Back pain, Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Sprains, Bruises, Chest pain (angina), Cough, Diarrhea, Fractures, Gout, Gum disease (gingivitis), Hemorrhoids, Muscle soreness. Rheumatoid arthritis, Sore throat (pharyngitis), Stomach ulcers, Swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lungs (bronchitis),
Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach (gastritis), Tuberculosis.
Varicose veins, Wound healing, Leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer).
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Comfrey is a shrub that grows in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. It can grow up to 5 feet tall. It produces clusters of purple, blue, and white flowers, and it’s famous for its long, slender leaves and black-skinned roots. Even though this plant contains poisonous chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), some people use the leaf, root, and root-like stem (rhizome) to make medicine. The roots of leaves of the comfrey plant contain chemical substances called allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Allantoin boosts the growth of new skin cells, while rosmarinic acid helps relieve pain and inflammation. Extracts are still made from the roots and leaves and turned into ointments, creams, or salves. These solutions typically have a comfrey content of 5 to 20 percent.
Despite safety concerns, comfrey is used by mouth for stomach ulcers, heavy menstrual periods, diarrhea, bloody urine, cough, bronchitis, cancer, and chest pain (angina). It is also used as a gargle for gum disease and sore throat.
Comfrey is applied to the skin for ulcers, wounds, muscle soreness, bruises, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins, gout, and fractures.
How does it work?
The chemicals in comfrey might have wound healing effects and reduce inflammation when applied to the skin. However, comfrey contains toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin.
Possible side effects include:
- When taken by mouth: Comfrey is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone when taken by mouth. It contains chemicals (pyrrolizidine alkaloids, PAs) that can cause liver damage, lung damage, and cancer. The FDA has recommended that all oral comfrey products be removed from the market.
- When applied to the skin: When applied to unbroken skin in small amounts for less than 10 days, comfrey is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. It's important to remember that the poisonous chemicals in comfrey can pass through the skin. For this reason, it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to apply comfrey to broken skin or to apply large amounts to the skin for more than 6 weeks.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Comfrey is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. In addition to causing liver damage and possibly cancer, the PAs in comfrey might also cause birth defects. Even topical use is unwise, since the PAs can be absorbed through the skin.
- Broken or damaged skin: Don't apply comfrey to broken or damaged skin. Doing so might expose you to large amounts of the chemicals in comfrey that can cause liver damage and other serious health effects.
- Liver disease: There is a concern that comfrey might make liver disease worse. Don't use comfrey if you have any problems with your liver.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.