We recently had our knives sharpened.

Not a good beginning to a blog post, huh?

A friend, who we’ll call Paul (to protect those who don’t want their name spread all over the internet) made the mistake of thinking our knives were their usual dull selves.

The resulting cut was not pretty.  It was probably stitch worthy.

We cleaned it first with yarrow tincture and then with lavender and tea tree essential oils.  It was still bleeding profusely and pressure wasn’t helping so we put the finger on ice (to constrict the blood vessels).

This slowed the bleeding a smidge.  Andrew gave Paul a combination of shepard’s purse and yarrow internally while I headed outside to see what our fledgling garden could offer.

A friend had dropped off a comfrey plant a few weeks back and I hadn’t had time to get it in the ground.  Instead I had shoved it in a big pot with a couple of other plants, gave it some water, and crossed my fingers.

True to form, comfrey had sprung back.

Every plant has a super-power and comfrey’s is regeneration.  One of its nicknames is “bone-knit.”

I first learned about comfrey in Ireland.  It is the European, and Eastern U.S.’s, equivalent to arnica which only grows in the southwest.

You have to be careful with comfrey because it can pull skin together so quickly that the outer layer re-knits while the  inner layers are still split, which can lead to an abscess.  Whenever a cut is deep and I am using comfrey, I drip comfrey tea inside the cut instead of just applying to the outside.

In this case, comfrey was just the thing.  We mashed it a bit, wrapped it around Paul’s finger, then put it back on ice.  The bleeding slowed down and after a little while, we were able to band-aid the comfrey leaf around Paul’s finger and put the ice pack back in the freezer.

Comfrey is ridiculously easy to grow.  It can be a bit invasive so plan to harvest often!


  • If you don’t have a comfrey plant on hand, use a strong comfrey tea.
  • My favorite salve combo:  comfrey, calendula, and plantain.

Share a comfrey story below!