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What is Comfrey and Why Does Steuart's Use It?

Posted by Ben on 9/19/2016 to Personal Care
What is Comfrey and Why Does Steuart's Use It?

Comfrey is a medicinal shrub that has been used all over the world for centuries to aid in healing. It's roots and leaves can be harvested and used to treat bruises, muscle sprains, joint inflammation, arthritis, gout, and more.

How Comfrey Works As A Remedy

According to Healthline.com the roots of leaves of the comfrey plant contain chemical substances called allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Allantoin boosts the growth of new skin cells, while rosmarinic acid helps relieve pain and inflammation. Extracts are still made from the roots and leaves and turned into ointments, creams, or salves. These solutions typically have a comfrey content of 5 to 20 percent.

People still use comfrey as an alternative remedy for joint and muscle pain, as well as closed wounds. It’s available at many health stores and pharmacies as:

  • Ointments
  • Creams
  • Other topical solutions
  • Salves that also contain other herbs, such as aloe and goldenseal

Wounds

Some clinical research supports the claim that comfrey has wound-healing powers. For example, a research review published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found some evidence that comfrey can help heal abrasion wounds. The authors note that topical applications of comfrey appear to be safe, but more research is necessary to learn about the potential risks and side effects of using comfrey on your skin and wounds.

Joint pain

According to the same research review, results also suggested that comfrey can help treat osteoarthritis, as well as some injuries, such as ankle sprains. A study reported in Phytotherapy Research also suggests that creams containing comfrey root can help relieve upper and lower back pain.

How Does Steuart's Use Comfrey?

Steuart Laboratories uses comfrey in a variety of our personal care products including:

Steuart's is committed to providing safe all natural healing products that help you reclaim your life and get back to the things you love.

Comfrey Precautions and Takeaways

Along with the substances in comfrey that help skin regrow including allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow, rosmarinic acid, and tannins. It also has poisonous chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that have been linked to liver damage, cancer, and can lead to death. Oral preparations of the plant have also been linked to liver damage and cancer and sales of oral products containing comfrey have been banned in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Germany. You should never take comfrey by mouth, and should also avoid using it on open wounds. The dangerous substances in comfrey are also absorbed through the skin, so harmful amounts may build up in the body.

Modern scientific studies have found some evidence to support comfrey’s use in treating minor wounds, joint pain, heal bruises as well as pulled muscles and ligaments, fractures, sprains, strains, and osteoarthritis. Comfrey may be safe to apply to your skin or closed wounds for short periods.

Always talk to your doctor before using products that contain comfrey. They can help you understand the potential benefits and risks.

Sources: http://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-comfrey#Overview1, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/comfrey

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