Comfrey: The Comforting Herb

| Modified on Oct 31, 2022
Comfrey Toxicity
Posted by Yeahright (Nashville) on 04/22/2018
5 out of 5 stars

From a thread on Curezone regarding Comfrey:

"Water01 - Thank you for that great post AND for this opportunity to set the record straight about one of Nature's/God's GREATEST healing plants!

That 'warning letter' was sent to virtually every company that was selling herbs at that time (of which the FDA was aware). What is most frustratingly (to me) is that one of the LARGEST companies with the most money to fight the lies (Dr. Christopher's company, now run by his children), willingly chose to kowtow and remove the Comfrey from all their father's products, rather than fight the FDA. So, with one of the major players 'knocked out of the fight', the smaller players (armed with truth & integrity, but very little money), had to shoulder the burden of the battle. And battle they did, and they WON (even if the court costs for them were astronomical with no way to recoup them). Herbalists ARE still allowed to include comfrey in products for internal use legally.

The unneccesary "warning" (regarding comfrey only being safe for external use) is still widely in place...which is VERY frustrating. It is very rare to find someone familiar enough with herbs & natural health/healing that they are not 'scared away' by a "liver damage" & "cancer" warning...so likely millions of people that could benefit from the healing miracles of comfrey are deprived. :( And this is all very similar to the authorities manipulation of the public concept of the safety of natural Ephedra (not the varieties of sythetic kinds or the products that were mixed with other unsafe plants or chemical stimulants). The "scare" about Ephedra even 'got me' for a time. (Note - it's a true shame we don't have a legitimate organization that will test and oversee the marketing of herbal products. There were truly innocent people hurt very seriously by the use of Ephedra products that were adulterated with chemical toxins. And there have been cases of people having all kinds of abnormal reactions and problems from taking herbs that were grown with the usage of DDT and other incredibly toxic chemicals. Besides being a carcinogen, DDT is also a neurotoxin, so there have been people with neurological illnesses that have worsened after taking the very herbs that should help them heal. :(

When I was researching the FDA/Comfrey/Christopher situation, I found (what appears to be) the "final word on Comfrey" from the FDA's website. It is pasted below in it's entirely (as written), and then there's "my review" of the data AFTER running it through my "Spin Detector" (this document puts a theme park ride to shame with the velocity of spin it contains!).

Let's see how good YOUR "Spin Detector" is! Read the document below and discern what you determine & conclude after reading it. After you've finished, ask yourself: Does it provide factual evidence? Is it legitimate? After reading it, does the use of Comfrey concern you? What do you now know about Comfrey that you didn't know before?

Here it is, straight from the mouth of the FDA:

The use of comfrey in dietary supplements is a serious concern to FDA. These plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances which are firmly established to be hepatotoxins in animals. Reports in the scientific literature clearly associate oral exposure of comfrey and pyrrolizidine alkaloids with the occurrence of veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in animals. Moreover, outbreaks of hepatic VOD have been reported in other countries over the years and the toxicity of these substances in humans is generally accepted. The use of products containing comfrey has also been implicated in serious adverse incidents over the years in the United States and elsewhere. However, while information is generally lacking to establish a cause-effect relationship between comfrey ingestion and observed adverse effects humans, the adverse effects that have been seen are entirely consistent with the known effects of comfrey ingestion that have been described in the scientific literature. The pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are present in comfrey, in addition to being potent hepatotoxins, have also been shown to be toxic to other tissues as well. There is also evidence that implicates these substances as carcinogens. Taken together, the clear evidence of an association between oral exposure to pyrrolizidine alkaloids and serious adverse health effects and the lack of any valid scientific data that would enable the agency to determine whether there is an exposure, if any, that would present no harm to consumers, indicates that this substance should not be used as an ingredient in dietary supplements.

So now, how ya feelin' about the internal use of Comfrey? Do you feel like you're heard and absorbed the truth? Before you read the "Sarcastic Spin Detector" version below, there's two things you need to know (or remember).

#1 There are pyrrolizzidine alkaloids present in MANY plants, and many are known to cause liver damage, but so far, there is absolutely zero factual evidence that the specific pyrrolizzidine alkaloids in Comfrey have ever caused liver damage or cancer. Here are a few of the plants with PAs that have caused damage:http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:7311596

The inset text below is from this FANTASTIC article of the safey & use of Comfrey:http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/comfrey.html

Outbreaks of PA poisoning in humans, in the past, have usually been the result of accidental contamination of food crops, with the toxic seeds of other plants. One such instance was an outbreak of veno-occlusive disease in Afghanistan in 1974. This outbreak followed a severe drought and the people were suffering from acute malnutrition (an important factor). About 22% of the people showed evidence of liver disease when examined in 1975. The cause of the outbreak was traced to bread, contaminated by heliotropium seed (which grew extensively in the wheat fields). Samples of the wheat examined, were found to contain an average of 40 seeds (300 mg) per kg of wheat.

Cases of liver damage, due to people drinking bush teas of seneca and crotalaria, have been reported from a number of places. J. A. Pembery, B.Sc., advisor to the Henry Doubleday Research Association, Essex, U.K. says, in the book ‘The Safety of Comfrey', that there appear to be no cases, in medical history or veterinary records, of humans or animals, showing clinical symptoms, of pyrrolizidine alkaloid poisoning, from the consumption of comfrey. Lawrence D. Hills, in his forward in the book, mentions that the Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Health very kindly carried out a computer search through their records of 137,000 cases of stock poisoning by plants, since 1972, and found only one concerning case: a case of comfrey-nitrate poisoning in pigs from excessive use of fertilisers in Germany.

