Herb of the Day: Comfrey

( Symphytum officinale )

Precautions for this herb by the American Herb Products association has placed comfrey, on its restricted list and suggests that this herb to be used for external ailments only. I n light of the uncertainty over its safety,I believe that comfrey should not be taken internally, especially since there are other safer herbs that can be used in its place, like peppermint, balm,and ginger.
For generations of herbal healers have used comfrey to treat skin wounds without ever knowing why this plant is so effective. We know that comfrey contains allantoin, a substance that helps stimulate the growth of new cells and is now used in many cosmetic products, Commercially prepared comfrey creams and ointments are useful for all kinds of skin irritations, including chafing and bug bites. External comfrey preparations are used to promote healing of damaged tendons or ligaments.
Comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage when consumed in large amounts. The active agent in comfrey is allantoin, which fostersthe growth of new cells. although the dried roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes, the comfrey root contains up to twice as much allantoin as the other parts. While its internal use is questionable, comfrey can be used safely on external injuries such as cuts and other wounds.
At home use, make a poultice by sprinkling a powder made from dry comfrey over cuts, bruises, insect bites, or wounds, cover with a clean cloth. Or chop up fresh root and then apply. This poultice is good for sprains, strains, and joint injuries.
Do not use comfrey for deep wounds. Superficial tissue may heal faster than deep tissue, allowing abscesses to form.
Targets ailments externally for: sprains, strains, joint pain, especially rheumatism, cuts, superficial wounds, insect bites, bruises, ulcers, inflammations.
Note: Comfrey nevertheless is rejected by many practitioners in the United States as too dangerous for any type of INTERNAL USE.


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