Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A rough, hairy, perennial plant of several species, of the genus Symphytum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin cumfiria; this was possibly from earlier Latin conferva, an aquatic herb mentioned in Pliny.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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