I did something really stupid. I got distracted whilst cutting greens yesterday morning and almost cut off the tip of my finger.  Ouch, ouch, owieeeeee!

Hurt like the dickens and bled like crazy!  Luckily, here on the homestead,  we have comfrey on hand for first aid treatments.

Comfrey contains allantoin, a compound that helps heal wounds. Apply fresh, washed and bruised leaves directly to wounds as a poultice, or as a paste of powdered leaves.

It’s easy to make your own herbal poultice

How to Make Your Own Herbal Poultice

–Pick a handful of your desired herb (leaf and/or flower) and either massage and break the herb up with your fingers or chop it finely on a cutting board or in a food processor — or for a real old-school method, chew on it and spit it out (though probably best if you’re going to use this one on yourself, of course. To avoid the ick factor).

–Apply the plant material directly to the wound, scrape or irritated area.  If you like, you can wrap a cloth around the poultice to keep it in place.

–Keep it there. For minor issues I might leave the plant material on for 20 minutes, but for more serious issues I will keep it on for many hours or until healing is complete. To keep the poultice strong, I might add in fresh herbs every hour or so.

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I fear I won’t be playing guitar any time soon, typing this post is certainly a challenge one finger short.   But I am very lucky to still have my fingertip.

Readers, do you grow your own herbs for “first aid” and if so, which are your favorite?

Always, remember to check with your Doctor first before trying any herbs that might infer with your medications.

:: Resources ::

Herbal & Natural Poultices

Herbal Poultices for Wounds


  1. Paul Badon says:

    Blood ,Sweat and Tears, are seasoning in this salad we call life.

  2. Jeni Vandall says:

    This year I have really taken a leap into the herb world! I have many herbs I am trying out for the first time. I have some Comfrey seeds planted in my little makeshift greenhouse. Now I just have to wait to see if they sprout. Any secrets you have on getting it to start from seed?

    Sorry about your finger that is not good when you’re a farmer to be down a finger. I hope it heals quickly!

  3. Ginger says:

    I hope you feel better soon.

    We’ve used comfrey for years. My MIL used it to heal a terrible steam burn that my then 14-year-old SIL got at the family restaurant. I’ve used it to reverse skin cancer leisions. And zillions of other things.

    • Nebraska Dave says:

      Anais, sorry to hear about your boo boo. Finger injuries just seem to get in the way of everything. Don’t they? I can see how making a blog entry would be a real challenge. Comfrey for healing, huh. Does it have to be fresh or can it be dried to work? I hope and pray that your finger heals quickly. Isn’t it amazing how the plant world has such healing qualities. We should all learn more about the properties of the plant world. Thanks for the information about Comfrey.

      Have the best day that you can.

  4. Glenda says:

    Been there – done that with both a knife and a mandolin slicer. I will keep you in my prayers. It takes but a split second and the blood is gushing everywhere.

    Comfrey is wonderful for healing when used in a poultice.The root can be used externally and works great. The leaves make a good tea.

    We grow quite a number of herbs in our garden, including Comfrey. I enjoy planting a wide variety of herbs in our yard; both for natural insect control and for human use.

  5. Sarah S says:

    Hope you heal quickly, been there, done that, too!!

    I grow ST. Johnswort, tinctured in olive oil I use in salves to heal burns, skin irritations, and combined with a few drops of lavendar essential oil, a rub to help calm tendonitis, fibromyalgia, ect. Awesome herb.

    Lavendar and calendula for skin.

    Catnip, lemon balm, hops and valerian for sleep pillows and teas for nerves or sleeplessness.

    Lots of mints for flavoring, stomache ailments, and a wake up when I need to feel sharp without caffiene.

    Echinacea for immune system.

    Highly recommend Rosemary Galdstar’s herbal books. Studied with her in Vermont, wonderful, wise woman.

    Best, Sarah

  6. Janice says:

    Ouchy!!! I pray you will heal quickly!

    Bee propolis tincture helps disinfect and stop the blood flow. Do you use the propolis from your hives?

    hope you feel better soon!

