Comfrey

Botanical name

Symphytum officinale  

Common Names

Common comfrey, true comfrey, boneset, knitbone, slippery-root.

FAMILY

Boraginaceae

Description

This plant grows throughout the British Isles and Ireland beside rivers. 

Part supplied

The dried leaf. 

Food Use

Comfrey leaf is drunk as a tea. The flower buds are also sometimes eaten, either steamed or as fritters.

Recipes

Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

Aids wound healing (internally and externally), hiatus hernia, ulcers (gastric, duodenal and ulcerative colitis).

Key actions: Demulcent, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, astringent, vulnerary.

In clinic: Herbalists use this soothing herb to treat a number of inflammatory issues, often used externally on injured or worn joints. It is particularly effective in healing wounds due to its allantoin content. It is thought to be help repair bones and tendons because of its vitamin K and K2 content. 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.

Directions

Infusion: 1 teaspoon of herb to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 5 ml (1:3 in 25% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

Comfrey contains allantoin. It is used cosmetically for its ability to promote skin renewal and repair.

Other Uses

None known.

Cautions

Contraindications

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Boraginaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

The PAs in comfrey species may be harmful to the liver. This is particularly the case in species of Russian comfrey (Symphytym uplandicum) and Prickly comfrey (Symphytym asperum) and their hybrids that contain the PS echimidine. Echiminidine is not found in common comfrey (Symphytym officinale) Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

Do not use in conjunction with drugs that affect the liver nor that need the liver to metabolise a drug.

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information

Articles

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Recipes

Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.

Research

Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagSymphytum officinale - Comfrey leaf 100g £6.00

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