#2 At some time in school (likely a long time ago in a science class far, far, away), you probably heard the very valid statement that "correlation does not prove causation" (or "association does not prove causation"). This means, that's just because two things happen to be correlated or associated, it doesn't prove that one causes the other. For example, it may be true that almost always when you're trying to take a relaxing soak in the tub, the phone starts ringing or the kids go ballistic. (That's a correlation or an association). But running a bath full of hot water and getting in it does not CAUSE a phone to ring (or children to misbehave). Hence, correlation/association does not prove causation (although it's possible that when things are correlated or associated, one of them does cause another). But two events happening together does not PROVE one causes the other. One has to do more testing and studying to find out how the events are related.

So, here it is - The Comfrey Bomb (FDA in black - me in cool blue :)

The use of comfrey in dietary supplements is a serious concern to FDA.

Perhaps you, the FDA would care to be seriously concerned about the 50,000+ deaths from the drug you approved named Vioxx - or the fact that even without including that drug in the number, more than 100,000-150,000 people actually DIE each year from ingesting, as prescribed, the drugs that you've tested and approved. And before you start researching the dangers of a plant that have been proven to be safe for decades, perhaps you'd like to start dealing with the fact that you allow chemical additives in our food that have already been thoroughly tested and proved to cause cancer and other diseases.

These plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances which are firmly established to be hepatotoxins in animals.

Yes, some of the various pyrrolizidine alkaloids in some plants have been shown to be hepatoxic in animals. But there has NEVER been a verified instance of anyone using Comfrey and developing liver disease because of it. So what you likely meant to say is: "Some plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are firmly established to be hepatotoxins in animals (and humans)...but that has never been established with Comfrey".

Reports in the scientific literature clearly associate oral exposure of comfrey and pyrrolizidine alkaloids with the occurrence of veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in animals.

Yes, there are reports that associate oral exposure to comfrey with VOD, but there are none that prove it...or you (the great and almighty FDA) woulddefinitely be mentioning it. And 'association' is a LONG way from causation...and barely worth mentioning to a critically thinking scientist without other evidence or conclusive studies. Do you HAVE any conclusive studies?

Moreover, outbreaks of hepatic VOD have been reported in other countries over the years...

Well, yes, VOD has many causes...what does that have to do with Comfrey?

...and the toxicity of these substances in humans is generally accepted.

There's absolutely no doubt that some pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and virtually all of those extracted/isolated and injected in large amounts, or synthesized pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are typically use for testing, are toxic at high levels. So yes, that is "generally accepted" as you say...but you still haven't proven that the specific pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Comfrey are hepatotoxic in any way (even though you continue to strongly imply that). And just because you're giving us a major "spin treatment" doesn't mean we're dull enough to fall for it.

The use of products containing comfrey has also been implicated in serious adverse incidents over the years in the United States and elsewhere.

Ahem, taking a bath daily and getting fresh air was implicated as the cause of many diseases and 'adverse incidents' throughout the world for centuries. The 'fact' that the earth was flat and the oceans had sea monsters was implicated in the 'adverse incidents' of ships for centuries. Those turned out to be incorrect implications.

Besides"implicated" is a far cry from "proven". And if you happen to have some "implication" other than heresay or gossip, we'd like to know. Please tell us what else was in those 'products that contained comfrey'; and were those products -and that comfrey in them- grown in third world countries and doused with DDT and other hepatotoxic pesticides? And forgive us for questioning you, but just because "you say" Comfrey has been 'implicated in serious adverse incidents', that doesn't make it true --unless you have evidence, of course. Do you have any evidence? Can we just stick to the facts please?

Drumroll please, from THE mouth of the FDA!
However, whileinformation is generally lacking to establish a cause-effect relationship between comfrey ingestion and observed adverse effects humans... well, gosh-golly-gee, you're the FDA, I'm sure you would know if there's any evidence to be found. And since you admit "information is lacking to establish a true cause-effect", then, uh, there's no information to establish one, eh?)

...the adverse effects that have been seen are entirely consistent with the known effects of comfrey ingestion that have been described in the scientific literature. HUH???? You just said there's no information to establish a cause-effect relationship...so how can there even BE adverse effects with known comfrey ingestion, if there's no information to establish a cause-effect??? We're not quite as dumb as you think we are, are you're certainly not as "smooth" as you think you are! (Did you really just put two totally conflicting statements in the same sentence?)

The pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are present in comfrey, in addition to being potent hepatotoxins, have also been shown to be toxic to other tissues as well. No! No! No! You just said that information is generally lacking to establish a cause-effect with Comfrey and adverse effects in humans...and you've NEVER proven or referenced a study that proves Comfrey is a potent hepatotoxin. What you probably MEANT to say, is that some pyrrolizidine alkaloids from some plants are potent hepatotoxins...and you'd like to lump Comfrey in with those, but you'd don't have any evidence to do so. So you're lumping it all together anyway and hoping we'll fall for it.

There is also evidence that implicates these substances as carcinogens. Implicated? or PROVEN? And by 'these substances', do you mean synthetic or extracted/isolated pyrrolizidine alkaloids from the known toxic alkaloids/plants, or from the 'Comfrey substances' which you've already clearly admitted have no proven cause-effect relationship to adverse effects in humans?

Taken together, the clear evidence of an association between oral exposure to pyrrolizidine alkaloids and serious adverse health effects... Again, as we learned in science class: "association" or "correlation" does NOT prove "causation". And again-again :::sigh::: are we talking the PA's from the plants that are KNOWN to contain toxic PA's, or the PA's from Comfrey (that have NEVER been proven to cause ANY harm to man or beast)?

