The body heals itself, which plants support the body's innate healing process
What is Comfrey?
Comfrey is a perennial herb found in moist grasslands in western Asia as well as in North America and by the fields full at my house. It has bell-shaped purple or yellowish flowers and thrives and grows and regrows no matter how often you cut it, all spring and into the early fall here in Maine.
What is it used for?
Comfrey, also known as "knitbone", has been cultivated and used as an herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years. In Western Europe, comfrey has been used topically for treating inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, gout, and thrombophlebitis, as well as burns cuts or abrasions. Some traditional uses of comfrey include
- wound healing.
- scar reduction.
- burn relief.
- treatment of bronchitis.
- treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
- inflammatory pain
Therapeutic use of comfrey is limited because of its toxicity. A limited number of clinical trials show short-term efficacy of topically applied, alkaloid-free comfrey preparations in skin abrasions and inflammatory conditions. Although not examined in clinical trials, comfrey may possess antifungal and anticancer activity.
What is the recommended dosage?
Comfrey is not recommended for internal use because of the liver damage caused by its pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the plant should also avoid external use. Definitely do not use during pregnancy or nursing, with infants, and if you have liver or kidney disease.
My favorite part of Comfrey is that it is rich in a compound called allantoin, which supports cell formation and granulation, also known as the creation of new tissue and microscopic blood vessels during the healing process. If you break a bone this is amazing at supporting and speeding up your body's healing process, so much that Comfrey is not recommended for use with deep wounds or unset bones, because of the speed at which your body heals these issues when its being used.
The blend of wildcrafted Comfrey, organic Mullein and organic St Johns wort in our Berry Good balm, is an amazing help against inflammatory pain and neuropathy, as well as a very soothing and speedy healing balm for cuts scrapes burns or superficial wounds. It's something that should be in everyone's medicine cabinet.
If you live in an area where comfrey grows and don't want to bother with an oil or balm a great option is a comfrey plaster that can be placed directly on a wound or broken bone. Use an immersion blender, regular blender, or just scissors and mortar and pestle to crush the comfrey leaves into a pulp. Then wrap them in gauze, paper towels, or cheese cloth, or place them directly on the skin.
If you live in an area where comfrey only grows part of the year, you can freeze plasters to be used as needed. To freeze, put the gauze, paper towels, or cheese cloth into a freezer safe container and freeze them for future use.
Plants have a purpose and sometimes the most invasive seeming plants have a way of becoming less invasive if you find out their purpose!
Caution if you are picking comfrey wear gloves as it does contain tiny hair like fibers which can irritate skin if exposed repeatedly,