Also known as: Knitbone, Wound
wort, Healherb, Gum Plant, All Heal Symphytum officinale F. Boraginaceae
Comfrey is another of the best Eczema
herbs, primarily because of its allantoin content. Allantoin is an ingredient in many Skin
lotions that soothes the Skin
, promotes healing and increases the growth of new Skin
cells. These properties make the herb ideal for treating inflammatory Skin
conditions such as Eczema
Many herbalists and physicians prize comfrey for the treatment of broken Bones
, torn Cartilage
damage, Lung Congestion
and ulceration in the Gastrointestin
al tract. These applications have not been tested in clinical trials although there is research supporting Anti-inflammatory
[9-10], would healing[9,11], and Immune
modulating effects[15-17]. The major barrier to testing this plant's therapeutic effects is the naturally occurring pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in comfrey. Due to the presence of PAs many countries have laws restricting the distribution, sale,and/or use of comfrey. This includes the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Medicinal Uses: Recorded history tells of comfrey's use, since ancient times, for healing.Dioscorides, author of one of the oldest herbal texts, 'Materia Medica' of 50 AD, prescribed the plant to heal Wound
s and broken Bones
. Many writers since have honoured the herb. The name comfrey is believed to come from Latin, meaning knitting together. The genus name symphytum means to heal together, and for this use, it is renown: that it can assist the body to heal any part that is torn or broken, which also explains the reason for another common name, knitbone.
Leaves or roots applied as a wash, poultice or ointment are used for bruising, chapped Dry Skin
, Varicose veins
, bed Sores
, Insect Bites
s, Muscular Pain
, pulled Tendon
and dermatological conditions. A local grandmother told me she makes comfrey ointment. So renown is it for healing, that her grandchildren call it Grandma's magic cream.
Comfrey may also be of value in reducing scar tissue and fading old Scars
. Once again, it's the high allantoin content of the leaves that's responsible
Adding comfrey to the bath water is said to promote a youthful Skin
. Comfrey acts as an Emollient
and is very soothing, inhibiting further damage to tissues, stimulating the production of Cartilage
s and Muscle
s. It has been esteemed as a blood, bone and flesh builder. The dark green colour of the leaves indicates the richness of chlorophyll with a molecular structure closely resembling our blood. Chlorophyll acts as a catalyst, to promote healing within the body of man and animals, and is a valuable Blood Purifier
. Scientific research shows that chlorophyll helps to Rejuvenat
e old cells and promote the growth of new cells. This action, together with comfrey's allantoin properties (a cell proliferant) provides us with a very powerful herb.
Allantoin is one of the elements that makes comfrey unique. Allantoin is also produced in the allantois Gland
of the umbilical cord (the link between mother and developing baby, which feeds the embryo) for promoting rapid cell growth. Mother's milk is also rich in allantoin (which stimulates rapid growth of the new baby) and then the element fades out. This process also takes place in other mammals. Allantoin is a leucocytosis promoter (increases white blood cells) that helps to establish immunity from many infectious conditions.
Internally, comfrey has been used for: inDigestion
problems, excessive Menstrual
diseases, Bleeding Gums
, gastro-intestinal Ulcers
conditions, hemorrhaging, Cancer
, lowering Blood Pressure
, hiatus Hernia
, Blood Purifier
, to ease Inflammation
of the joints and Mucus
Comfrey was one of the most popular and widely used herbs of the last two centuries; people had faith in the plant, used it, and experienced miraculous healing. It was held in such high esteem that it was believed that even wearing or carrying comfrey could guard and protect a person on a journey. In my bookshelf,I have more books on comfrey than any other individual herb.
H.E. Kirschner, M.D., in his book, 'Natures Healing Grasses', devotes four chapters to comfrey and says, 'A leaf a day keeps illness away'. In his practice, he witnessed healing of obstinate Ulcers
, malignant growths and many other ailments. He tells the incidence of a man in New Zealand who casually nibbled a comfrey leaf when walking in a friend's garden (he had suffered with Asthma
for thirty years). That night he had unbroken sleep, and when wondering why, thought it could have been the comfrey leaf he chewed, that gave him relief from Asthma
. So he kept up eating a comfrey leaf a day, and has not suffered with Asthma
since. He shared this folk remedy with many people who suffered with Asthma
, who likewise experienced relief by using the routine of leaf nibbling. Over the years I have met many people who attribute miraculous virtues to comfrey, and shared their personal experiences.The healing benefits of comfrey have been spread by word of mouth, in many testimonials. There is no doubt that the plant is very much loved and revered.