HERB CORNER: Comfrey
Comfrey is an herb that has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America. Comfrey can grow up to 5 feet tall, and when in bloom produces beautiful purple, white, or blue flowers. The leaves and roots are used to make topical salves, creams, compresses, ointments and so much more. Comfrey is known in Old English as “Knitbone” and derived from its Latin name “Con Fera” which means to knit together. Comfrey is best known for its ability to knit the skin back together and to heal broken tissue. It has long since been admired for relieving pain, reducing inflammation and swelling, and significantly speeding up the healing process. Comfrey has been used for many years specifically for broken bones, broken skin, joint and muscle pain. Topically Comfrey hydrates the skin while simultaneously soothing and protecting the skin. Comfrey combats against acute dermatitis (Eczema, rashes, dry skin) It also reduces the amount of free radicals on the skin.
Comfrey contains Allantoin and Rosmarinic Acid. Allantoin Acid promotes the growth of new cells and Rosmarinic Acid relieves pain (acting as a painkillers of sorts) and inflammation. These acids make Comfrey an essential anti aging herb. Comfrey also contains keratinolytics which promotes the shedding of dead skin. This improves the skins texture and helps it become smoother by eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.
In ancient Europe Comfrey was eaten as a vegetable and it was even made into an edible tablet that was in WWII soldiers’ first aid kits. The more research was done on this plant the more we have come to find that the Stems and Branches of Comfrey are toxic. Comfrey is best used topically, and only the leaves and roots are used. It is not recommended to be taken internally as it can damage the liver and may be linked to other health risks. Most anything on our planet is toxic if you use or take to much of it. A perfect example of this is if you drink too much water it can be deadly. Too much of anything is never a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to use all things in moderation and with mindful consumption, listen to your body along the way. All herbal supplements and topicals need to be taken within the recommended dose. Many herbs (just like comfrey) are better applicated either topically or internally, while others are completely safe to be used on the inside and outside of the body.
Comfrey is used in Nourish’s Topical Salves: Spot Treatment Nectar, Cooling Muscle Salve, Tattoo Recovery Salve, Respiratory Vapor Salve