doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010538. The leaves also are similar -- large and hairy. While many herbalists have used comfrey internally for years with no known problems, others are heeding the warnings that stem from the conclusions of modern scientific studies on the internal use of comfrey. A strong decoction, or tea, is recommended in cases of internal haemorrhage, whether from the lungs, stomach, bowels or from bleeding piles -to be taken every two hours till the haemorrhage ceases, in severe cases, a teaspoonful of Witch Hazel extract being added to the Comfrey root tea. 10. Moreira, R., Pereira, D.M., Valentao, P., & Andrade, P.B. British Journal of Cancer, 92(5), 873–875. The common variety is quite weedy and spreads around the garden. While cases of veno-occlusive liver disease have been reported by individuals taking comfrey leaf or root, it is not known which species of comfrey was used, and dosage and frequency varied among individuals as well, thus making it difficult to come to a conclusion. There are some companies making and selling comfrey products with no/low PAs (this will be listed on the label) that can be safely used for internal and external uses. (2013). Comfrey used to be used extensively for tuberculosis and irritating dry lung complaints in general. used S. officinale, while Yeong et al. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010538. Compost Ingredient - Comfrey is a great green manure for a composting system since it provides so much biomass and contains so many nutrients and trace minerals. Herbal ABCs: The foundation of herbal medicine. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our "Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons" Ebook! Comfrey leaf has been used since Roman times, dating back thousands of years. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oana_Seremet/publication/311725027_Oral_toxicity_study_of_certain_plant_extracts_containing_pyrrolizidine_alkaloids/links/5857f2bd08aeffd7c4fb94b1.pdf. Goldenseal herb vs. root. Comfrey leaf tea is not dangerous if taken sensibly. Because of this, it is often used to soothe hot, dry tissues, particularly those in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts for digestive ulcers and diarrhea, coughs, or to ease symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection, respectively (Hoffmann, 2003; Tilgner, 2018). Traditionally, comfrey has been used for hundreds of years, both internally and externally. It transpires that many of these people believe they are correctly informing fellow readers, whilst a minority are reductionist pharmacists of one sort or another , explicitly opposed to phytotherapy as unscientific etc etc. Comfrey ROOT has been implicated in the pyrrolizidine alkaloid link with occlusive liver disease. It happens, there are plenty of people who post advice to this newsgroup about safety and toxicity of herbal medicines who know nothing about the subject other than reading a secondary source on the matter, or worse repeating hearsay. You not only CAN use the leaves, but SHOULD do so. Next, herbalists lean toward using preparations made from the larger, more mature leaves, which are known to contain fewer PAs than younger leaves and roots. Crush or powder the plant material and mix with water to form a paste. Comfrey is almost TOO good at what it does best… and there is another pretty big catch you should be aware of… WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID COMFREY. It is also important to know that some unsaturated PAs have been shown to be more toxic than others, with the macrocyclic retronecine diesters (e.g., senecionine) being more toxic than the retronecine monoesters (e.g., symphytine and echimidine) (Hoffmann, 2003; Rode, 2004). This herb has been utilized in folk medicine throughout Europe and North America and has been widely cultivated. I like to also add one teaspoon of DMSO. Please simply create an account before buying/booking any courses. You can follow some tips from Healthtap doctors for breast feeding. It is often used to slow bleeding and drainage from tissues and to tighten and tone relaxed tissues. Dilute the comfrey plant food with water by half before you apply to plants. On the other hand, other studies using rats that were given isolated PAs from comfrey root or young leaf, both of which have higher levels of PAs than mature comfrey leaf (Mills & Bone, 2005), have shown to be toxic when given in both low and high concentrations (Mei et al., 2005; Yeong et al., 1993). Comfrey contains chemicals that can cause liver damage, lung problems, or cancer. Cool and strain. Comfrey leaf and root contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PLAs), a group of toxic compounds that can cause damage to the liver. The toxic effect of PAs is not a new phenomenon, and many cases of PA poisoning, from mild to severe and even fatal, have been reported (Hoffmann, 2003); however, the toxic effect of PAs in comfrey is where the debate is focused. