Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various hairy perennial Eurasian herbs of the genus Symphytum, especially S. officinale, having variously colored flowers in coiled cymes and long used in herbal medicine. Also called healing herb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several species of perennial herbs of the genus Symphytum, often specifically Symphytum officinale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rough, hairy, perennial plant of several species, of the genus Symphytum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to several European and Asiatic plants of the genus Symphytum, natural order Boraginaceæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. perennial herbs of Europe and Iran; make rapidly growing groundcover for shaded areas
  • n. leaves make a popular tisane; young leaves used in salads or cooked

Etymologies

Middle English comferi, from Old French cumfirie, from Vulgar Latin *cōnfervia, from Latin cōnferva, from cōnfervēre, to boil together : com-, com- + fervēre, to boil; see fervent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin cumfiria; this was possibly from earlier Latin conferva, an aquatic herb mentioned in Pliny. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "It has come to the attention of the department of health that a herbal plant called comfrey is still being offered to the public as herbal tea or as an ingredient in foodstuffs, five years after the sale of this substance was banned," the health ministry said in a statement.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The health department warned consumers on Tuesday against a herbal tea made of a plant called comfrey which can cause cancer or chronic liver disorders.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Currently growing in her garden are fava beans, swiss chard, collard greens, basil, mint and comfrey.

    Jen and Aaron Pattap: WWOOFing: Off-the-Grid Living Tests Our Limits

  • If my face feels dry, I use a salve that a friend makes for me, consisting of olive oil and calendula, apricot kernal oil, comfrey, lavender and beeswax.

    The Colorful Garments Painted by Eugene de Blaas (1815-1894)

  • We are incredibly lucky with the friable, chocolatey soil we inherited from Mary's late husband Don to which we add biodynamic prep 500, cow manure mulch and regular dosings of comfrey and nettles.

    Get set, go

  • I took the last Baggie from the box and sprinkled comfrey and patchouli on the black dragon, following its coiled body with a trail of the herbs.

    Arcane Circle

  • Well, some folks like me grow our own comfrey and would grow ephedra if it grew here.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The FDA to Target Salt

  • Isolde had taken up a pestle to mix the comfrey and slippery elm into a paste, and she had to force her hand to relax its grip on the stone handle.

    Dark Moon of Avalon

  • Isolde took a pot of comfrey salve from the uppermost shelf.

    Dark Moon of Avalon

  • She took up the comfrey poultice and pressed the square of herb-saturated linen gently across the empty eye socket, then replaced the leather patch to hold it fast.

    Dark Moon of Avalon

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.