Comfrey is a perennial herb and is believed to be the native of Europe and Asia. This herb hails from the family of Boraginaceae. The plant grows up to 5 feet and has hairy, broad and large leaves. The plant is popular from a long time for its medicinal benefits. Its name is taken from the Latin word comfera, which means intertwined together.
Comfrey has been believed to be a healing herb for centuries. The Greeks and Romans tried this herb for alleviating a number of diseases like bronchial problems, wounds, heavy bleeding and broken bones. Its popularity shot during the middle ages due to healing benefits.
The primary active constituent of comfrey is allantoin, which has the potential of triggering cell proliferation. So, it can replace the damaged cells of the body. Another compound found in comfrey is mucilage, has anti-inflammatory potential. It can be used in soothing the pain and inflammation linked with broken bones, sprains, injuries, arthritis etc.
Mucilage is also beneficial in intestinal ailments, while allantoin enhances the immune system to combat infectious diseases.
The roots and leaves of comfrey can be used as ointment, wash, and poultice. It is a mild sedative. It can expedite blood clotting and heal ulcers.
Comfrey is often used as herbal remedy for diarrhea, gangrene, and bleeding gums. It can also be used to improve skin and alleviate skin troubles for instance acne, boils and abscesses. Comfrey is also comprehensively applied in homeopathic treatment for many diseases.
Comfrey is helpful in diabetes and simmering down the level of cholesterol.
Comfrey is rich in Vitamin A and C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the body from the damaging impacts of free radicals and also cuts down the risk of cardiovascular disorder. On the other hand, vitamin A is necessary for enhancing vision and growth of bones.
Comfrey is also pregnant with vitamin B12, necessary for generating red blood cells, cell division and proper growth of nerve cells.
It regulates the blood pressure level and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Side effects, if rightly administered, of comfrey usage are quite minimal. Under mentioned are some of the side effects:
This plant has small amount of toxic alkaloid which may impact liver adversely.
Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Pain or swelling in the right zone of upper abdomen
Pale skin or the white patches of the eyes
Do not use preparations having comfrey root. Ointments having comfrey leaf are believed to be safe when applied to uncut skin for restricted periods of time.
The herb is mostly used in topical preparations like creams, lotions, salves, and poultices, and it is often used as a gargle. It can be employed externally for bruises, contusions, and sprains as per prescribed by the physician or as directed in the packet.