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Inc. Moreira, R., Pereira, D.M., Valentao, P., & Andrade, P.B. Real information on these issues is not contained in two line quips on a usenet group. PA levels also vary depending on the species of Symphytum. Pleasant Hill, OR: Wise Acres Publishing. In fact, topical applications of comfrey leaf can stimulate such prolific cell regeneration that it’s not recommended for use on deep wounds as it can promote surface-level tissue repair before the inner parts of the wound heal, thus creating an environment for bacterial growth and potential infection. Add just enough water to turn it into a thick, wet paste, not too runny and not too dry. Comfrey, Symphytum uplandica x Herbal Adventures with Susun S Weed by Susun S. Weed read other Herbal Adventures part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 . The herb book I have says the beneficial part of the plant are the roots; I was wondering if the leaves have any properties as well. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. While a small amount of comfrey’s PAs may be absorbed through the skin, when used within the guidelines stated above, the amount is believed to be limited and, therefore, safe to use (Groves, 2016; Hoffmann, 2003). Please add your email address below and click "Submit" to add yourself to our mailing list. PA toxicity occurs when unsaturated PAs are absorbed from the intestines and passed to the liver to be metabolized. King's Dispensatory writes 'Comfrey root is very useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, bronchial irritation, coughs, hemoptysis, other pulmonary affections, leucorrhoea, and female debility. >I have a healthy crop of comfrey, courtesy of a friend, growing in my garden. Comfrey leaf is also high in tannins, giving it astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Comfrey’s leaf and root both have many beneficial qualities and uses. Since a chemical in isolation behaves differently than when present in a whole plant, rats are different than humans, different routes of administration can affect toxicity, and it is sometimes unclear which comfrey species (S. officinale or S. uplandicum) was used, there is dissension among herbalists regarding this decision and whether comfrey is indeed toxic to a healthy human (Hoffmann, 2003) when used in appropriate dosages and frequencies. Comfrey leaf is prized for its allantoin content, making it useful for tissue repair and cell regeneration. In the compost pile, comfrey leaves help speed the decomposition of tree leaves, grass clippings and other organic materials. It thrives in moist places. internally? In closing, we here at the Herbal Academy suggest erring on the side of caution and avoiding comfrey for internal use, particularly in the case of preexisting liver conditions, those taking medications that may affect liver function, during pregnancy, and while nursing. Use comfrey leaves for mulch; their broad leaves cover a wide area. ), and echinacea (Echinacea spp. Tilgner, S.M. http://www.henriettes-herb.com - Copyright 1995–2020 Henriette Kress. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Comfrey is likley unsafe to take by mouth. Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. Common comfrey is found escaped from cultivation in all New England states. American Herbal Products Association’s botanical safety handbook, Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care, Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine, Mei, N., Guo, L., Fu, P.P., Heflich, R.H., & Chen, T. (2005). While a number of plants contain PAs, such as alkanet (. I answered the original posters question - you are scaremongering. Health Benefits of Comfrey. Doctors give trusted answers on uses, effects, side-effects, and cautions: Dr. Werner on comfrey root vs comfrey leaves: Just a common sense: Stay away from strange substance while breast feeding. This is a chemical that has been scientifically proven to be toxic to the liver in high enough amounts. Saturated PAs are considered non-toxic, while unsaturated PAs are considered toxic (Hoffmann, 2003). You use the term US I notice? doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602420. However, as we’ve come to learn more about PAs and their effects on human and animal health, some herbalists have changed their approach to using PA-containing herbs, including comfrey. While the comfrey plant has its roots in Europe, it grows in many areas of the world. At this point, there are no clinical studies showing the link between PAs and liver toxicity when comfrey is taken at typical doses by healthy humans. used, While it can be helpful for herbalists to take these studies into account, it should be noted that the majority of research involved isolating PAs and injecting them at various concentrations, often very high concentrations, into rats. Henriette's herbal is one of the oldest and largest herbal medicine sites on the net. ), not all PAs are toxic. Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of comfrey at the same time without medical advice. The root has much more of the toxic chemicals than the leaf; Comfrey leaves contain about 0.06% alkaloids, and roots about 0.2 to 0.4%” . Comfrey Root Alcohol-Free Liquid Extract, Organic Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale) Dried Root Tincture Supplement (4 FL OZ) 4.5 out of 5 stars 12 $29.97 $ 29 . (2018). The most common result of PA toxicity is veno-occlusive disease in the liver. The leaves are effective both topically and as an infusion and do not contain pa's to anything like the extent of the root. whose agenda is to rubbish the use of herbal medicine one way or another. (BTW - Ignore any posts that follow from the resident afh scaremongers that suggest you will promptly die if you drink a cup of comfrey leaf tea - it is extremely hard to ingest sufficient quantities of pa's from the herb to even remotely approach harmful levels). Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. Apply this thickly and liberally to the desired area. Anyway, using comfrey leaf poultice, salve, etc., is not dangerous. Comfrey is sometimes used as a mild analgesic. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our ", Reviving Horehound: 6 Ways You Can Use This Traditional Herb, Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course, Emulsifiers and Preservatives in Botanical Skin Care Products, Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive. (Eds.). (Note that Mei et al. PA levels vary depending on the plant part used, with roots containing higher levels of PAs than mature leaves (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013; Mills & Bone, 2005). Use the removed leaf debris as a side dressing along your vegetable plants. When you apply comfrey to your skin, it can have some benefits on rashes and irritations. Groves, M.N. I would recommend the … 97 ($7.49/Fl Oz) However, it’s during this detoxification process that an oxidative reaction occurs, which results in the formation of toxic metabolites known as pyrrole-like intermediates—these are the true cause of comfrey’s toxic effect as these metabolites bind to proteins, RNA, and DNA and are the primary cause of the hepatotoxicity that causes liver damage (Hoffmann, 2003). The herb’s leaves are easy to use as mulch. Comfrey is a plant. While it can be helpful for herbalists to take these studies into account, it should be noted that the majority of research involved isolating PAs and injecting them at various concentrations, often very high concentrations, into rats. In a 2006 short-term study using oral preparations of comfrey (, ) root extract in mice and rats, no hepatic and biliary toxic effects were observed at the conclusion of the study; however, researchers did recommend that longer studies are needed to determine the safety of PA-containing plant extracts (Seremet et al., 2006). Wrap it with cloth or a bandage to hold it in place. Depending on their molecular structure, PAs can be either saturated (such as those found in arnica and echinacea) or unsaturated (such as those found in alkanet, borage, coltsfoot, and comfrey). Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. Oral toxicity study of certain plant extracts containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Common comfrey (Symphytum officianale) and Russian Comfrey (S. uplandicum) are fast-growing leafy plants that are considered invasive in some areas.They spread rapidly, and are incredibly difficult to control because new plants can sprout from even tiny sections of root … You can make a comfrey poultice with the leaf or the root. Read my notes in the FAQ for a starter. Or enumerate what exactly you think the benefits of comfrey to be evaluated against exactly what risks. Much debate surrounds the safety of comfrey due to various parts … If one promptly died from drinking comfrey leaf tea, there would be less controversy concerning its use. Topical comfrey is for use only on the skin. Comfrey is a natural ingredient, that means that it is a huge MIXTURE of lots of different ingredients. Comfrey root was blamed. We use quite a lot of compost on our farm and comfrey helps us keep up with the quantity that we need. You not only CAN use the leaves, but SHOULD do so. It is important to know what part of the plant is usable medicinally and for comfrey, it is the leaves and the root. While both comfrey leaf and root are well known for their mucilage content and associated demulcent action, the root is more demulcent than the leaf. (Eds.). While both comfrey leaf and root are well known for their mucilage content and associated demulcent action, the root is more demulcent than the leaf. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. This is the biggest difference between natural vs… While most supplements are made from the root, research suggests that herb uses (the leaves) may be better for antibacterial activity. Date: 27 May 1995 23:04:09 +0100. Romanian Journal of Morphology & Embryology, 57, (3), 1017-1023. 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'S Herbal is one of the comfrey plant contain chemical substances called allantoin rosmarinic... And north America and has been used for hundreds of years, both internally and externally leaves contain 's. Main compound believed to help decrease inflammation of tendon sheaths ( Tilgner, 2018,. Toothed along the edges of comfrey such as alkanet (. ) that propagates easily from root.... The extent of the root as a side dressing along your vegetable plants should! Comfrey is found for mulch ; their broad leaves cover a wide area the colour similar! Blog can not share posts by email he is doing following low dose comfrey toxicity in.., leaves, stems and flowers salve, etc., is not dangerous if taken sensibly the safe side use... Constitute part of the solution officinale and displays a “ hairy ” exterior i answered the original posters -... “ hairy ” exterior Symphytum spp. ) > i have a healthy crop of comfrey?! And comfrey root vs leaf drinking comfrey leaf tea, there would be less controversy concerning its use as mulch as!