comfrey tea internal use

doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602420. Yes, this is a weak tea by most standards. Yeong, M.L., Wakefield, S.J., & Ford, H.C. (1993). Medical records dating back to the Middle Ages commonly make reference to herbalists prescribing comfrey for a wide range of ailments, and up until the 20th century, it was considered to be “one of nature’s greatest medicinal herbs.” Humans have consumed comfrey widely as a vegetable and have taken comfrey formulations of tea or tablets. The essential guide to herbal safety. Benefits of Comfrey Tea When it comes to the internal use of comfrey, some herbalists are comfortable continuing to use comfrey internally with a few cautions. Traditionally called knitbone or boneset, the tea was reportedly used by ancient Greeks and Romans to heal injuries after a bad fall or accident. Comfrey is not recommended for internal use because of the liver damage caused by its pyrrolizidine alkaloids. The UK finally restricted the internal use of comfrey root... saying that there are still too many unanswered questions. In order to determine risk, the characteristics of the plant material used (root or leaf, young or old) and the health status of the individual human need to be considered. This is because comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. The commission said the company falsely claimed it was safe to take comfrey products orally, as suppositories or to apply them to open wounds. The tea is also used as a facial wash to cleanse pores and reduce acne. Use comfrey for no more than 10 days in a row. Comfrey is not recommended for use with deep wounds or unset bones. Comfrey Root Tea - Not For Internal Use by TerraVita 25 tea bags: Currently not available for purchase. Cooled tea can be applied to bruises and burns to speed healing and help prevent infections. Comfrey tincture can help settle an upset stomach, help with ulcers, help stop diarrhea and can act as a cough suppressant. Allow the leaves to wilt for a few hours after cutting, and then dig them into the soil to … Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Compared to true comfrey (Symphytum officinale), species of comfrey such as Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) and prickly comfrey (Symphytum asperum) contain the more toxic macrocyclic diester PAs (Hoffmann, 2003) and higher levels of echimidine, which has exhibited a more toxic effect (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). Groves, M.N. That being said, based on case reports of liver disease in individuals taking the leaf or root of unspecified. American Herbal Products Association’s botanical safety handbook, Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care, Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine, Mei, N., Guo, L., Fu, P.P., Heflich, R.H., & Chen, T. (2005). Can and should one use comfrey (Symphytum spp.) Protecting those whose health is already compromised, and who are using many other substances, totally unsupervised, and without the proper information. That being said, based on case reports of liver disease in individuals taking the leaf or root of unspecified Symphytum species, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) did ban the sale of botanical products containing toxic PAs (including those with Russian comfrey and prickly comfrey) for internal use, suggesting those products should be restricted to external use (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Inc. Moreira, R., Pereira, D.M., Valentao, P., & Andrade, P.B. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010538. Internal Use of Comfrey. Traditional uses. Its analgesic action could be due to its alkaloid content, but it could also be due to the astringent, anti-inflammatory, and demulcent properties as well. In a 2006 short-term study using oral preparations of comfrey (S. officinale) root extract in mice and rats, no hepatic and biliary toxic effects were observed at the conclusion of the study; however, researchers did recommend that longer studies are needed to determine the safety of PA-containing plant extracts (Seremet et al., 2006). © 2004 Dorena Rode       Acknowledgment. Comfrey Root Tea - Not For Internal Use by TerraVita 25 tea bags: Currently not available for purchase. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our ", Reviving Horehound: 6 Ways You Can Use This Traditional Herb, Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course, Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive. Dried comfrey leaves may be brewed into a tea to use as a hair rinse. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. I just saw your post here. Patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the plant should also avoid external use. The herb has become a topic of considerable debate, as it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which have been shown to pose a real risk of hepatotoxicity. Comfrey or Blackwort is used in health and its properties are almost the same as those of Borage. While many herbalists have used comfrey internally for years with no known problems, others are heeding the warnings that stem from the conclusions of modern scientific studies on the internal use of comfrey. You can use comfrey leaves in tea, and you can use your comfrey in a bath. At this point, there are no clinical studies showing the link between PAs and liver toxicity when comfrey is taken at typical doses by healthy humans. