Taking its name from the Latin “con fera” which means to knit together, and the Old English “knitbone”, Comfrey has been prized since ancient times for its ability to help heal broken bones and damaged tissues. The main benefits of this useful root are:
When you apply Comfrey root or extract to your skin, it soothes any uncomfortable problems from sunburnsand rashes to irritations, and most notably, wounds.
Comfrey contains interesting plant chemicals allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Allantoin is able to speed up the process of new tissue growth, while rosmarinic acid helps to relieve pain and inflammation.
This same substance, allantoin, is found in the placenta of a pregnant mother which helps the baby grow rapidly. After the baby is born, allantoin is also found in the mother’s milk — abundantly at first and less so as the child grows.
The high content of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, makes comfrey pastes and salves the ideal solution for speeding up the healing of wounds. Antioxidants also help eliminate foreign substances in the body and prevent cell death, while vitamin C’s importance in producing collagen means that it is necessary to produce new skin cells for healing.
In most instances, Comfrey compresses and ointments are used topically to facilitate the healing of bones and wounds. It is very important to make sure that wounds are completely clean before applying Comfrey – this is because the skin can regrow so fast that it can trap any debris left in the wound.
Bone strength and healing
There are hundreds of anecdotal stories where people are hailing the miraculous speed of healing broken bones using Comfrey. Astonishingly, Comfrey tablets were even standard issue in World War II First Aid packs, so widely known was the ability of this herb to speed up the healing of bones and wounds.
Nicknamed knitbone for its ability to put bones back together, Comfrey root is also rich in key vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, Calcium and Magnesium.
Not only does it supply the minerals to your body, but also helps it to use them more efficiently. This speeds up the recovery but also prevents bone damage by keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Comfrey’s healing properties also encompass the skin, with its already mentioned amazing ingredient – allantoin. It hydrates, naturally exfoliates, repairs, protects and soothes the skin.
Due to Comfrey’s high antioxidant status, the topical application also helps to reduce free radical activity on the skin.
Natural allantoin in Comfrey can actually help to reduce abnormal thickening of the skin caused by “keratinisation” – and this is the reason that allantoin is known for its skin smoothing effects.
Comfrey can also be used to relieve skin irritations such as rashes, sunburn and stings. Also, it offers a mild UV protection so it’s a welcomed suncare helper, both protecting your skin, hydrating and healing it.
An astounding 1 in every 5 people in the U.S. suffer from arthritis pain. Worn-down cartilage and connective tissue cause bones to rub together and cause chronic pain.
Because of the possible side effects involved with most medications for arthritis, such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, increased risk of heart attack or stroke, cataracts, bone loss and more, many people seek alternative remedies for safely relieving their pain.
For arthritis relief, try creating a poultice of comfrey with pain-relieving essential oils such as peppermint oil and applying it to the painful areas two to three times a day.
Comfrey tea soothes and helps treat hernias – it relieves the pain, clears away the inflammation while it repairs the damaged tissue. A warm compress applied to the affected area may be helpful with intervertebral disc lesions, sciatica, tendinitis and other similar ailments.
There are other inflammatory situations where this tea may be advised, such as treating a congested prostate or conjunctivitis. Comfrey may be applied as an anti-fungal agent helping to treat cold sores, chicken pox blemishes and athlete’s foot.
It also helps to promote healthy blood circulation treating varicose veins.
Muscle and Joint Pain
Comfrey is one of the best ways to heal a painful muscle, joint or sports injury and it brings relief quickly and effectively.
As studies show, Comfrey improves the healing and relieves pain associated with bruises, sprains, painful muscles and joints, particularly those related to exercise. Comfrey even outperformed its pharmaceutical counterpart – diclofenac gel, for its efficacy on ankle sprains and pain.
A large review of multiple studies released in 2013 about the medicinal uses of Comfrey stated: ‘It is clinically proven to relieve pain, inflammation and swelling of muscles and joints in the case of degenerative arthritis, acute myalgia in the back, sprains, contusions and strains after sports injuries and accidents, also in children aged 3 years and older.’
Lower back pain relief
If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. Searching for lower back pain relief can be an exhausting and daunting task for the 80 percent of adults that experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.
It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.
However, Comfrey happily offers an alternative method for this chronic condition.
Applied on the affected area it soothes the pain and offers a welcomed relief.
Boosts Immune System
As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a major component of comfrey root, and ascorbic acid’s primary role in the body is to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which is the first line of defense of the body’s immune system. By increasing the strength of your immune system, even from topical applications, your body can be well protected and prepared to battle anything that comes its way.
Natural fibromyalgia remedy
Because fibromyalgia is associated with pain in various parts of the body, comfrey application can offer some relief.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia pain, remember that your best option is to seek a multi-targeted approach to address whatever the root cause of this pain may be. Adjusting lifestyle to lose extra weight, eliminating problematic food ingredients like excitotoxins and eating anti-inflammatory foods are all important to tackle this complicated condition.
Again, it must be stressed that comfrey root extract should not be consumed, but even inhaling or rubbing it on the chest can work as an expectorant. If you are experiencing clogged sinuses or congestion in your respiratory tracts, this plant can help you cough it out and eliminate it from your system.