This enchanting but funny-looking, fuzzy-stemmed plant with purplish or creamy-colored flowers is native to Europe. It is happiest growing in damp and grassy environments like river banks, although you’ll find it spreading exuberantly in many herb gardens all around the world.
In the world of aromatherapy, comfrey is powerful at healing certain skin conditions. For skin care you’ll see it sold as a therapeutic oil, most commonly with a carrier oil as a base that is infused with the comfrey plant.
Comfrey contains a molecule called allantoin, which stimulates cell growth and repair. At the same time, this molecule is able to repress inflammation. What a great combination to have in an herb!
Some characteristics of comfrey:
- Promotes cell-regeneration
- Relieves pain
- Softens skin and hair
- May help with bruising, sprains, bone and joint pain, acne, varicose veins, itching, scarring, swelling and redness
- *Not to be used on broken skin
Some studies point to concerns of liver issues surrounding internal use of comfrey because of a substance called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These studies used large doses of isolated compounds only, and not the whole plant, so there is general disagreement among herbalists about the safety of internal use of comfrey. At any rate, external use of this wonderful herb is considered safe.
Source: Wink, M. (2004), Medicinal Plants, Oregon, Timber Press, Inc., p. 314.
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