If you are searching for a way to introduce less synthetic chemicals into your body, and increase the amount of natural remedies in your life, then you will be interested in the wide uses of comfrey. Comfrey, which is also known as Symphytum Officinale) has been traditionally used to relieve the pain associated with broken bones and muscle sprains. While this herb has been used for centuries, what exactly is it?
Comfrey is a perennial shrub commonly found throughout Europe. This plant can grow in a wide variety of soils, which is why it can be found in the United States, Asia and in other continents. Comfrey is characterized by its thick shrub appearance, which can grow up to five feet tall. This shrub produces purplish flowers, which bloom in clusters throughout the surface of the shrub. The medicinal compounds found within comfrey come from the leaves and flowers.
The main active compounds within comfrey include rosmarinic acid, allantoin as well as tannins. All three of these compounds work with the body to promote healthy skin regeneration, which is why it is an excellent home remedy for skin ailments. Other compounds found within comfrey include pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
While historically, comfrey has been used to treat internal ailments, it is not suggested to consume as the pyrrolizidine alkaloids are toxic if ingest. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a study in 2001 stating that consumption of comfrey oil can fatally damage the liver, which will ultimately result in death. After the United States banned internal supplements containing comfrey, Germany, Australia, the U.K. and Canada also banned internal comfrey oil supplements. The toxic chemical mentioned above can also cause harm if excess amounts are used on the skin.
To properly utilize comfrey for its skin regenerating properties, purchase a cream/ointment with a maximum comfrey extract of 20-percent. When applying the cream to the skin, only use a small amount. Discontinue use after 10 days, and never use comfrey for longer than six weeks within a calendar year. Lastly, never place comfrey onto broken skin, as this can increase your risk of blood toxicity. Speak with your doctor concerning how you should apply comfrey products to your skin.