...and the lack of any valid scientific data that would enable the agency to determine whether there is an exposure, if any, that would present no harm to consumers, ... So far you've got "association" -which you're quite aware, means absolutely nothing unless you have valid scientific data that PROVES a correlation. AND you have "lack of any valid scientific data". So exactly what are you going to conclude?

...indicates that this substance should not be used as an ingredient in dietary supplements.

:::in my best Mr. Rodgers voice::: Okay folks, can you say "AGENDA"??? Sure, I knew you could.

Now then, it is any wonder, that after almost a century of this level of "spin & lies" being imbedded into the minds of society and physicians (AND alternative & natural healers), that we're all scared to death to eat plants to heal ourself? (Of course, this doesn't mean that we should be stupid and run out there and stuff our face with anything and everything just because it's "natural" and someone said it was good for us). But it is VERY important to know the the pharmaceutical industry-owned AMA (whose foundational mission is "to protect the legal & financial interest of it's members") and all it's greedy tentacles, have spent BILLIONS of dollars since the late 1890's,,,, hiring the TOP psychologists and advertising PR experts to propagandize & brainwash society and destroy the competition. And you just saw one little blurb that's part of the process. All of us (and all of those we ever try to help) are victims of this 'fear & quackery' campaign...and how deceitful, impactful, and health-destroying their incredible levels of "spin" really are.

Let truth and freedom REIGN!

Unyquity

"Those who know the least obey the best."--George Farquhar

Bed Sores
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 04/23/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Dear Radiance Swan,

As Paracelsus said, "The dose makes the poison."

There are quite a few controversial remedies discussed on this website that are difficult to find discussed in other places. Borax, for example. I am thankful that there is a place to discuss and learn about their uses even when various organizations might villainize or ban them.

In his tome, "Medical Herbalism, " David Hoffman, FNIMH, AHG says, "Long-term studies with rats have demonstrated that the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in comfrey are hepatotoxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic...The herb must therefore be recognized as a potentially genotoxic carcinogen in man. However, the risk of genetic damage from these PAs appears to be low...To minimize potential risk, lengthy internal use is to be discouraged." He does go on to describe ways to use it internally.

I have found that many herbalists seem to agree with this approach. Few seem to be inclined to completely ban internal use (except for the root, which is generally considered to be used only externally.)

Recently I used fresh comfrey leaves internally when I had a suspected ulcer (from a prescription I was taking.) I felt that the risk of using comfrey internally was probably less than the risk from another prescription. And all ulcer symptoms did resolve in short order.

I would hate to see the feedback about the internal uses erased from this site, as that would reduce our power as consumers to make our decisions about the remedies we use. And the article that mentions comfrey tea does state, "While comfrey is a folk remedy that is still commonly recommended by herbalists, some scientists are concerned about the safety of comfrey, believing it to be harmful to the liver. You should do your own research and use wisdom and common sense about the use of any herbs. A natural practitioner will be able to help you understand any specific concerns about comfrey use for your own situation."

Definitely everyone should do their own research about what works best for them. No one should use a remedy that they are uncomfortable with.

~Mama to Many~


Cartilage Damage, Scars
Posted by Kitchen Witch (New York) on 07/05/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Comfrey leaf for cartilage repair

I have a lipoma and I heard comfrey leaf might help. I ordered some comfrey leaf plantain leaf tea from someone on etsy and comfrey leaf tablets and took them three times a day and drank a pot of tea daily. Well, it did nothing for my lipoma but I had an indented scar on the side tip of my nose that dug into my cartilage from a cancerous growth being removed. After two weeks it started filling in.

I've had this scar for four years, got injections used salves oils and creams and nothing a big hole in my nose. Now its almost filled in and I am shocked. Doctors said I would need an implant.


Comfrey Toxicity
Posted by Om (Hope Bc Canada) on 01/23/2014

EC researchers--- please look out. Vested interests are putting out their bit to mislead and misinform the public. Especially if an herb or substance is effective and within means, there come the lies and efforts to discredit herbology and folk remedies that have been used for hundreds of years.

For example: recently and longer, BORAX, KEROSENE, TURPENTINE, COMFREY, even KOMBUCHA.

I was perusing a page on Kombucha, when a well known link that starts with L...discredited it as being unsafe when Kombucha has been brewed in countless homes for umpteen years with the effect that in those areas in the world cancer did not make its debut.

I am getting angry when Truth becomes "myth", when well being of man is undermined and the public drained of resourses and left callously to die from man made poisons. In the name of commerce and control.

If one peruses history, this has been done every time, killing volk wisdom and its knowledgeable citizens over and again.

How many of the good people who have made a huge difference to mankind with their natural remedies are in jail or IN HIDING??

Very angrily, yours, Namaste Om


Bone Fractures
Posted by Cloe (Los Angeles)
5 out of 5 stars

Sent to Earth Clinic in 2002 by Cloe Jazwinski of Los Angeles, CA. Cloe knows a thing or two about healing a bone fracture. Cloe is a 2nd Dan black belt in karate who has used comfrey salves to heal two bone fractures.

She writes, "Comfrey is one of the most well-known healing plants, especially for its ability to heal tissue and bone (due to its allantoin content, which promotes the growth of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage, and is easily absorbed through the skin). Besides broken bones, these externally poulticed leaves and roots are also used for cuts, bruises and sprains."

