Comfrey: The Comforting Herb

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~

Bed Sores
Posted by Radiance (WA) on 04/22/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Please, please, for your safety and your readers, remove the comfrey tea! Comfrey, when taken internally damages the liver! It is only to be used topically. I have studied herbs and particularly Comfrey for over 55 years. I make my own comfrey salve every year from my home grown Comfrey plants. Last year, my Comfrey salve completely healed my stage 1 bedsore in one week! Please advise your readers --- don't take Comfrey internally. Do your own research also and let me know what you find out about taking it internally. I do love your website.
Thank You, Thank You, Radiance Swan