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Comfrey Promotes Healing of Wounds

Thursday, August 06, 2009 by: Trish Wootten
Tags: comfrey, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Comfrey has been used as a healing herb since 400 BC. Its word means "grow together" in Latin. Its safest uses are external, and possess excellent ability to heal sores, burns, and other topical wounds due to its ability to multiply and regenerate cells. The allantoin in comfrey's root particularly can be found in mother's milk as well, and is directly related to this multiplication ability, which also affects the white cell count. A preferred external poultice offers a ratio of 0.4% solution or a 2% ointment, found primarily in comfrey's root. Its rosmarinic acid content is also found to hold beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Tannins are also useful for firming skin, and comfrey's allotment of tannis is a plus for this plant.

April introduces growing season of this hardy plant, and it is considerably sturdy, even throughout a northern winter in the northern hemisphere. Three types of comfrey have been found and originate in Europe and Asia. Today, they can be found in various parts of the United States, and are primarily grown in Minnesota, Wisconsin and other neighboring states.

Used in the Middle Ages to heal broken bones, Comfrey has a wide variety of uses and is considered an emollient. It assists with cell re-growth, and its allantoin content is credited for the youthful advantages it provides one's skin. Well suited to healing burns, comfrey also has excellent ability to enrich the blood and stimulate healing internally. Rich in minerals and B Vitamins, Comfrey has a multicultural healing ability; it has shown promise as a healing plant for even lupus, for cleaning the blood and for sinus conditions and thyroid.

The adverse equation of comfrey is significant ash content as well as a recent finding of causing liver damage and promoting tumor growth when ingested. Historically, tea and other uses have been used, and the protein yielded from comfrey encouraged intake. Comfrey has chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and it is these that make the plant unpalatable for humans. Negative consequences are not immediately noticed, so caution should be exercised, particularly for those whose nutritional standards are low. These cautions are particularly essential for adults, children and people with chronic conditions, whose susceptibility tends to be greater. This trend is more concerning among the varying supplements that are taken, so growing one's own comfrey may in fact, make its external benefits a healthy possibility.

Comfrey does hold valuable properties for soothing sore gums, but extreme caution should be exercised so that it is not ingested. A careful rinse after comfrey is used for this purpose is essential. The United States ordered removal of all comfrey products to be taken by mouth in 2001, and other countries adhere to the same ban. When using comfrey topically, usage should be discontinued after ten days. Notably, the comfrey leaf isn't the toxic part of the plant, but the root holds cause for concern. The time of year the plant is grown, the plant's maturity and other factors all relate to what level of toxicity exists in the root and plant itself.

Many people have enjoyed comfrey leaves in tea or just by nibbling on a few daily. This has shown ability to fight chronic infection such as asthma, as one man in New Zealand accidentally discovered. The leaf itself is low in the toxic PAs found primarily in the comfrey root, and thus, not believed to be of harm.


Isabel Shipard's Homepage: Herbs are Special;

Henriette's HerbalHomepage

University of Maryland Medical Center

Alternative Field Crops Manual
University of Wisconsin Extension-Cooperative Education Center
University of Minnesota: Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products and the Minnesota Extension Service

Drug Digest
Express Scripts

About the author

Trish Wootten
Alternative Health Writer

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