Comfrey Leaf Infusion 101 (Symphytum
officinale) also known as "knitbone".
Comfrey should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.
Taking comfrey internally is subject to legal restriction in some countries due to liver toxicity that can be caused when taking excessive amounts.
Symphytum officinale benefits:
- healing wounds
- helping bone knit and repair after a break
- skin conditions
- insect bites
- inflamed bunions
- rheumatism and arthritis
- sprains, torn ligaments and bruises
The leaves and roots are used for making the brew.
PLEASE NOTE :
- Should you decide to use this herb, take it for a short limited time only - and not when pregnant.
Susan Weed on Youtube about taking 2 quarts of Comfrey LEAF infusions a week
for 25 years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtYmJDK6h1U
(Helps short-term memory...)
Per Susan Weed:
There are two species of comfrey: wild comfrey, Symphytum officinale
, and cultivated comfrey, Symphytum uplandica x
. (The "x" means it is a hybrid, a cross.)Wild comfrey (S. off.
) is a small plant--up to a meter tall--with yellow flowers. Cultivated comfrey (S. uplandica x.) is a large plant--often surpassing two meters --with blue or purple flowers. Everyone I know grows uplandica and that is what is sold in stores. But gardeners and herbal sellers alike usually mislabel it, causing no end of confusion.
To complicate the situation even more: the roots and the leaves of comfrey contain different constituents. Comfrey roots, like most perennial roots, contain poisons. Wild comfrey (officinale) leaves have some of the same poisons. But cultivated comfrey (uplandica) leaves don't.
How can I be so sure that cultivated comfrey is safe to consume internally? Three things have convinced me.
• One: An herbal group that I belong to sent three samples of comfrey leaf (one from the west coast, one from the east coast, and one from the Rocky Mountains) to a lab to be tested for the problematic alkaloids; they found none. http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/June08/wisewoman.htm
CAUTION: There is some debate on the safety of internal consumption of this herb - mostly the root, due to the fact that it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have been linked to liver cancer.
Many herbalists use the leaves internally, chopped fresh in salads or dried and added to herbal infusions
, for the high mineral content.
Still, many herbalists recommend that comfrey preparations should not be taken internally because of the possibility of liver disease and damage.
Comfrey should also not be used by pregnant or nursing women.
Use caution or avoid internal consumption if you have liver damage.
Comfrey leaf constituents include tannins, rosmarinic acid, allantoin, steroidal saponins, mucilage, inulin, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, Gum, Carotene, Glycosides, Sugars, Beta-sitosterol, Triterpenoids, Vitamin
B-12, Protein, Zinc.
Its use in Chinese traditional medicine spans over 2000 years.