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Comfrey

 Botanical Names
 Symphytum officinale (Smooth Comfrey)
 
Symphytum asperum (Prickly Comfrey)
           
Symphytum peregrinum
           
Symphytum uplandicum (Russian Comfrey)

Also known as:  Blackwort;  Bruisewort;  Gum Plant;  Healing Herb;  Knitbone;  Knitback;  Salsify;  Slippery Root;  Wallwort

Comfrey belong to the Borage (Boraginaceae) family.

 

a fine demulcent

great for asthma

Click on thumbnail to see pictures for identification.

Parts Used 
Root and Leaves

Description
Comfrey is a Perennial Herb with "hairy" leaves and small flowers. 

Overview and Mythology.
Comfrey is derived from the Latin, con ferva, meaning 'with strength'.  The genus name, Symphytum, means 'grown together'.  Comfrey paste was once used to cast broken bones.  Comfrey is native to Eurasia.  Legend says that Comfrey baths were given to women before marriage to restore the hymen and thus virginity.   When drying the leaves, keep them from touching one another so they will dry without yellowing.  Add extra Comfrey to the compost bin to accelerate breakdown of organic matter.  Once planted in a garden, it tends to take over and can be difficult to eradicate.

 

Constituents.  
Alkaloids:     Allantoin         

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids:   7-acetyllycopsamine            Echimidine

Minerals: Germanium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Cobalt

Vitamins: Vitamin A,Vitamin B12,  Vitamin C, Vitamin E.          
Protein:  Lysine, Asparagine
Tannic Acids
Phenolic acids, 

Other:   Resin, Consolidine,Inulin, Mucilage, Triterpenoids,   Mucopolysaccharides,

Dosage Recommendations  
Most herbalists recommend 2 - 10 grams of Comfrey per day for therapeutic purposes. Since research is not clear on the action of the Pyrrolizidine alkaloids it is suggested that to be really on the safe side that every third day, the normal dose of comfrey be stopped and resumed on the next day.This fascilitates the breakdown of the alkaloids.

Internal Applications.  
Tea, Tincture, Capsules

Medicinal Actions  
Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Astringent, Demulcent, Emollient, Expectorant, Hemostatic, Refrigerant, Vulnerary, Yin Tonic.

Used in the following internal illnesses
Bronchitis, Cough, Fractures, Internal Bleeding, Respiratory Problems, Ulcers

Health Benefits of Comfrey
Digestive System
Comfrey (tea) alleviates Peptic Ulcers.

Musculoskeletal System
Comfrey accelerates the healing of Fractures (due to the Allantoin content of Comfrey).
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) alleviates the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Respiratory System
Comfrey alleviates Asthma.
Comfrey alleviates Coughs.
Comfrey (tea) alleviates Emphysema

External Medicinal Use  
Bruises, Burns, Fractures, Hemorrhoids, Skin Dryness, Swellings, Varicose Veins, Wounds 

Topical Applications:
When applied topically, Comfrey helps to draw infection out of the body. 
Its constituent allantoin is a known cell proliferant.  
Use as a bath herb for dry skin.  
Salves, lotions and poultices for fractures, wounds, bruises, swellings, hemorrhoids, varicosities and burns

Note- Comfrey causes rapid wound healing, make sure a wound is clean of any dirt before applying Comfrey

Cardiovascular System
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) alleviates the Itching associated with Hemorrhoids. 

Skin
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) accelerates the healing of and reduces the discoloration and swelling associated with Black Eyes (due to the Allantoin content of Comfrey).

Comfrey (ointment applied topically) alleviates Eczema. 
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) is reported to alleviate Psoriasis.  
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) alleviates Skin Ulcers (due to the Allantoin content of Comfrey).  
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) accelerates the healing of Wounds (due to the Allantoin content of Comfrey)
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) accelerates the healing of Bruises.
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) accelerates the healing of Burns
Comfrey (ointment applied topically) alleviates Insect Bites/Stings.

Energetics.
Cool, Sweet, Moist
.

Contra indications and side effect  
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids may cause hepatic toxicity, also referred to as veno-occlusive disease.  Comfrey leaves contain 0.003% to 0.115% Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids.

Comfrey root contains 0.14% to 0.4% Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids. Young leaves are higher in pyrrolizidine than the mature leaves.  Other research indicates that Comfrey may have anticancerous activity.  Research herbalists are still at odds about this and more research needs to be conducted. Australia is the only place in the world where the leaf and root cannot be bought at health shops.
The toxic substances in Comfey cannot penetrate the skin.

Astrology
Comfrey falls under the sign of Capricorn.

Chakras.
Functions from the first to the fourth chakra with emphasis on the 4th.

Doctrine of signatures.
Looking at the leaves , it is seen that the lungs on cross section look like the comfrey leaf patterning.Also ther hairs on the leaf resemble the macroscopic appearance of the lung cells.
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