvic area came back identical to what it was before. As in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece went back into place. This girl went on to live a normal life."
Dr. Christopher started The School of Natural Healing which is now ran by his son, David. The phone # is: 1-800-372-8255. If you call them, they should be able to give you more info.
Get the book 10 essential herbs by Lalitha Thomas for more info about comfrey. This is one of my favorite herb books & a good beginners book- a good $15 investment in health.
If it were me I would use the BF&C formula as a soak as often & as long as possible although I think I would add more comfrey to it if. If I couldn't get the BF&C formula I would use comfrey root alone to soak as often & long as possible. I would also take the same mixture internally. It is not recommended to take comfrey internally but I have done so before w/out problems so I would be inclined to do it again. However, I am NOT recomending that anyone else take it internally, each person would need to study the issue & decide for themselves. I would definitely try this before undergoing more surgery, but again, that is just me & he will have to decide for himself. If he has the surgery he should be able to use the comfrey above & below the wound. If it is applied to the wound itself, he might be surprised at how quickly it heals because comfrey speeds cell regeneration. If he applies it to the wound, he MUST make sure there is no infection in it, comfrey can speed healing so much that it seals in infection.
The School of Natural Healing should be able to tell you where to get the BF&C formula in bulk form. Frontier Herbs will probably have the best price on powdered comfrey root in 1 lb bags. You can buy directly from them.
Below is a post that I made on another thread that I have slightly modified for this thread that explains a lot about comfrey, some of it's uses & how to use it. I hope this helps.
Comfrey works by speeding up cell regeneration so it very likely will help. It has a long history of healing even old injuries esp.broken bones. Comfrey herb is the green, top portion of the plant. The root is stronger than the herb & comes in little rock-like chunks or powdered. The powder is the easiest to use. Mix w/warm water-it will clump horribly at first but if you work it w/your fingers it will dissolve. To get the glop that sticks to your fingers off scrub w/net- a bag from onions works well. (The kind that's made from the same kind of net that bath scrubbers are made from, not the softer kind that looks like it's crocheted) If you can only get the herb make a STRONG tea out of it & don't strain it- it will be stronger if you leave the pieces in. The root chunks need to be simmered for 1/2 an hour or longer to soften them up. Comfrey is gooey & slimy- this is normal & the goo is the healing part. Soak as often & as long as you can. Adding pureed onion to it will help w/ swelling & treats bruises. My mom once fell outside on concrete steps. She was swollen & bruised to the hip & we're sure that her foot was broke. The first few days she didn't due anything to it because she thought it would get better on it's own. It didn't get better, if anything her foot was worse. I soaked comfrey herb in boiling water, added pureed onion, packed it around her foot & leg to the hip, wrapped everything in plastic, & left it for the night. It was messy but effective. By the next morning, the bruising was drastically reduced. We continued to soak her foot in comfrey herb a few x's a day for a couple of weeks & it healed beautifully. She did have a little bit of pain when she would wear one certain pair of heels for several hours-while dancing no less! (She's not a Christian & she was trying to get started managing bands at that time) That lasted for 6 months to a year & after that even that pair of shoes didn't bother it. It's been about 12 years & she hasn't had any problems with it since. Historically comfrey has been used internally for healing & my mom took it daily for over a year in a lung formula (her lungs had been horribly scarred in a house fire & she could barely breath) about 15 years ago with no apparent ill effects but it's not recommended for internal use. It is said that it can cause liver damage so you will have to research it & decide for yourself. Comfrey is a wonderful, healing herb & one that we always keep on hand. Using it the same way as above but chilling it before use (or adding ice to it) heals burns. Let us know how it goes. HTH~herbalmom
Edited to add 12/20/10 I can't believe that I forgot to add this before. (I posted it on another thread but forgot to add it to this thread)
Also, Dr. Christoper's original Bone, Flesh & Cartilage (B,F & C) formula is supposed to do wonders when taken in large quantities. Someone recently told me that her DD broke her arm & she had the girl take a handful of the pills each time it hurt. She ended up taking a bottle a day for a few days & then tapered down as the pain lessened. The arm was totally healed in 2 1/2 weeks. The original B,F & C does contain comfrey so you will have to decide for yourself whether to take it or not.
HTH Blessings ~herbalmom