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    Comfrey: part 1 | part 2Herbs & Symbolism

    comfrey flower
    Comfrey flower

    Astrology and Health
    the herb: comfrey

    A Herb of Saturn

    Culpeper provides the rulership of Comfrey as:

    This is a herb of Saturn, and I suppose under the sign Capricorn.
    The Saturnine nature of comfrey is readily reflected by its preference for growing in dark, shady places that are cool and damp. The leaves of the plant are rough from numerous stiff hairs, while the veins of the leaf have a blackish tinge that produces a characteristic shadowy complexion to the plant's foliage. Though the plant can endure sunny locations, the sheer intensity of its growth in a few seasons soon produces a dense thicket. The concentration of foliage within such a thicket rapidly creates a sombre darkness in the shadow of which few other plants flourish.

    It is notable in this connection that one of the ancient folk names of the plant was blackewoort.

    comfrey, a saturnine herb
    Comfrey, from Gerard's Herbal, 1633.

    Speeds the Healing Process

    Saturn rules the roots, which delve down into the earth, providing foundation and stability to the aerial parts of a plant. The roots too are the part of the plant that endures when cold and darkness rule the depths of winter.

    Accordingly, comfrey develops notably strong roots, so that its unrestrained growth once established make the plants hard to dig out of the ground. Many a gardener must have cursed the plant when they have tried to reclaim their garden again! However its foliage very quickly rots down to form an excellent black compost, so that harvesting the leafy stems may be a less arduous solution to the problem of digging out a comfrey patch. Saturn is of course linked to death and decomposition.


    The predominant use of comfrey through the centuries has been as a vulnerary [L. Vulnus = a wound] remedy. Its use for healing wounds and injuries of all kinds, in particular the mending of broken bones, has been established since classical times. This explains one of the herb's lesser known names - knitbone. From a pharmacological perspective comfrey contains the substance allantoin which is known to stimulate cell production in the repair of connective tissue, bone and cartilage in the body, thereby speeding up the healing of damaged tissues.  It is also noteworthy that the plant contains significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus the very minerals needed in the composition of bone which also must contribute to the plant's specific healing action on bones.

    Saturn traditionally rules the bones in the body. Where the bones have become broken or lose their integrity, then this can be seen as the influence of Saturn no longer providing sufficient support and structure to the body. What more appropriate remedy than to use this Saturnine herb specifically for this purpose, to strengthen the bones and restore his influence again?

    The name comfrey is thought to be corrupted from the Latin confero meaning "to gather together" which metaphorically captures this healing action of the herb strengthening the tissues of the body. The same Latin word root explains another obscure name of the herb - great confound. Similarly the generic name Symphytum is though to be derived from the Greek symphyo meaning "to make whole" and phyton meaning a "plant".

    Read more on Comfrey
    About the Vital Force
    Back to Health by the Stars
    Comfrey: part 1 | part 2Herbs & Symbolism
    Astrology and Health:
    A Beginner's Guide by Dylan Warren-Davis.
    Published by Headway: Hodder & Stoughton
    ISBN 034070518 3   84 pages
    To order your copy - click here!

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