Recipe: Comfrey is best used fresh and simmered. Use the sticky paste to make a compress and attach it with an elastic bandage. Use every night. This will speed the healing of the fracture dramatically.

To heal her fractures, every night Cloe would grind several tablespoons of comfrey with a mortar and would bring it to a boil with a few spoons of water. She then would make a paste out of it, spread the paste on a cotton cloth, wrap it around her arm, and put elastic bands or safety pins in to secure it. Even though she had 2 fractures, Cloe decided not to wear a cast but a sling, which is why she could take off the sling at night.

Writes Cloe, "The feeling of that compress was heavenly. Even though everyone said I'd always know where my arm was broken (rain and humidity brings back the pain for the rest of your life), I never felt it and I attribute that to the comfrey compress routine. It's known to heal wounds extremely fast as well (I use a pre-made ointment of comfrey and aloe on scratches and minor wounds and they disappear overnight). I see comfrey as the crazy glue of broken bones and skin..."

Comfrey Caveats:

Not recommended for internal use as there is some controversy about carcinogenic effects. The controversy around the use of this plant concerns its pyrrolizidine alkaloid components, which are considered carcinogenic to the liver; however, these studies have been performed on rats that were fed up to 33% of their diet in comfrey leaf. Studies done with the whole plant (rather than with isolated constituents) do not show carcinogenic effects but rather the opposite. In fact, the Japanese use comfrey vinegar extracts for treating cirrhosis of the liver.


Nephritis, Kidney Disease
Posted by Brian (Wendouree/Ballarat, Victoria/Australia) on 08/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

When 7 years old, I nearly died with nepthritis [ kidney disease ]. At 39 year old, the pain in that area made me almost weep and it needed to be stopped. I felt something inside said to fast, take only lemon juice and eat "raw" comfrey - I did this from 4.00 pm friday until lunch time sunday and I have never had a pain there since and I am now 68years old. "I thank God for Comfrey" - since then I have spoke to people who have also been set free of disease in the kidneys through comfrey and its healing "alantoin". I only ate about 7 hand sized leaves over 3 days.

Chickens
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn ) on 10/27/2016

I have a dozen or so laying hens and one very beautiful rooster. One of my hens hurt her foot and isn't bearing weight on it. She hops around pretty well though. What is really sweet is that my rooster is very protective of her and my son found him snuggled up with her under the chicken coop last evening!

I can't see any visible signs of trauma or break on her foot or leg. But obviously she has an injury. So I am putting fresh comfrey leaves out for all of my chickens to eat; it will be good for all of them and especially for my lame chicken. I will let you know how she does.

One picture below shows a chicken enjoying a comfrey leaf; the other is two of my sons holding the lame chicken after I checked out her foot.

~Mama to Many~



Broken Bones
Posted by HisJewel (New York) on 10/05/2021
5 out of 5 stars

O Mama,

I forgot to mention, My doctor had me up for hand surgery. I cancelled it because my wrist no longer feels detached from my hand, and I took note that my hand is regaining strength with the blessings that the Good Lord has provided for me to use.

HisJewel


Comfrey Toxicity
Posted by Teena (Melbourne, Australia) on 04/23/2018 235 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, yes, Yes!! I will take generations of people and livestock consuming comfrey over their lifetimes, thriving, flourishing and regaining health over anything the FDA or it's equivalent says. After reading some miraculous testimonies I planted four plants in my tiny garden. I have been consuming it daily, initially in salads, most recently in teas (best results for me). Here (Australia) it is not allowed to be sold for internal use. Unfortunately many people are not willing to open their mind (my personal experience) until bigpharma leave them in drastic ill health, and sometimes not even then.


Comfrey Smoothie for Women
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 04/06/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Well, my smoothie picture today doesn't have a sunny background. It is chilly and drizzly this morning. But I still made a smoothie this morning; it is one of my favorite breakfasts. My son with poison ivy is doing so much better, so I am back to making smoothie that has what I like and think I need in it (Thought I loved the Pina Colada Smoothie). Every day my smoothie is different but here is today's recipe (approximately.)

  • 2 medium sized comfrey leaves
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Gelatin
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (maybe a little more)

Blend all in a blender.

It wasn't very sweet; some honey could be added.

Benefits of this smoothie for women:

Comfrey is good for strong and flexible bones, healthy skin and good digestion. Herbalist Susun Weed says it contains special proteins for short term memory brain cells.

Susun Weed also recommends regular consumption of yogurt for menopausal women.

Blueberries are tasty antioxidants.

Chia seeds are good for digestion and give you Omega 3's.

Gelatin is good for the health of joints, skin, hair and nails.

Enjoy!

~Mama to Many~

Broken Bones
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 09/28/2017

Dear Mary,

Here is how I make Comfrey Salve:

I usually use dried comfrey leaf from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Sometimes I used dried fresh comfrey leaf. (I always should since I have a comfrey plant but I get lazy.)

Fresh leaves, if you have access to them, can be cleaned and dried in an oven on very low heat. You want them dry but not completely brittle.

I fill a mason jar 2/3 full of comfrey leaves. I then cover that with oil until jar is 3/4 full. It can be all olive oil or almond oil. But I usually add in some castor oil since it is good for pain. (No more than 1/3 of it should be castor. It is pretty greasy and not sure if it extracts the comfrey as well as olive or almond.)

The leaves should be completely submerged in oil.

I allow this to sit for 2 weeks in a cool dry place. OR I put the closed jar on a washcloth (to prevent cracking) in a crock pot and fill the crock pot with water to just below the lid (you don't want water to seep into the mixture.) I put the crock pot on warm or low for 3-4 days. (Low if I will be around enough to keep refilling the water. If it goes dry you may crack the jar.)

