The herb comfrey is nicknamed knit bone which is a big clue as to how it’s used. Russian comfrey is the most beneficial for medicinal purposes, but like most herbs, there are multiple varieties and it’s both cultivated and grows wild as a perennial plant in numerous places in the world.
The FDA banned the consumption of comfrey after injecting abnormally large amounts of the herb’s alkaloids into test animals that later died from liver failure. The result would have been the same had the alkaloids come from any plant. Fortunately, you don’t need to ingest comfrey to benefit from it.
Used externally, comfrey is totally safe, even for children, and it has been used in a poultice to help heal broken bones and dress wounds for thousands of years. The next time you turn your ankle, burn yourself, or even break a bone, turn to comfrey for relief.
The active ingredient in comfrey is allantoin which is a natural compound that speeds up the replacement of tissue in the body. This means it’s able to produce fast healing for injuries such as broken or sprained bones, cuts, bruises, or even open wounds.
The United States, Canada, and the U.K. have restricted the internal use of comfrey because because it contains substances known as –PAs for short. These PAs can cause a liver disease which could in turn cause liver failure.
There are herbalists who feel that the internal use of comfrey is completely safe, some who feel that some variations of the herb are safe, and others that feel it should be avoided. Yet another group believes comfrey should be used just for external applications.
The external applications alone are quite amazing to anyone who has never encountered this herb. Just mixing a bit of with oil will produce a simple salve which does wonders for many common health problems. If you prefer, you can use aloe vera, beeswax or petroleum jelly instead of oil .
Another problem where this herb can be helpful is staph. Applying comfrey salve directly to the infected area will rapidly kill the bacteria. Open wounds heal extremely fast – usually within 24 hours or less. Many times there is minimal scarring as well.
Broken bones and strained ligaments heal quicker when a comfrey salve or is applied outside the affected area. Not only does it quicken the healing process, it also helps relieve pain and reduce swelling. Comfrey will earn its keep in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet.