Comfrey Leaf symphytum officinale: Part used: leaf & root Taste: bitter/sweet Energetic: cooling Effective Form: infusion, decoction, compress Properties: anti-inflammatory, astringent, demulcent, haemostatic, vulnerably (promotes wound healing), expectorant, nutritive tonic, alterative, antitussive (cough suppressant or reliever).
Medicinal Use: Heals flesh and bone injury by its property to speed up mitosis (cell-division). Used for ulceration anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract (colitis, hiatus, hernia). Supports the pancreas by regulating blood sugar levels, benefits the organs, and supports the lungs, stomach and kidneys. Soothing and healing for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, ulcers and healing wounds, helps varicose veins.
Helps with bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs, whooping cough, expels phlegm and soothes the throat. Externally: It draws poisons from boils, insect bites, stings.
Note: Comfrey leaf taken internally is best in a formula which is the best way to take your herbal remedies. Comfrey alone for healing flesh and bones should not be taken any longer than 8 weeks internally.
CFm. Weston et al., “Ven-Occlusive Disease of the Liver Secondary to ingestion of Comfrey.” British Medical Journal 295 (1987)
P. M. Ridker et al, “Hepatic Venocclusive Disease Associated with the Consumption of Pyrrolizidine-Containing Dietary Supplements,” Gastroenterology 88 (1985):1050-4
The issues of toxicity that have haunted comfrey in recent years have become a major subject of frustration for herbalists. In thousands of years of use by millions of people, only two reports of hepatotoxicity have been documented in humans.1 One of many constituents of comfrey is Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid (PA) the alkaloid that was isolated from the rest of the plant’s chemistry and then fed or injected into test animals in quantities or concentrations hundreds of times greater than those that would occur in nature causing liver stress. Common sense tells us that anything ingested in overabundance is potentially toxic. The average horse would need to eat several hundred pounds of the leaves each day before any toxic effects would be observed. Comfrey leaf PA content in fresh leaf is about 0.3 percent and is 10 times higher in comfrey root.