After you have infused the oil with one of the above methods, use a square of a clean t shirt or sheet that you can part with. Use this square to strain out the oil into another jar. Squeeze as much oil out as you can. Toss spent herbs or compost or feed to chickens.

Now you have comfrey infused oil. You can use this oil as is. Or you can melt in beeswax to make a salve. I have done both.

To melt in beeswax, first weigh your oil, then use a double boiler and reheat the infused oil. For every 4 ounces (by weight) of oil, add 1 T. beeswax pastilles. (Little granules.) Melt them in and then pour your mixture into a jar or tin. I usually test before pouring by putting a bit in the freezer for a couple of minutes. If it is too soft, add more beesax. If too firm, add a little more olive oil.

You can add vitamin e or essential oils to but I rarely do that anymore unless I have a specific purpose in mind. These infused oils last a good while and I like the simplicity.

Comfrey salve oil is also amazing for skin rashes, burns, hemorrhoids, and chapped lips.

Enjoy!

~Mama to Many~


Comfrey Side Effects
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 01/24/2014

Dear Courtney,

The company that made your salve is trying to avoid liability. We have used a homemade salve using comfrey for years and it is very effective and safe, in my opinion. Three herbalists whom I trust and have gleaned much from (Rachel Weaver, Phillip Fritchey, and Lalitha Thomas) are all aware of the "studies" and yet, they still give information about comfrey and how to use it internally. My family has used it internally and externally and love it. Personally, I think the FDA does not want comfrey to be safe. It is so effective that it has the potential to hurt drug sales. I find it sad that comfrey gets a bad rap, when there are so many drugs called, "safe" by the FDA that are not safe at all. It is a money thing. Drug companies do not make money if people get better using comfrey.

All that said, you must do what you are comfortable with. If you try your salve, be sure to let us know if it is effective for your pain!

Have a great day!

~Mama to Many~


Dog Back Leg Paralysis
Posted by Katie (Edison, NJ) on 11/02/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Comfrey Compress for a Dachshund

My doxie's back legs became paralyzed. The vet "guessed" that he had intervertebral disk disease and suggested a $5,000.00 surgery. After my research - I put him on strict crate rest, gave him supplements, chinese herbs and pumpkin (for fiber). I also gave him comfrey compresses - 3x's a day- which he would settle into. It took 3 1/2 months for him to walk again. The interesting thing was that when he got better, he would not sit for the compresses. I took it as "I'm ok now and don't need it anymore.") A big thanks to this website for it's valuable information.


Broken Bones
Posted by HisJewel (New York) on 10/04/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Greetings Mama to Many and EC,

Mama to Many you asked me to report back and post how well the bottled comfrey extract helped and here it is. This is an update on my fall in front of Penn Station in New York in early June. It is now four months later.

I used two different companies, one with alcohol and one without alcohol. I rubbed the wrist and hand with comfrey several times of day to hasten the healing my wrist which was complicated by my senior plus pre-diabetic physical conditions. I did the above lavishly for about a month until the pain began to subside.

The x-ray revealed that my bone was fractured in two places. The Comfrey Extract relieved the pain in the early healing process. As my wrist started to heal, I would forget it was sprained because of the lack of pain. Sometimes I put too heavy a load on that hand in the spur moment without thought.

One such moment I thought I smelled smoke in the middle of the night during a visit with my aunt. Quickly as I pushed up (my knees need help) I seemed to have stretched the ligaments in my wrist in that hand, the pain was so great. After that nothing helped to move the pain, however I continued to use the comfrey a while longer. Soon read about Silica and Horsetail to help in mending the bone. I have been taking the Silica and Horsetail supplements for about two months. My wrist no longer feels detached from my hand. And there is hardly any pain except if I over use my hand. I sometimes I put the comfrey extract on at night if I have over use pain.

A new problem seems to have developed in my hand now. I can feel a bump or cysts under the skin. If you have any Idea how I can dissolve them it would be a great blessing. I will continue rubbing on castor oil. I have tried holding taping to it twice. I do need to be more consistent.

EC I would also like to mention my progress with my hair and nails. It may take a while before I find my post regarding hairballs and strange horizontal looking lines across my fingernails.

I posted how my hair started growing while taking supplements to resist COVID in early 2020.

After a while I was convinced it was the Lecithin that had started my hair growing and smoothed my nails out in early 2020. Outside of the virus prevention supplements, I was also taking some other things like the Lecithin and Bamboo. Bamboo is a Silica supplement.

The hairballs which showed back up after I slowed down on the Covid supplements and other supplements have once again come to naught. No more hairballs! It's got to be the help of Silica.

https://www.hairguard.com/benefits-bamboo-extract/

Thank you very much,

HisJewel

Skin Conditions
Posted by SJHersh (Catskills Comfrey) (Fleischmanns, NY ) on 02/03/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I am a comfrey immersive, ie, I use comfrey a lot, mostly in the form of comfrey-based topical ointments I create myself under my brand. A poultice is the most effective form of application but having fresh leaves is impractical for most folks.

I use comfrey for significantly impacting my Trigger Finger symptoms by applying the ointment fully to my hands 3-4x weekly just before I go to sleep.

I use comfrey to treat wasp stings, sunburn, rashes that arise on my body and, in conjunction with CBD, I apply it to my left knee which is beginning to present with pain: the comfrey+CBD mitigates the pain for several days. The topical ointment of fractionated coconut oil and Greek olive oil, along with the infused comfrey, makes an ideal foot 'softener'.

