Definition of comfrey in English:



  • A Eurasian plant of the borage family, with large hairy leaves and clusters of purplish or white bell-shaped flowers.

    , → knitbone
    , and → boneset
    • ‘I was amazed to find that the comfrey plants (I planted the offsets last Thursday) which were only just sprouting a couple of days ago, all now have proper leaves!’
    • ‘Himalayan balsam crowds out native plants such as comfrey and willow herb, which are both important food sources for insects.’
    • ‘These products often include comfrey, chickweed, echinacea, calendula, goldenseal, plantain, essential oils, and a host of other herbs in a base of olive oil and beeswax.’
    • ‘Some 3 percent of all flowering plants produce these chemicals, including such herbal-garden favorites as borage and comfrey.’
    • ‘Particularly good trap crops include: green lettuce, cabbage, calendula, marigolds, comfrey leaves, zinnias and beans.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French cumfirie, based on Latin conferva, from confervere heal (literally boil together referring to the plant's medicinal use).