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Leicestershire, United Kingdom Gb

Is it usual for garden centres to sell comfrey ?

Ive never looked for it before and just wondered if it was a common plant in garden centres ?

Thanks in advance

On plant Comfrey



some do yes. It is one of those plants that has phases of popularity.

18 Aug, 2010
I have not seen these in garden centers but try the Garden Organic site.

18 Aug, 2010


I would not expect to find in your bog standard GC

18 Aug, 2010


You can find packets of comfrey seeds in most garden centres - I believe its used as green manure.

18 Aug, 2010


The Food and Drug Administration here has apparently decided that it is a carcinogen. Although I am uncertain of the truth of that myself, it has had a chilling effect on sales and availability here.

18 Aug, 2010


Thanks for the responses - it never fails to amaze me how quick people are to respond. Im intending to grow comfrey for composting (ive been told its marvellous for it) but now worried about the FDA calling it a carcinogen - though Im assuming it based on eating it rather than touching it ?

18 Aug, 2010


Paul there have been claims that comfrey is a carcinogen for over 30 years, we used to grow to feed to our goats back in the early 70s. I 'think' it is not now possible to buy comfrey ointment which was good for all sorts of things. But growing to put in your compost, in your potato trenches or for use as a decoction is perfectly safe.

19 Aug, 2010


As far as I can discover, it is the roots which are supposed to be carcinogenic rather than the leaves and as such the tea which used to be made from them is not to be recommended.
However I would warn that it is the most pernicious of seed weeds and once you have it, if it flowers it comes up everywhere. It also spreads wildly from the roots, so be prepared for it to take over your garden.
Also some people are sensitive to the leaves. Both my wife and I have to wear gloves to remove the dratted plants, growing from seeds coming in from outside the garden. If either of us touch the leaves we come up in a nasty nettle like rash.

19 Aug, 2010


If you get the Bocking 14 clone it doesn't set seed which makes it much more manageable.

19 Aug, 2010


Holland and whatisface sell a Comfrey Ointment.

19 Aug, 2010


Holland & Barnett?

19 Aug, 2010


Holland & Belgium ??

Thanks for the replies.

I googled 'FDA Comfrey' and got quite a few official documents about it. It seems that its the use of comfrey in vitamin/tablet form thats the issue - although one article was claiming that the concentration levels that were used in experiemnts were way too excessive and had carrots been used at the same concentration level then carotene (sp?) poisoining would have occured (take note all you carrot growers !!!).

I do recall a few years ago reading about a guy who died from carotene poisoning as he drank several litres of carrot juice a day over a couple of years - all thing in moderation, eh ?

Yep Ive read that comfrey can take over a garden so may look at another alternative for use in the compost bin - the area I intend to use is a dead corner under a tree so I thought I would grow something for a use elsewhere in the garden - best laid plans and all that....

19 Aug, 2010

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