Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a shrub that produces pretty purply/blue flowers and is quite invasive.
When we got Benson Lodge, it was derelict. While we have fixed up the house we are still working on the outside and one of my most visited spots is what I call "Comfrey Hill" as you enter our property there is a mound at the bottom of the driveway absolutely covered in Comfrey. Somehow it has even made its way up the driveway and self sewn itself all over the place. Not that I mind having it but keeping it restricted to where I want it serves its fair share of challenges. The plants that pop up where I don't want them I am harvesting for the root while "Comfrey Hill" is the place I harvest the leaves.
The roots and leaves of comfrey contain chemical substances called allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Allantoin boosts the growth of new skin cells, while rosmarinic acid helps relieve pain and inflammation.
Natural medicine is always in my opinion the safest option with less side effects however there are always exceptions to this rule.
Never ever take comfrey orally. It also contains compounds that can harm your liver and be carcinogenic when taken internally or applied to open wounds. Years ago people used to make infusions and drink as a tea but this is not recommended so regardless of what you hear, do not take it internally.
When applied topically to unbroken skin it is quite safe
When shouldn't I use comfrey?
You should avoid using comfrey if you are:
someone with a history of liver disease
So when should I use it?
Comfrey is amazing for treating:
This paper shows that muscle pain proved most amenable to treatment with the cream, swelling and overstrain also responded well. The testing I conducted on our Joint & Muscle Rub also showed that muscle injuries as opposed to just aches and pains were significantly improved upon application of the rub 2-3 times a day.
This paper talks of how Comfrey is effective and safe for topical treatment of pain, testing on our Joint & Muscle Rub showed varying results for pain.
This paper goes into how Comfrey works for inflammation and swelling of muscles and joints in degenerative arthritis, acute myalgia in the back, sprains, contusions and strains after sports injuries and accidents
Joint pain According to this study, results also suggested that comfrey can help treat osteoarthritis, as well as some injuries, such as ankle sprains.
What do I Use It In?
Testing this product was fun, once it passed the standard microbial and stability testing it was out for use on anyone who was keen to try it. The feedback was amazing! out of the 10 people who tried it only 2 found that it didn't have any effectiveness for them. Anyone who had arthritis and tried it loved it and even those with general muscle aches and one person even had a torn ligament in her knee!
You will notice with this product that it doesn't have the same heated effect when you rub it in like Anti-Flam does. This is because I left out the menthol which causes this effect, it may of been selfish of me but I have never been able to use the stuff because my skin reacts to it. If you think you would like a version where this is included let me know, if majority rules I will manufacture it for you.