Benefits of Comfrey

Benefits of Comfrey:

Description

Comfrey is a stout, bristly haired, perennial herb with thick roots and large tapering lance-like leaves. Purple to pink-white, funnel shaped flowers are borne in summer.

Family

Boraginaceae

Properties

Comfrey is a sweet, cooling herb with expectorant, astringent, soothing and healing effects. It reduces inflammation and controls bleeding.

It contains allantoin as well as high amounts of mucilage and also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and their N-oxides (intermedine, symphytine and echimidine), as well as tannins, triterpenes and organic acids (including rosmarinic acid).

It is a superb wound healing herb, but the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) can be carcinogenic and also cause liver damage.

Therapeutic Uses

Internal Uses:

  • Comfrey was used internally for treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, chronic bronchial disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, glandular swelling and rheumatism.
  • Internal use is not recommended due to the liver toxicity involved.

External Uses:

  • Used externally for psoriasis, eczema, sores, varicose veins and skin ulcers, arthritis, sprains, bunions, hemorrhoids, sore breasts during lactation, and injuries, including fractures.
  • It is particularly effective in slow healing wounds and to help repair tissue damage.
  • Comfrey contains an excellent cell proliferant and is used to stimulate growth of new skin cells.
  • But due to the PA contained in this herb, the use of comfrey in both oral and topical applications should be discouraged due to the side effects that it can have.

Parts Used

The roots and rhizomes are normally used, but the leaves are also used to a lesser degree.

Known As

Other Names: Knitbone, common comfrey, symphytum, blackwort, healing herb and bruisewort

Genus and Specie

Symphytum officinale

Safety Precautions and Warnings

  • If used topically, do not use it on deep wounds, as healing on the surface will initiate and so cause an abscess to form below.
  • When taking comfrey internally, great care must be taken to prevent liver toxicity and damage, and for this reason, this herb is subject to legal restriction in certain countries.
  • The PA contained in comfrey is hepatoxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic, and the use of this herb should rather be avoided all together.





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