Photos of Comfrey, Common Comfrey, Symphytum officinale

Comfrey Symphytum officinale. Traditionally, comfrey leaves, and especially the root, are valued for expectorant, emollient, astringent, demulcent and hemostatic activity. Knit-bone is one common name. A poultice of the leaves or root is placed over a sprain or broken limb to aid the “knitting” of the tissue. The root is used to allay diarrhea, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other conditions. Concern over heptotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the plant led to regulatory restrictions in some countries. Now near alkaloid-free strains or removal of alkaloids in processing, have created a new generation of comfrey products, particularly topical preparations with improved safety profiles, used for osteoarthritis in the knees, to reduce swelling and pain in ankle sprains, and to relieve back pain; with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

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