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Janet Brien
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Pacific Northwest

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Comfry Blossoms: The 103rd Flower of Spring & Summer!

Comfry Blossoms: The 103rd Flower of Spring & Summer!
What a surprise for me! We've had these flowers growing next to our Rhododendrons every year and it's obvious to me that they were planted previously, but I really didn't think I'd find out what they were called, since there are exactly one ZILLION types of flowers out there! :D But as luck would have it, I did a search for "purple bell flower" and after looking at about 500 pictures, I suddenly found myself looking at this flower!!! Hooray!!!

Comfry is native to Europe and especially common in Britain and Ireland, where it is often seen along river banks and in ditches. This flower is considered to be an herb and is sometimes used topically to treat skin ailments and back pain. It was previously used internally for a variety of uses, but is now known to cause liver toxicity, which can lead to liver failure. However, there is evidence that the molocule, "allantoin," which comfry contains, can repair bone damage, and one of its nicknames is "knitbone." Further research has also shown that comfry contains an alkaloid called "symphytine", which causes cancer in rats. This is yet another plant which can be lethal if used in large amounts for medicinal purposes, yet has benefits if used carefully in small doses.

If you would like to know more about this fascinating plant, Wiki has a page here: Wiki: Comfrey


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