Comfrey

Comfrey ~ Healing Herbs

Natures Healing Herbs

A brief description of the herb;

This herb is a stout, bristly haired, perennial herb with thick roots and large tapering lance-like leaves.

Purple to pink-white, funnel shaped flowers bloom throughout the summer.

Parts used;

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

Properties;

It's 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 use

* It's 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 ulcers, arthritis, sprains, bunions, hemorrhoids, sore breasts during lactation, and injuries, including fractures.

* It's particularly effective in slow healing wounds and to help repair tissue damage.

* It also 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 this herb in both oral and topical applications should be discouraged due to the side effects that it can have.

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 this herb 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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