For thousands of years, herbalists have used the perennial herb comfrey (Symphytum officinale) with its thick grey-green leaves and bell-like white pink and mauve flowers to help heal bruises, sprains, fractures and broken bones. A comfrey compress applied immediately to a sprained ankle can significantly reduce the severity of the injury.
- Acne and boils: apply comfrey ointment or cream to the pus-filled area twice a day.
- Inflamed skin rashes: apply comfrey ointment or cream to the affected areas two to four times a day.
- Or make an infusion with one tsp of the dried herb to a cup of hot water, and then apply on cotton wool.
- Minor wounds and bruises: apply comfrey ointment at the edges of the wound or use a comfrey poultice once a scab has formed.
*For the poultice, take enough fresh or dried herb to cover the area, simmer in a pan for two minutes, and squeeze out excess liquid. Rub a little oil on to the area to prevent sticking then apply the hot herb. Bandage securely in place using gauze or cotton strips and leave for up to three hours.
- Sprains and fractures: gently rub on comfrey ointment, cream or infused oil at least three times a day on the affected area.
* Make comfrey oil with 250 g dried comfrey of 500 g fresh herb and 750 ml of olive, sunflower or other good quality vegetable oil. Simmer, covered, in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water for two-three hours. Cool and strain through gauze or muslin. Pour into clean dark bottles and label.
Please note: you should always seek professional treatment for broken bones, fractures and severe sprains.
- Stiff and aching joints: mix two and a half tbs of comfrey oil with 20-40 drops of lavender essential oil and gently massage into the affected area.
HerbClip: Topical Arnica and Comfrey Preparations May Provide Relief for Patients with Osteoarthritis
" Do not take preparations containing comfrey root internally.
" Only take preparations containing comfrey leaf internally if prescribed by a qualified medical herbalist
" Do not use comfrey preparations on broken skin; *** for wounds apply around the edges only
Comfrey is highly regarded for its healing properties but users should note that there have been formal warnings from both British and American regulatory bodies to manufacturers about the toxicity of compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the comfrey root if taken internally. While there is, as yet, no direct evidence of cause and effect in humans, there is "a clear association" according to lawyers in the American Food and Drug Administration.
Common sense dictates, therefore, that comfrey root should not be used internally or on open wounds until its safety is confirmed (or not). The aerial parts - leaves and flowers that contain very low amounts, if any, of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids - are generally considered safe.
Applying comfrey externally in the form of oil, tincture, ointment, cream or a poultice of chopped leaves has not provoked such warnings.
Article in iVillage.com
by Sarah Stacey
Excellent bases for salves & creams.
External use only.
Do NOT use on open wounds or broken skin.
Keep away from children and pets.
Store away from heat and light.
Information within this site is for educational purposes only. Statements about the product efficacy have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The products mentioned within are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As always, please consult your Medical Doctor for any medical advice or treatment.