Comfrey tea has been on the radar of many traditional medicine practitioners as being effective in the healing of bones, lesions and wounds. However, due to concerns about possible toxic effects of comfrey on liver, it is not currently recommended for internal use.
Comfrey is a perennial herb with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves with small bell-shaped white, cream, purple or pink flowers.
Also known by its official name symphytum officinale, comfrey is native to Europe, growing in damp, grassy places, and is widespread throughout river banks and ditches in Britain.
The leaves of the comfrey plant contain much of its healing properties. While comfrey contains such active constituents as mucilage, saponins, tannins, carotene and beta-sitosterol, the main healing factor in comfrey leaves appears to be allantoin, which promotes and encourages the rapid growth of cells.
There is considerable controversy on the use of comfrey due to concerns that it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that are toxic to the liver. However, many traditional medicine practitioners say that laboratory tests have pointed out that only minute levels of PAs were found in random comfrey samples. They have also pointed out that comfrey leaf has been regularly ingested by thousands of people around the world without reported ill effects. Still, the use of comfrey by pregnant women is not recommended.
While preparations involving comfrey is currently not recommended to be used internally, comfrey tea may still be applied externally.
The following are the benefits attributed to comfrey tea:
- This tea when pplied externally may help in the healing of broken bones and sprains.
- When applied externally may help in the healing of bruises.
- When applied externally may help heal cuts and wounds.
- When applied externally may help in the fight against acne.
- May also be used on plants as an organic fertilizer.