I use a poultice of dried comfrey (soaked in boiling water) on my eyes if they become sore or tired. I have AMD and get an eye injection every 8 weeks; occasionally this results in a bruised, sore eye. Bathing the eyes in a comfrey wash rapidly mitigates this soreness overnight, reducing the soreness from the usual several days to an overnight of discomfort.

Yes, I am prejudiced for comfrey - and for good reason.

Seth J Hersh


Comfrey Smoothie for Women
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 11/20/2017

Dear Mary in Arcadia,

Back when we were conversing about how much dried comfrey leaf equals a leaf, I cut a leaf and hung it up in my kitchen. It long since dried and today I finally crushed it up and measured how much dried leaf it made (without the stem.)

The leaf in the picture, (with a regular sized domino to compare) dried and crushed made just over a teaspoon of dried comfrey leaf. If I had powdered it, it would have been less than a teaspoon.

~Mama to Many~


Comfrey Side Effects
Posted by Mike62 (Denver) on 01/23/2014

Courtney: 3000 years ago there were city states. Everybody had to have great strength because they were always warring against each other. They had to get their strength from properly prepared food. Today there is peace. People don't need great strength. There are a handful of people who figured an easy way to make a lot of money. They would make people sick with improperly grown food and then make them sicker with some synthetic meds. When somebody said comfrey can heal they hired some underlings to slander God's Goodie. They isolated 1 substance from comfrey and gave that to some rats at 1000 times the dose. Of course they got sick. There are farmers in Australia who fed their animals bales of comfrey for decades. They drank comfrey tea and ate comfrey salad every day. You can make green smoothies from comfrey leaf and feel like wonder woman.


Comfrey Side Effects
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 02/02/2016

Dear Marla,

Comfrey does grow very well in Middle TN, I am happy to say. You might look for it at farmer's markets or smaller nurseries in the spring. A very small plant will flourish into a large plant. And it is hard to get rid of (as if one would ever want to!) so plant it in a place where it can flourish and stay put a long, long time. (It does like full sun.)

I used dried comfrey for my homemade salve. I tried to use fresh comfrey for it once and it went bad - because the fresh has a high water content. So, I usually use dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I combine several herbs in my salve - I will list them all. But even just using the comfrey (or just the plantain or calendula) will make a wonderful healing salve.

I fill (about 3/4 to the top) a mason jar with the dried herbs I want to use. I usually use comfrey, plantain, calendula, and burdock root, equal parts of each. Then I cover the dry herbs with oil. I use about 1/2 olive oil, 1/4 extra virgin coconut oil, and 1/4 castor oil. You could use all olive, but the coconut and castor have their own wonderful properties.

The jar is now full to the top with herbs and oil. I stir this up and let it sit in the laundry room for 2-4 weeks. If I need it in a hurry, I put the lidded jar in a crock pot (on a cloth towel towel) and fill the crock with water and keep the pot on warm overnight and low during the day. The water will need to be refilled a few times a day. I keep this brewing for 3 days.

Next I take the oil that has been sitting for 2 weeks or steeped for 3 days and strain the herbs out through a large piece of old but clean cotton t-shirt. The oil can be used "as is" now. This was my original recipe. Eventually, I melted in beeswax to make a salve, which is easier to use, much of the time. To make the salve, I add 1 Tablespoon of beeswax pastilles to each 4 ounces of herbal oil. I heat up the oil (a double boiler is ideal, though hard to clean out when you are finished! ) and add in the beeswax. I usually add some lavender essential oil, too. About 3/4 teaspoon for 4 ounces of oil. 4 ounce mason jars are ideal to store this in. Or you can buy all manner of cute little tins or containers online.

We use this salve for everything. Chapped lips, dry skin, eczema, bug bites, poison ivy, scrapes etc.

Let me know if you make some and how it goes!

~Mama to Many~


Comfrey Toxicity
Posted by Om (Hope Bc Canada) on 01/23/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I beg to differ. Comfrey or symphytum is not toxic if taken internally. There are many people who take a leaf daily for its health giving properties. Because comfrey is so beneficial internally and externally, gov't has it demonized and the lie goes around the globe in a trice. Of course, as with everything else, if you take loads ... but let's be frank. Natural medicine does not kill. Namaste, Om

Bed Sores
Posted by Karen Z (Australia) on 10/31/2022

That is rubbish about it being toxic to the liver. I have many of the old books on comphrey/comfrey (Laurence Hills and Doubleday publishing and other authors) and they state unequivocally that comfrey was used internally and externally with NIL issues for both humans and animals. In fact, animals THRIVE on it.

The "science" denigrating comfrey is fake and like many herbs, the medico/pharma junta set out to discredit anything that they can't make money from (ie cheap and effective herbs).

Please DO some REAL research and find out the truth and stop being a mindless repeating station for bunkum that that Big Pharma want you to keep repeating and scare people off.

There are enough people, including myself who eat, drink and have in smoothies. I grow it and make comphrey oil and give it to people to injure themselves or have skin issues and it HEALS.

There is NO ISSUE with ingesting the stuff. If you want to be scared off, you will. If you want to do some actual research (and get behind the smokescreen they have generated - and I have discovered that also includes the "prestigious" Australian CSIRO (which has also a reputation for killing off Peter Andrews wonderful work on regenerating farmland so water is attracted to it)).

You have to really drill into the historical documents to find the truth. I believe the CSIRO scientist who did the research (finding "so many more alkalysing pyrroloids" than ever before) was put up to it, to kill people's faith in this remedy.