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our "Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons" Ebook! used S. officinale, while Yeong et al. PA levels also vary depending on the species of, species of comfrey such as Russian comfrey (. ) The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 5, CD010538. Mix the juice with the leaf fibre, and seal it in a plastic bag before freezing. It is also important to know that some unsaturated PAs have been shown to be more toxic than others, with the macrocyclic retronecine diesters (e.g., senecionine) being more toxic than the retronecine monoesters (e.g., symphytine and echimidine) (Hoffmann, 2003; Rode, 2004). Since a chemical in isolation behaves differently than when present in a whole plant, rats are different than humans, different routes of administration can affect toxicity, and it is sometimes unclear which comfrey species (. ) The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. MARY Sarvino@Gmail.com on June 10, 2016: I have three plants I received the root years … You can get around the comfrey problem for internal use as comfrey's active ingredient is allantoin. Saturated PAs are considered non-toxic, while unsaturated PAs are considered toxic (Hoffmann, 2003). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19. Comfrey leaves are succulent and difficult to dry at normal room temperatures. The following reports are from the late 1980's and early 1990's. However, I would not suggest that for everyone. It is above all demulcent, emollient and mucilaginous; the root is slightly astringent. Not for Internal Use Although some herbalists continue the tradition of using comfrey internally, mainly through teas and infusions, my use of comfrey is strictly for external applications. First, comfrey is only suggested for healthy individuals who have no history of liver disease or liver function issues, are not taking medications that reduce liver function, and are not pregnant or nursing. Comfrey Contraindications. Romanian Journal of Morphology & Embryology, 57, (3), 1017-1023. PAs can also found in honey, grains, milk, offal and eggs. For centuries, comfrey was considered a safe medicine, and in some cases even a food. Comfrey is an herb that grows in temperate areas of western Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are a group of 660 phytochemicals found in over 6,000 plants. Individuals in the study had been using 0.5 to 25 grams of comfrey leaf per day for 1 to 30 years. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. used, While it can be helpful for herbalists to take these studies into account, it should be noted that the majority of research involved isolating PAs and injecting them at various concentrations, often very high concentrations, into rats. Much debate surrounds the safety of comfrey due to various parts … Comfrey is an herb that grows in temperate areas of western Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. Comfrey tea is also the way gardeners commonly refer to the liquid organic fertilizer made with the leaves of this herb. Comfrey tea is as old as our use of the herb for medicinal purposes. More Photographs below. For internal application, comfrey is claimed to benefit gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcers, though its effects have never been demonstrated in controlled investigations. Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). It is used topically to treat wounds. Humans have consumed comfrey widely as a vegetable and have taken comfrey formulations of tea or tablets. A comfrey tea or decoction can be used in the mouth as a rinse or gargle. Do not use comfrey in the presence of active liver disease or in conjunction with medications that impair liver function. I think most people have heard the pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in many comfreiy products are problematic, and that we should be cautious about internal use of comfrey, or not use it at all. The United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not allow for internal use to be recommended or suggested on labels. (2016). I use 1/2 tsp of Comfrey and 1 tsp of Licorice Root to 2 cups of water. Comfrey is used as an aid for humans. internally? Comfrey’s leaf and root both have many beneficial qualities and uses. For internal applications, comfrey has been used as infusions and extracts for the treatment of gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, and lung congestion (Roeder, 1995). Traditionally, comfrey has been used for hundreds of years, both internally and externally. Taken internally as decoction (boiled root tea), comfrey is described as effective against tuberculosis, internal tumors and ulcers, and promotes the healing of bone fractures. Add 1 teaspoon of dried comfrey leaves to a teapot or infuser. Comfrey is perfectly safe to use externally and is a first choice remedy for fractures and slow healing wounds. Other factors that may have amplified the risk of liver damage are present. Because of this, it is often used to soothe hot, dry tissues, particularly those in the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts for digestive ulcers and diarrhea, coughs, or to ease symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection, respectively (Hoffmann, 2003; Tilgner, 2018). Next, herbalists lean toward using preparations made from the larger, more mature leaves, which are known to contain fewer PAs than younger leaves and roots. Cooled tea is used to treat bruises and burns; it soothes the damaged skin, stops the itch, prevents infection, and speeds healing. I make a tea of Comfrey and LIcorice Root. Yes, this is a weak tea by most standards. Allow steeping for at least 10 minutes. (2018). While it can be helpful for herbalists to take these studies into account, it should be noted that the majority of research involved isolating PAs and injecting them at various concentrations, often very high concentrations, into rats. For this reason, most of the benefits for this tea involve external uses. On the other hand, other studies using rats that were given isolated PAs from comfrey root or young leaf, both of which have higher levels of PAs than mature comfrey leaf (Mills & Bone, 2005), have shown to be toxic when given in both low and high concentrations (Mei et al., 2005; Yeong et al., 1993). There are two things you could try – create a compress – using comfrey leaf, make a tea, soak a cloth in the tea, and then apply to the bruise. Comfrey is