NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)  (Read 4542 times)


  • Joined May 2009
Some of our horses have a respiratory ailment and the leaves of this plant (Common Comfrey) alleviate the symptoms, given fresh.   I’ve planted some seeds, but it will take a few months.   Does anyone have some growing in the Guildford, Surrey area – happy to cut /collect.   They don’t need a lot – just a handful a day for a few days – Thank you.
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  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 05:56:47 pm »
I have friends in your area who may be able to help.  Mike goes shooting and may have friends with land growing comfrey on it.
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Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 11:09:02 am »
I have loads growing but far to far away to be any help


  • Joined Jan 2009
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Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 02:07:12 pm »
hi as others say plenty growing around pennies worth....take care when handling it - it is also should only be used on a short term basis, and the roots should never be given to horses.

You prob already know this ...but worth mentioning anyway.
Emma x
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 08:52:08 pm »
I didn't know comfrey was carcinogenic. Oor hens love it and I'm sure Russ uses it as a regular feed as it is high in minerals. What about its use as a fertilizer? Is that safe?


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Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009, 09:45:34 pm »
internal use is banned in the US by recommendation by the FDA. However I have read many many reports on studies of comfrey , yet I have not read one that can confirm without question or doubt , any illness disease or death due to liver failure or ANY CANCER. There have been a couple of cases of people who ate and drank vast quantities of comfrey , who got liver disease. These cases were however questionable as to the cause of the liver disease. They had other problems that were more likely to cause it, than was comfrey. I have seen many direct reports of animals fed huge amounts of comfrey , due to it's high protein content 22%, who when killed at the abattoir , had no signs of any liver disease at all . It does contain certain chemicals that are questionable , of that there is little doubt , but these are in very small amounts. I doubt that the Henry Doubleday Research Association would continue to sell it , if they thought there was any chance of it being deadly. Obviously everyone has to make their own minds up on this sort of thing , but anything is bad for you in to high quantity , salt for one .. but try to cut salt out of your diet altogether and you will most likely die of too little......Water ...drink to much in one go and you can die of that , try to live without it though !!!!! Until there is conclusive PROOF of any death or risk of it, or even risk of ill health , I will continue to use it. This doesn't mean I will not accept any proof of such death or illness, just that I have NOT seen ANY so far.   Over the last 200 years (recorded) people have used (eaten , drunk and applied) comfrey  for all sorts of health problems , not ONE case of death due directly to comfrey has been proved (as far as I know ,anybody know different ?????). The numbers of people who have used it , must be well into the hundreds of thousands in that time , if not millions. I think I know what statistics I will follow on this one. That does not mean that I think everyone should use it without question !!! Each and every one should make up their own mind after doing their own research ( not just following word of mouth ) Anyone reading this can do the research , just google it  !!!!!! it is all out there. I must admit I got fed up reading the same thing again and again , it might do this , it might do that , if taken in large enough amounts in certain conditions etc etc....all I want is proof ... there is none so far, just supposition , if buts and maybe's. My view on this must be obvious , but it is MY VIEW , and I urge anyone unsure or whatever, to check it out, before eating , drinking or applying to skin or feeding to stock. Use of it in compost , can be done without any worries or thoughts at all though .  I continue to use it for myself and my stock , the air we breath has most likely got more poison in it than comfrey has , but I can't hold my breath for the next however many years I have left !!!! ::) ;D Not having any digs or throwing any wobblies on this subject ( as if I would anyway ????) just putting my point forward.




  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sick Horse Needs Fresh Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 10:17:04 am »
I must admit, I'm with you on this, Russ. But I was a little concerned although I hadn't seen anything previously about comfrey being dangerous.


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