  7. Chris V says:

    Ouch! Ouch! I don’t know how you managed to type this post with that kind of big boo-boo. Once again, great info for novices like me. I have comfrey in the garden and other various herbs that my belated friend taught me to plant, but she passed before showing me what to do with many of them (marshmellow, caldendula, yarrow). I knew some of the stuff from my lavender, mint, etc. and she did teach me about comfrey. Thanks to all of the posters for the various info on the healing power of herbs. Special thanks, Anais, for the poultice info. Great stuff. I wanted to share that Sophie taught me that when you plant a tree (like my Montmorency cherry, elderberry) always plant comfrey next to it or quite nearby.

    • kj says:

      Hi Chris,
      May I ask the reasoning behind planting comfrey near your trees? I have not heard of that before.

      • Meredith says:

        Comfrey is a nutrient accumulator. It brings up an enormous amount of nutrients from very deep in the ground, and stores them in its leaves. It also makes a very large amount of green matter above ground which re-grows very quickly. Some people plant them near baby trees, and then periodically lop them off and drop the tops on the ground, creating extremely high nutrient mulch which the tree can use. In addition, all that nutrient-rich green matter dies back in fall (well maybe not in CA) and mulches the ground. It’s blossoms also attract A LOT of pollinating insects, which would also pollinate the nearby tree.

  8. kj says:

    Hi Anais,
    Sorry about your finger, I too have done that – more times than I would like! I too use Comfrey – fresh when available and I harvest and dry it for winter use – just reconstitute in warm water when needed; the same goes for plantain, which is also great for burns. Mullein is also very helpful not only for cuts and scraps but I also dry it and use it in tea in the winter for congested coughs and can also use it as a poultice. All 3 of these herbs are usually readily available, especially plantain and mullein. I also try to keep aloe vera on hand. Lavender essential oil is wonderful for burns as well as headaches and to calm and soothe. I use herbs on a daily basis, fresh when in season, and dried throughout late fall and winter. I also use tinctures and have on hand essential oils for aromatherapy, especially in the winter – my favorite is orange and lemon which are known to kill airborne viruses – You don’t need to necessarily buy the tinctures, I use the fresh peels, twist them to get the oils to the surface, throw them in a pot of water and place it on top of the woodstove – smells great and helps clean the air….I also always keep on hand cayene pepper for wounds with excessive bleeding…these are just some of the things we use – hope they are helpful to you as well.

  9. britt says:

    To KJ, comfrey not only heals humans but helps transplant shock to plants as well is a good additive to compost teas recipies. Thats my thought on it. My 4 year old needed a place in our yard to garden and make “potions” and pretend brews for her “fairy, ladybug and bee friends”. So around our little fish pond we have scattered slate rock stepping stones and planted every new herb on the market we can find. Even a little rye grass between the rocks. She is in heaven makeing everyone taste stevia, and the 5 different mints we have. We have interspursed the herbs with some edible flowers and she happily sits for hours with her kitty offering her catnip and rye grass to roll around in watching honey bees take “her pollen presents”. I am the recipient of lavender cashes and flowers so sweet. Its the best boredome buster and on rainy days we look at seed catologs and herbal companion books and share our pipe dreams of paradise together. Here in the Tampa area we are blessed to grow year round and the pond is under the shade of a nice fig tree so the dreaded heat of summer still can’t quite murder them all and keeps the invasive herbs at bay.

  10. Luise says:

    I love comfrey, not only for healing, but also for eating the young leaves, compost tea and mulch. And the bees love the flowers!

    I grow a few other healing herbs in my garden: My first choice with wounds is always plantain (plantago major or lanceolata, not the banana :)) which stops the bleeding quickly, detoxifies and promotes healing.

    Another plant I also use a lot is yarrow (achillea millefolium). Fresh leaves for wounds (not for puncture wounds as it will heal the top so quickly that the deeper part is still open and might not heal well!) and the flower heads for tincture and tea (strong yarrow tea will chase away any sickness quickly! Flue will pass in two days sometimes!).

    Those are my favourites. 🙂

    Get well soon and have fun getting to know plantain and yarrow, every garden should have some!

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