2018-05-30 / Health

Catskills Comfrey has natural healing properties

Fleischmanns man has growing enterprise with medicinal plants
By Paula DeSimone

Sprains, pulled muscles, arthritis, cracked skin, rosaceous, and more are annoyances we all have at one time or another. We all have our methods of alleviating the discomfort, some better than others, but now we have a local entrepreneur offering Catskill Comfrey, a pain reliever used by the Greeks since 400 BC.

Catskills Comfrey is harvested, dried, crushed, infused, bottled, and labeled, by Seth Hersh, a longtime resident of Fleischmanns. His ointment consists of coconut and olive oils combined with organically grown dried comfrey as a topical application that may be used several times daily, depending on the severity of the condition.

Seth has been producing Catskill Comfrey for three years, selling in many local markets. Catskill Comfrey is having positive feedback from the public encouraging Seth to expand his product line.

Seth was first motivated to experiment with comfrey when having problems with a trigger finger. Finding no relief anywhere, he started to experiment on his own. He remembered his wife had a broken pelvis and treated it with comfrey and was relieved enough to be able to sleep while healing.

“The next kale of medicinal”

“Comfrey is the next kale of medicinal,” says Seth, and he is on track to market to musicians. “With constant use of their fingers they often have problems with their joints,” adds Seth. Also on his list, are sports teams always getting sore muscles and restricting their range of motion.

Long used to heal wounds, Comfrey leaves and roots have a longstanding reputation as a therapeutic herb. The plant contains safe, non-toxic Allenton, frequently present in toothpaste, oral hygiene products, shampoos, lipsticks, anti-acne products, sun care products, and various cosmetic lotions and creams. When used in skin products, it is regulated by the FDA as a drug. Allantoin heals, soothes, and stimulates cell regeneration, while depressing inflammation.

The earliest recorded Comfrey remedies were praised by the Greek historian Herodotus when he recommended it to stop severe bleeding with the Greeks later using the root to cure bronchial problems.

But the populace also used Comfrey for more than medicinal reasons. They cooked it in soups, stew and tossed it into salads and farmers cultivated it as fodder for their livestock. The Native American Cherokees are known to have used comfrey internally for many ailments and early settlers raised the herb in their gardens.

Arriving in June, will be a new line of Catskill Comfrey. The first of the new products is infused with cayenne, which includes capsicum to provide heat to the tender area. Capsicum, a pepper, is used to massaged into the deep tissue causing warmth. So, with regular applications, it deadens the sensory nerve endings and relieves chronic pain signals for neuralgia, shingles, fibromyalgia, arthritis, mitigating the discomfort.

The other new addition is the “Trifecta” of healing medicines containing arnica and calendula added to the comfrey. This is the “original on steroids, more anti-inflammatory, more potent,” adds Seth.

For pain and swelling

Arnica treats pain and swelling associated with bruises, aches, and sprains. It is also applied to the skin for insect bites, arthritis, muscle and cartilage pain, chapped lips, and acne. Calendula is a genus of plants found in the daisy family used as an anti-inflammatory and a remedy for healing wounds.

Stores selling Catskill Comfrey are in Delhi, Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Oneonta, Hamden, Tannersville, Phoenicia, just to mention a few. Locally the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild has a full line. Questions, email Seth @ http://comfrey.ghiek.com.

This special plant is well known for its healing properties. — Photo by Paula DeSimone

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