Health benefits of Comfrey

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Comfrey Quick Facts
Name: Comfrey
Scientific Name: Symphytum officinale
Origin Comfrey is native to Europe and temperate Asia and got naturalized in U.S.
Comfrey with its scientific name as Symphytum officinale, is a plant which is mostly grown for an ornamental purposes due to the presence of attractive flowers. Other names for Comfrey are Ass Ear, Blackwort, Black Root, Boneset, Consound, Bruisewort, Gum Plant, Knitback, Healing Herb, Knitbone, Slippery Root, Salsify, Wallwort, Boneset, Consolida and Common comfrey. The plant measures 30 to 120 cm high. Leaves are hairy, pointed, large, dark green, 8″ long and ovate to lanceolate in shape. In comparison to the basal leaves, it has got decurrent upper leaves. Stems are winged when matured. The bluebell shape flowers are white to pink to purple that blooms from mid-spring to early summer. Since 400 B.C. it was cultivated as a healing herb. In 1600s, it was brought by immigrants for medicinal purposes. It was naturalized in roadsides and waste areas of U.S. Roots and leaves are used as a poultice for the treatment of rashes, inflammations, cuts, swellings, bruises, broken bones and sprains. Its internal use is effective for the health ailments such as colitis and ulcers.

Plant

The plant of Comfrey grows up to 30 to 120 cm high. Comfrey is a large and black turnip like root. The plant has broad leaves and flowers in bell shaped of purple or cream. The flower blooms during mid-summer. It has erect and stiff haired stem. Inherent to Europe, it grows in damp and grassy places and could be locally found in Britain and Ireland on ditches and river banks.

Traditional uses

Comfrey is used as an aid for humans. It is used as a tea or vegetables by humans. In herbal medicine, it was used for treating tendon damage, broken bones, lung congestion, ulcerations in gastrointestinal tract, joint inflammation, lung congestion and also promotes wound healing.         

  • It is used topically to treat wounds.
  • Comfrey is useful in healing sprains, bruises and promotes healing of bones.
  • Externally, roots is used to gargle or mouthwash for gum diseases, strep throat and pharyngitis.
  • The internal use of roots is helpful for gastrointestinal ulcers and gastritis.
  • Roots are used as an aid for pleuritis, rheumatism and diarrhea in folk medicine.
  • It is used to treat gout and arthritis.
  • Its ointments help to heal, ligaments, pulled muscles, bruises, strains, sprains, fractures and osteoarthritis.
  • It is also useful for stomach problems.

Precautions

  • It should not be applied to the broken skin or wounds.
  • Not to be used by pregnant and lactation women.
  • The people with liver problems should use it with caution.
  • It might cause abdominal pain, loss of appetite and vomiting.
  • It should not be combined with the herb that possesses pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
  • It has compounds which are harmful for liver and might cause liver cancer.

How to Eat         

  • Sometimes it is used as an ingredient in salads and soups.
  • Young leaves are consumed raw or cooked.
  • Finely chop it and add it to salads.
  • The shoots (young) are used as a substitute for asparagus.
  • The dried leaves and roots are used as tea.

Other Facts        

When dried, the root becomes slimy and horn like.

References:

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/317/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Symphytum+officinale

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/comfrey

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b472

http://www.floracatalana.net/symphytum-officinale-l-

http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/comfrey

https://www.drugs.com/npp/comfrey.html

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/comfre92.html

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