Comfrey- Nature's Band-Aid
Last summer when I was working in the garden, I sprained my wrist. The pain was 11 from scale 1 to 10. I had no insurance so pain medications out of the question. So I went to my local herb shop and purchase a small bag of Symphytum x uplandicum, known as Russian Comfrey. With two tablespoonfuls and a coffee press, I religiously took 2 large cups of the herb twice daily for 6 weeks straight. In the middle of the 4th week, I started to see significant improvements to my wrist. I could easily move with with out feeling significant pain. By the 6th week, the pain went from 11 to 0.
Native to Europe, Comfrey species grows in the temperate regions of the world. It can be grow from the seed in spring or from the root in autumn. The leaves and flowering tops are harvested during the summer. The root is unearthed at autumn or spring when allantoin, a main constituent of comfrey, is at its peak.
Comfrey's traditional use is mending broken bones. Allantoin, a cell proliferant, helps repair damaged tissue and promotes the growth of connective tissue, bone and cartilage. Hence, comfrey promotes the quick and expedient healing of bruises, sprains, fractures, scrapes and bones. Plus, the herb is easily absorbed through the skin. In ointment form, it is used to treat acne and/or psoriasis. It can guard against scar tissue that tends to heal incorrectly, as well as, alleviate minor burns. Additionally, comfrey is an excellent poultice (from young root and leaves) for chronic varicose veins.
Nevertheless, comfrey has high pyrrolizidine alkaloid content which is toxic to the liver. This constituent increases the liver enzyme levels in the body. Therefore, alcoholics and those with liver disease or chronic conditions that leads to liver disease should avoid taking comfrey. Also, for healthy individuals taking comfrey, be sure to monitor your liver enzyme levels through your regular blood tests that you get from the doctors office. Since comfrey absorbs easily through the skin, wearing gloves when applying the ointment, cream or poultice is preferable. Because of its rapid healing properties, comfrey must not be used on dirty wounds because, the rapid healing with trap the dirt leading to pus/abscess. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid excess consumption; USE FOR AT LEAST 6 WEEKS AND NOT MORE THAN THAT!
As for internally use, I have had good experience using the Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) internally, for 6 weeks, with no incident. If you decide to use this particular species, be sure that the herbalist or the person behind the counter gives you this brand. There is another species known as Common comfrey (Symphytum x officinale) which should be used only topically and can be easily confused for the Russian comfrey. If your liver is congested and weak, the fresh mature leaves can be used in place of the fresh, young ones.
Comfrey comes in different forms: decoction, fluid extract, infused oil, infusion, poultice, ointment, paste, powder, lotion, syrup, tea, tincture and foot baths. Speaking of foot baths, I am currently using comfrey foot bath to heal my sprain heel. So far, I have reduce my pain by 50%.😊😁 Isn't that great?
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