My advice: If you are sick, try it. It will NOT kill you. You are more likely to be cured more than anything else.

Yes I have Honours in Biochemistry, and I research until I get to the truth.

I suggest the people squarking about the "liver damage" danger, do likewise.

Go back to Lawrence Hills' well researched work. It isn't easy to find but there are pdf versions if you hunt them up.

Take it and get healed and avoid the medical/pharma juganaut that is NOT for your health. They just want to empty your bank account into theirs.


Chickens
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 07/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Dear Zark,

Thanks for checking!

I am happy to say I can't even tell which hen had the injury. The whole flock of them spend the day running around after bugs. (Hopefully they are eating a lot of ticks! )

~Mama to Many~


Broken Bones
Posted by Julie (Melbourne, Australia) on 09/21/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Update: My friend with the broken collar bone was healed in three weeks. He applied the cream, made from the plant root, three times a day.

After two weeks he told me that there were six breaks in the bone. The thought came to me that he may be a sugar consumer so I suggested he avoid sugar and soft drinks (soda). These acids cause leaching of calcium (alkaline) out of the bones as the body frantically tries to neutralize the increased acidity in the blood. The added loss of calcium from the bones, slows down the healing process. In addition, this causes them to be weak and prone to breaking or fracturing in the first place.


Broken Bones
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 09/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Dear Rita

It would definitely be worth a try! I use comfrey all the time and absolutely love it.

You can guarantee a stronger ointment if you make it yourself. If you are interested in making it, I will share a recipe.

Bone broth would be a good addition to the diet to promote bone and joint healing as well.

~Mama to Many~


Nephritis, Kidney Disease
Posted by Jacqui (Scottsville, Kentucky) on 06/24/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I was facinated with Brian of Australia Comfrey remedy for his kidney troubles.

I am a New Zealander living in Kentucky USA..as a child my Mum(part Maori) always added a few leaves of Comfrey into the cabbage etc,she also told me when I had babies to add a leaf or two into my babies vegetables,and I always did that.

Over my life I have ALWAYS grown Comfrey in my garden,it makes a wonderful tea for the garden plants,and my Mum would use it in her compost. The common name for Comfrey is Knitbone..because it knits together,it is an ancient herb.Unfortunately withing the last 20years some silly persons have over indulged (OMG they must have drunk buckets of Comfrey tea) consequently comfrey has been labelled now. I believe EVERYTHING in moderation.. I have heard of someone dyeing from drinking too much water..if you understand what I mean.

Since living in Kentucky a long way from my Homeland, I have been able to buy a Comfrey plant,and my Comfrey is my treasure, I make a tea from her..I can gargle with the tea..I can add honey and a little ginger powder if I had a cold or flu..comfrey is great for the lungs..bladder etc.

Comfrey leaf if crushed (roll the rolling pin over to crush stalk) and put on a cut with gauze,and wrapped in plastic wrap,within 24hours cut will be sealed, do the same thing for bruising,grazing etc.. back in New Zealand many of the horse trainers use Comfrey for their horses legs when hurt.. Comfrey can also be dried out in the sun and kept air tight to use throughout the Winter..hope you are all healed now Brian.

Regards Jacqui


Broken Bones
Posted by Ann (Union County, NJ) on 03/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I fractured my right fifth metacarpal the beginning of this month. I saw the orthopaedist and he set it with a cast. I used a tincture of comfrey acquired from the local healthfood store. I applied with a q-tip under the cast at the site of the fracture once or twice a day. I went back to the doc for my followup visit two weeks and two days after the injury, the doc kept asking, three times, "When did this injury had occur?" He could not believe how fast it had healed, he left the cast off and now I have a soft splint. Now I apply the comfrey tincture on a bandaid and leave it on overnight. I hope to be splint free when I go for my next two week checkup. Not bad for a 58 year old female.


Broken Bones
Posted by HisJewel (New York) on 10/05/2021

Yes Mama to Many,

Both comfrey extracts were root. I used Herb Pharm dried root extract and Dr. Christopher's original formula root extract.

Much Appreciation,

HisJewel


Broken Bones
Posted by J (Jefferson, Texas) on 01/25/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Comfrey for the ankle. It's referred to as knit bone. It helped bone grow twice as fast after having hardware removed from my ankle. The Surgeon told me two weeks after surgery that the bone growth he saw in the x-rays was what he usually saw at one month. I took pain meds for one day after surgery, only. I started putting poultices on it the day of my surgery as soon as I returned home. Two weeks later I was cleared to ride my motorcycle. Comfrey is absolutely amazing!


Digestive Issues
Posted by Zella Sauer (Terre Haute, Indiana) on 09/17/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, First let me say I love this site!

I plan to try many many things here.

I came here because of a gallbladder attack. I was sooo sick with this last attack, and I am not working and have no medical insurance. So I started out with AVC in apple juice and wow !! I felt much better (((but a very wonderful side effect occurred, which I wasn't expecting.... I have been holding water a lot lately in my ankles, and I have been drinking lots of water to help rid my body and eating very little to no salt, but still some puffiness.... I have been using ACV for 3 days now and my ankles and lower legs are TINY again !!! I can't believe it !!!) I have since then been reading all the wonderful things ACV does so I am a believer and will be taking it from now on.))) I did start out drinking the regular kind from the store in apple juice, but I have bought the organic ACV now...

