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      12.02.2007 01:30
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      Advantages

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      Liquid fertilizer is one of the best, but its got a certain smell

      My herb reviews seem to be going down really well so ill keep on posting them.

      Comfrey - Symphytum officinale

      Comfrey is one of the most useful plants in the herb garden, both medicinal and used as liquid manure for the garden, I personally use comfrey for the liquid manure for my allotment.

      ***The Plant***

      The plant Comfrey is native to Europe and Asia, and was introduced to America. The plant is known by many names which include Saracens Root, Knitbone, and Bruisewort to name a few. The plant has been thought to have been brought to England by the Crusaders who had discovered it healing agents; the secretions are strong enough to be used as a bone setting plaster which gave it the nickname of Knitbone. The leaves have bristly hairs on them and the flowers grow in a cluster.

      (See Picture)

      ***Cultivation***

      Sow the seeds in autumn and place in a cold frame. Be prepared for a shock though as germination can take between 3 and 20 weeks!

      I personally use root cuttings myself which I take in the spring, as any piece of the root left in the soil will root and grow and produce another plant. I also divide the plant which also gives me more plants.

      Comfrey likes a moist soil in full sun or in the partial shade. It loves clay soil which is handy for my soil. Be warned the plant is very hard to move once established as the plant has a very long tap root. Comfrey is happy to grow in containers, and the different species of comfrey can grow between 10 inches to 3 foot in height and about 2 foot in width.

      Comfrey is a hardy perennial.

      ***Medicinal***

      Comfrey has started to get a lot of attention over the last few years, not just as a healing herb but also a source of Vitamin B.

      The plant has around the same protein as Soya beans.

      Researches are looking into it Allantoin properties which stimulates the growth on new cells.

      Also used as on varicose ulcers and a compress on varicose veins, and helps to heal minor burns.

      ***Other Use***

      The leaves boiled produce a golden yellow fabric dye. Comfrey is used in racehorse feed to help cure laminitis, and septic sores on animals.

      ***Culinary***

      The leaves and roots where used as a vegetable or mixed in salads, But I have done a bit of research and you should only eat if been told to by a qualified herbalist.

      ***WARNING***

      It is reported that serious liver damage can be caused it using a large amount over a long time, and skin contact can cause a skin rash, so use gloves as I do when handling the plant.

      ***Liquid Manure***

      I grow Comfrey for its liquid feed properties on my organic allotment, as it is high in potassium.

      Place around 14 LB of fresh cut leaves into a 20 gallon plastic water butt. Fill the water butt up and cover with the lid to block out the light. In about a month a clear liquid can be used.

      Ill tell you the liquid stink's BIG TIME, but this does have its advantage as it seems to keep pests away. The liquid can be used on Tomatoes, onions, gooseberries, and beans and all other potash loving crops.

      Another way to get the liquid feed without the strong smell,

      Remember to place it somewhere dark.

      Get an old 3litre plastic bottle and cut the bottom off. Keep the lid but drill a good size hole in it and place it back on the bottle. Place the leaves in the bottle and put half a brick on top of the leaves to weigh it down.

      Then turn the bottle upside down so the lid is facing down and place something to catch the liquid that will come of the leaves, I use a old milk carton. You should start to get a black mixture in about 3 weeks. Store in a screw top bottle and dilute it 1 part black liquid to 40 parts water.

      Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.

      Tashi Delek (May everything be well)

      enlightened_one © 2007

      ******

      These are recommended sites and I am on, This is my 3rd years membership, I pay £30 works out at £2.50 a month

      If you join and become a member of the site below

      www.gardenorganic.org.uk - Henry Doubleday Site

      Annual fee

      Standard £26

      Family £30 2 adults & 2 children

      Concessionary £18 pensioner, student, unwaged, registered disabled

      Concessionary couple £20 pensioner, student, unwaged, registered disabled

      You get 10% of your orders here

      Annual fee £16 a year (£12 with Garden Organic membership)

      www.organiccatalog.com - for organic seeds - Heritage Seed Library (HSL)

      Also on Ciao

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