WHAT IS COMFREY?
Comfrey is from the Latin word conferta, meaning "to grow together"; Symphytum has the same meaning in Greek. Comfrey is so named because it is used as a herbal remedy to knit bones, mend lacerations, and heal wounds. Typically applied to the skin, comfrey can be a valuable healing tool.Uses of Comfrey :
Comfrey has been found to cause cells to divide at an increased rate, thus healing bones and wounds more quickly. Comfrey may be used topically -- as a salve or poultice -- on cuts, bruises, abrasions, and burns. Comfrey should never be taken internally. Most health regulatory agencies in the Western world have banned the internal use of comfrey due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in this plant, which are known to harm the livers of animals fed diets consisting largely of comfrey leaves. Other pyrrolizidine alkaloid-containing weeds have caused epidemics of poisoning in Third World countries when they contaminated grain supplies.Comfrey Preparations and Dosage:
Use comfrey roots for topical teas and salves. You also can use the raw root topically. While teas are easy to prepare, comfrey is a bit tricky to make into homemade salves; it tends to mold. Apply cold grated comfrey root or a cloth soaked in cool comfrey tea to sunburns or other minor burns. Apply comfrey poultices to wounds.
To create comfrey oil,lean fresh comfrey roots with a scrub brush under running water. Place the roots in a blender or food processor with olive oil to cover, and grind as fine as possible. Transfer to a large glass jar and allow to soak for several weeks before straining. Filter through a wire mesh strainer with cheesecloth or in a coffee filter. Use as a compress or poultice.Comfrey Precautions and Warnings:
Do not use comfrey internally. Comfrey is safe to use topically, even on infants, the elderly, or pregnant women.Side Effects of Comfrey: Liver damage has been reported with internal use.Dosage form available as : "Comfrey Ointment"
Comfrey ointment is typically used to treat the following problems:
3.Low back pain
7.WoundsHealth Benefits of Comfrey Ointment
Here's a look at some key findings on the potential health benefits of comfrey ointment:
Comfrey ointment may help treat osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a study published in Phytomedicine in 2007. For the study, 220 people with osteoarthritis of the knee were assigned to three weeks of treatment with either comfrey ointment or a placebo. By the study's end, those given comfrey ointment had experienced a significantly greater improvement in pain, mobility, and quality of life (compared to members of the placebo group).
Additionally, a 2011 published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that comfrey ointment was superior to a placebo in relieving pain and stiffness and enhancing physical functioning. The study involved 43 patients with knee osteoarthritis and a six-week treatment period.2) Back Pain
Comfrey ointment could help ease back pain, suggests a 2010 study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The study included 120 patients with acute upper or lower back pain, each of whom was treated with comfrey ointment or a placebo for five days. Study results revealed that pain intensity decreased an average of 95.2 percent in the group given comfrey ointment (compared to just 37.8 percent in the placebo group).3) Ankle Sprains
Several studies show that comfrey ointment may be helpful in the treatment of ankle sprains. In a 2005 study published in Phytomedicine, for instance, researchers found that comfrey ointment may be just as effective as Diclofenac gel (a topically applied nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) when it comes to reducing ankle-sprain-related pain. The study included 164 patients with ankle sprains, each of whom was treated for about a week.4) Wound Healing
Comfrey ointment shows promise in the treatment of wounds, according to a 2012 study published in the German journal Drug Research. The study involved 108 children (ages three to 12), each of whom had recently suffered an abrasion. Researchers assigned the children to treatment with a cream containing either 10 percent comfrey extract or one percent comfrey extract.
In those given the cream with the higher concentration of comfrey extract, a 50 percent healing rate was reached 0.9 days earlier (compared to those given the lower dose of comfrey). In addition, the children and their parents and physicians rated the effectiveness of the 10-percent cream as significantly greater than that of the one-percent cream.Safety
Comfrey contains certain substances thought to impair liver health. Since these substances can be absorbed by the skin, there's some concern that long-term use of comfrey ointment may be harmful to your liver. If you have a health condition that affects your liver, talk to your doctor before using comfrey ointment.
In addition, it's important to avoid using comfrey on broken skin or open wounds.
Source : http://altmedicine.about.com/ http://health.howstuffworks.com/