My second subject is LETTUCE. I wanted faster relief on my gallbladder and eating a chunk of lettuce makes your stomach and gas build up from all of this ease down quite fast ...and it works! THANKS

My third subject is comfrey.... comfrey has many many used more than just bones.... I have it growing in my yard, and ((of course I haven;t been using it for about 1 month)) but that was me being dumb))) anyway I have a whole read out on comfrey and all of it's cures... but it may be too long for here. One thing it is for is the digestive system in your body. I usually cut me about 8 to 10 leafs each morning and bring them to a simmer and eat them. They are delicious and taste like rough spinach. My mom drinks comfrey tea. It is supposed to heal any upsets in your digestive track from your stomach right on down to your bowls, and ground comfry root is powerful stuff. Here is a small readout on just a few of it's healing powers......

((Tea of the leaves or decoction of the root was traditionally used for arthritis, respiratory problems, persistent coughs, pleurisy, bronchitis, bronchial pneumonia, lung disease with dry cough, lung congestion, quinsy, whooping cough, consumption, metritis, periostitis, gastrointestinal ulcers, ulcerative colitis, internal hemorrhage (lungs, bowel, stomach), bleeding piles, bloody urine, bladder infections, prostate infections, cystitis, leukorrhea, excessive menstrual flow, scrofula, anemia, wasting disease, DIGESTIVE & STOMACH PROBLEMS, spitting blood, colds, nasal congestion, diarrhea, and dysentary.))

I know a lady of 98 still going strong, a dear friend of my mom's, gave a plant to my mom and she in turn gave me some starts from it years ago, to help us with stomach problems and I did use it for 3 months once ... and was wonderfully healthy and no digestive problems at all... then I moved and my landlord would not allow me to pull it up. So it took me years to find it again and only this year, I have plenty... so along with my AVC, lettuce and comfrey I plan to get healthy and well.... ohh and I am just starting to use organic coconut oil on my skin ... will let everyone know .... :)

Thanks again !!!

Comfrey Root Extract
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 06/14/2021

Dear Hisjewel,

I am so happy to hear you are already finding the comfrey root oil to be helpful! Using it frequently through the day is ideal.

When I was using comfrey root salve for a recovering joint I tried to use it every two hours. But when I was using it on my hip when it was bothering me, I really only got around to it a couple of times a day. Both were helpful.

I checked my favorite herb book, Practical Herbalism, by Philip Fritchie. Regarding topical use of comfrey, he says to use it "as often as needed." I think the point is, you really won't over do by using it very often.

If you were using a poultice, you would have basically continuous application. So, to maximize the benefit, I would be inclined to apply the oil as soon as it seems to have absorbed, even every hour or two during the day.

One reason that herbs sometimes don't seem to "work" is that in many cases they need to be used more frequently than over the counter medications. (Not always, but sometimes.)

Using herbs can be as much art as science.

I will share an herb story from today with you; it is definitely not a scientific story! :)

I had taken my children to a nearby swimming hole this afternoon and we got a flat tire on the way home. We pulled the car safely to the side of the road. My teens set to work on getting the flat tire off. I started to walk up the hill to try and get a cell signal to text my husband in case it turned out that we didn't have what all we needed to change the tire.

I texted him and he was on his way home and would stop by soon. I headed back to the car and my kids. I had noticed some jewelweed along the roadside. (I don't normally pick herbs from the roadside, but this is definitely a road less traveled - in all the time we were stopped on the side of the road only one vehicle passed by.) I collected a bunch of jewelweed. My husband arrived and he and the kids got the spare on. We headed home to make dinner and process my unexpected jewelweed treasure.

I chopped up the jewelweed and put the chopped stalks and leaves (no flowers yet, or I would have put them in as well) in the blender with water to cover and blended it it until just blended. I put all of that in a crock pot on "High" with the lid off. After several hours the water had reduced. I strained the liquid through a coffee filter into a jar. The "jewelweed tea" (never to be taken internally) I poured into ice cube trays. I will keep the ice cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. It is a great poison ivy remedy. Just rub the poison ivy with the ice cube, very often through the day.

Hisjewel, please keep us posted on the progress you have with your hand!

Love,

~Mama to Many~


Ankle Sprains
Posted by JoCarol (United States) on 04/10/2019
5 out of 5 stars

I had an individual sprain his ankle really bad, it had a huge knot on the side of the ankle and was swelled up the side of the leg. I sent him home with some dried comfrey and told him to make a large kettle of comfrey tea and add some apple cider vinegar. By the end of the evening the swelling was almost all gone. And the next day the swelling was all gone and he could walk on it with no pain, as if nothing had happened.

Wonders of Comfrey
Posted by Georgina (Tolmie, Victoria, Australia) on 04/23/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Having grown and used Comfrey for the past forty years, and amazed at not only it's useage as a medicinal herb, but as a great food for animals, I would have thought it deserved a place as one of THE great herbs available to mankind.

When every wild thing (Deer, Kangaroos, wombats etc. ,) come for miles around to raid your garden, and the only thing they want to eat is your Comfrey, you can bet their natural instincts know a thing or two!!


Comfrey and Calendula Oil
Posted by Mama to Many (TN ) on 06/03/2022

Dear Tanja,

It's almost certainly the leaf. It's rare to find the root. Even if it were the root, or a combination, it would still work well for your purpose. You just don't want to use the root internally.
I'm currently using a salve a friend made with root and leaf.

~Mama to Many~


Broken Bones
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 10/04/2021

Dear Hisjewel,

Thank you for your thorough and helpful update! I will have to look into silica for my own hair!

I have used fresh comfrey in smoothies and even sauteed and made and used comfrey salve. But not the comfrey tincture. I need to make some! Would you happen to know if your comfrey extract was from comfrey leaf or root?

Love,

~Mama to Many~



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