Notes: Comfrey stimulates the regeneration of tissue and the production of collagen and other connective tissues, largely attributed to the constituent allantoin. Allantoin is naturally produced in our bodies and is required for repair.
Externally it can be used in forms of creams oils and poultices and is believed to act through the skin to stimulate healing and regeneration of tissue. The cream is thick and unctuous in appearance and texture.
The name Symphtym stems from the Latin – to unite. The allantoin is sometimes considered to be the ‘active component’ but this is to restrict the idea of complex wholes. Traditional medicine has a view of plants and medicines as synergistic – that is the whole effect is needed and the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Symphytum is used a lot in homoeopathy wherever there is a need to help healing, particularly of bone and periosteum, where it is compared to Calc phos, the tissue salt that is specially needed for bones.
Comfrey is beloved by gardeners as a sludgy green brew to be used in minute quantities, diluted with rainwater, to nourish the soil and contribute to healthy dis-ease resistant garden plants, flowers and vegetables
Uses: Bruises – strained ligaments- regeneration of cartilage bones periosteum collagen connective tissues- astringent healing sealing mucilaginous joints
Botanical name: Symphytum
Common names: Comfrey knitbone
Parts used: Leaves (internally and externally in various preparations)
Habitat: Uncultivated ground hedgerows and field edges throughout British isles Europe and Asia
Chemistry: allantoin mucilage gum tannin’s alkaloids resin inulin
Comfrey’s healing properties have signalled caution of not using it in the first instance for for deep wounds, the consideration being that it may heal too quickly on the surface before the deeper tissues are ready, an instance where hypercal tincture is more appropriate. Obviously this applies to other types of preparation as cream is used for intact skin.