traditionally used to treat wounds and bone fractures. Comfrey as a natural hair rinse. I don't get asked about the safety of internal use of comfrey much any more. Why Do Herbalists Use Comfrey Then? There is no reliable data to confirm or deny the FDA ruling that comfrey is unsafe to eat. CAUTION: The leaves contain an alkaloid that may be toxic to the liver, so it is not recommended for internal use This herb has been utilized in folk medicine throughout Europe and North America and has been widely cultivated. Moreira, R., Pereira, D.M., Valentao, P., & Andrade, P.B. I sweeten it with a few drops of honey and drink each morning. External Healing. What you need is to dissolve allantoin, which is not soluble in water. Gardner, Z., & McGuffin, M. Comfrey leaf has been used since Roman times, dating back thousands of years. Comfrey is without a doubt a prime example of the healing paradox, and has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010538. Allantoin makes it effective for softening skin and hair. (2013). There have been no recent reports in the literature of adverse reaction to comfrey despite continued use of this plant as a food and drug. Comfrey Medicinal Uses Comfrey has several medicinal actions. Most medical herbalists I know will politely to vigorously disagree, but the law restricts the root. Preparation and Dosage. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has great therapeutic benefits and can be used for healing wounds, helping bone knit and repair after a break as well as bedsores. Comfrey leaf is also high in tannins, giving it astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Plant-based creams and balms that can soothe the skin but also poison the internal organs if used in excess quantities. On the other hand, other studies using rats that were given isolated PAs from comfrey root or young leaf, both of which have higher levels of PAs than mature comfrey leaf (Mills & Bone, 2005), have shown to be toxic when given in both low and high concentrations (Mei et al., 2005; Yeong et al., 1993). Romanian Journal of Morphology & Embryology, 57(3), 1017-1023. Patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the plant should also avoid external use. Folk recipes mention using comfrey root tea to cure stomach upset and eating comfrey leaves fresh or cooked as a general tonic. Affiliate links are shared throughout the website and the Herbal Academy may receive compensation if you make a purchase with these links. Pleasant Hill, OR: Wise Acres Publishing. Case Reports of Toxicity with Internal Use of Comfrey. Herbal ABCs: The foundation of herbal medicine. Pleasant Hill, OR: Wise Acres Publishing. If you pour comfrey tea onto sanitary pads, freeze them, and use them instead of regular sanitary pads in days following childbirth, postpartum mothers will experience pain relief and quick healing. Comfrey or Blackwort is used in health and its properties are almost the same as those of Borage. Mutagenicity of comfrey (. It is a source of nourishment for other flowers and vegetables. For internal applications, comfrey has been used as infusions and extracts for the treatment of gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, and lung congestion ( Roeder, 1995 ). It has a mild flavor. Comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that makes it toxic and can harm the liver. Also keep in mind who profits and doesn’t from the use, or defilement, of comfrey. The leaves are high in potassium and make excellent fertilizer. Gardner, Z., & McGuffin, M. Internal use has been prohibited in USA, Germany, United Kingdom and other European countries. It primarily grows in marshes and wet soil. It primarily grows in marshes and wet soil. Comfrey is a shrub that grows in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. (Note that Mei et al. Comfrey tea is readily available at most health stores. However, health officials now strongly discourage any internal use of comfrey. Please simply create an account before buying/booking any courses. Cher D. on June 22, 2016: I have comfrey powder, how would i make a poultice? Most people only recommend topical use of comfrey, as there have been some traditional suggestions for internal use when done properly. Dried comfrey leaves may be brewed into a tea to use as a hair rinse. AHPA reports that in Germany, the recommended external application of comfrey is a daily exposure at or below 100 μg unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids limited to 4 to 6 weeks per year (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). Anderson et al set out to determine if occult liver damage was … PA levels vary depending on the plant part used, with roots containing higher levels of PAs than mature leaves (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013; Mills & Bone, 2005). Over the years there has been some controversy regarding the internal use of this tea, despite it being uncommon to experience side effects while using this tea. However, it is soluble in DMSO and this can help with fractures. Hoffmann, D. (2003). In closing, we here at the Herbal Academy suggest erring on the side of caution and avoiding comfrey for internal use, particularly in the case of preexisting liver conditions, those taking medications that may affect liver function, during pregnancy, and while nursing. However, it’s during this detoxification process that an oxidative reaction occurs, which results in the formation of toxic metabolites known as pyrrole-like intermediates—these are the true cause of comfrey’s toxic effect as these metabolites bind to proteins, RNA, and DNA and are the primary cause of the hepatotoxicity that causes liver damage (Hoffmann, 2003). Once they are fully dry use them to make this skin healing and pain relieving salve. Find out what type and part of the plant is being used in the preparation. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 74(2), 211-217.

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