Bath, poultice, compress
Nutritive tonic, emollient, demulcent, vulnerary, relaxing expectorant, astringent, haemostatic, stimulant to fibroblast, chondroblast and osteoblast activity.
Wounds, ulcers, strains, bone fractures, bruises, sprains, athlete’s foot, varicose ulcers, gastric ulcers & mastitis
This is a powerful herb. Research suggests that internal use for more than 3 weeks should be avoided.
Comfrey is a perennial herb with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped flowers of various colours. It is native to Europe, growing in damp, grassy places. It is frequently found throughout Ireland and Britain on river-banks and ditches. Medicinal use of comfrey dates back to Ancient Greece.
Comfrey can be used externally as a bath, poultice or compress: for an impressive local healing agent for wounds, slow-healing ulcers; strains and bone fractures, bruises, sprains, athlete’s foot, varicose ulcers & mastitis (due variously to mixture of binding mucilage-tannin mixture, and the highly diffusible stimulant of connective tissue, bone and cartilage – allantoin). It can also be drunk as a tea for ulceration and erosion of the gut wall and for bronchial conditions. Comfrey can be taken internally for healing gastric & duodenal ulcers but ONLY under the supervision of a professionally trained herbalist as healing can take place too quickly, trapping infections.
The presence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids has raised doubts over the safety of this remedy; such doubts may be ill-founded, especially for the leaves, but to be safe it is better that excessive internal consumption – for more than three weeks, be avoided.