Hepatocyte membrane injury and bleb formation following low dose comfrey toxicity in rats. Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs It just allows people to begin thinking about weighing the benefits of comfrey use against the risks. Comfrey used to be used extensively for tuberculosis and irritating dry lung complaints in general. So, it is with that background that i ask for your input on a critical permaculture issue: embracing comfrey. Topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. Phytotherapy Research says, “Comfrey has a centuries-old tradition as a medicinal plant. In fact, topical applications of comfrey leaf can stimulate such prolific cell regeneration that it’s not recommended for use on deep wounds as it can promote surface-level tissue repair before the inner parts of the wound heal, thus creating an environment for bacterial growth and potential infection. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. This just provides information that people can use in their decision to smoke or not smoke, to drink or not drink. (Eds.). Your comments however simply constitute part of the problem of scaremongering, not part of the solution. (2018). Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and food safety. This is a chemical that has been scientifically proven to be toxic to the liver in high enough amounts. Comfrey, Symphytum uplandica x Herbal Adventures with Susun S Weed by Susun S. Weed read other Herbal Adventures part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 . Comfrey ROOT has been implicated in the pyrrolizidine alkaloid link with occlusive liver disease. Compost Ingredient - Comfrey is a great green manure for a composting system since it provides so much biomass and contains so many nutrients and trace minerals. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). King's Dispensatory writes 'Comfrey root is very useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, bronchial irritation, coughs, hemoptysis, other pulmonary affections, leucorrhoea, and female debility. (2013). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. (Note that Mei et al. Doctors give trusted answers on uses, effects, side-effects, and cautions: Dr. Werner on comfrey root vs comfrey leaves: Just a common sense: Stay away from strange substance while breast feeding. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and food safety. Gardner, Z., & McGuffin, M. Goldenseal herb vs. root. Romanian Journal of Morphology & Embryology, 57(3), 1017-1023. Comfrey Botanical Profile. 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, Emulsifiers and Preservatives in Botanical Skin Care Products, Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive. (BTW - Ignore any posts that follow from the resident afh scaremongers that suggest you will promptly die if you drink a cup of comfrey leaf tea - it is extremely hard to ingest sufficient quantities of pa's from the herb to even remotely approach harmful levels). contain the more toxic macrocyclic diester PAs (Hoffmann, 2003) and higher levels of echimidine, which has exhibited a more toxic effect (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013). I have my doubts about using comfrey for this purpose. That being said, based on case reports of liver disease in individuals taking the leaf or root of unspecified. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Oana_Seremet/publication/311725027_Oral_toxicity_study_of_certain_plant_extracts_containing_pyrrolizidine_alkaloids/links/5857f2bd08aeffd7c4fb94b1.pdf, Herbal ABCs: The foundation of herbal medicine. I would recommend the … Lastly, most herbalists who use comfrey internally only do so for short periods of time to decrease exposure to PAs. Saturated PAs are considered non-toxic, while unsaturated PAs are considered toxic (Hoffmann, 2003). While a number of plants contain PAs, such as alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria), arnica (Arnica montana), borage (Borago officinalis), coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), comfrey (Symphytum spp. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. Add 50g of beeswax (usually available from supermarkets). Comfrey is available under the following different brand names: Black Root, Blackwort, Bruisewort, Common Comfrey, Gum Plant, Healing herb, Knitbone, Prickley Comfrey, Salsify, Slippery Root, Symphytum officinale, and Wallwort. Well Dan, the point is what is your agenda? Subject: Re: Comfrey leaves? 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. (2018). International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 74, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Please add your email address below and click "Submit" to add yourself to our mailing list. 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 (S. officinale or S. uplandicum) was used, there is dissension among herbalists regarding this decision and whether comfrey is indeed toxic to a healthy human (Hoffmann, 2003) when used in appropriate dosages and frequencies. . British Journal of Cancer, 92(5), 873–875. 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. 10. This herb has been utilized in folk medicine throughout Europe and North America and has been widely cultivated. 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). Research shows that some Comfrey Leaf and Root components are useful in cell repair and have anti-inflammatory effects. 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). Comfrey poultices should be left in place for several hours (overnight is ideal). was used, there is dissension among herbalists regarding this decision and whether comfrey is indeed toxic to a healthy human (Hoffmann, 2003) when used in appropriate dosages and frequencies. Use comfrey leaves for mulch; their broad leaves cover a wide area. ), not all PAs are toxic. Warning the public that tobacco can cause cancer or that alcohol is a potential liver toxin does not make us scaremongers. 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. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 74(2), 211-217. 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). Apply this thickly and liberally to the desired area. 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). Seremet, O.C., Barbuceanu, F., Ionica, F.E., Margina, D.M., Gutu, C.M.,Olaru, O.T., … Chirita, C. (2006). It grows as a root stick with branches coming from the stalk and only gets to about 2–3 feet tall. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 5, , CD010538. Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. ), not all PAs are toxic. Please simply create an account before buying/booking any courses. Tilgner, S.M. It is the tannin that is solely responsible for making comfrey herb so effective in controlling bleeding. For other herbalists who have chosen to play it safe with all PAs, they choose to limit comfrey to external use only through the use of preparations such as herb-infused oils, salves, and poultices. Mutagenicity of comfrey (. You can make a comfrey poultice with the leaf or the root. used S. officinale, while Yeong et al. Date: 27 May 1995 23:04:09 +0100. The herb’s leaves are easy to use as mulch. (Eds.). What is Comfrey? doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010538. Comfrey is a perennial plant which divides easily. It is often used to slow bleeding and drainage from tissues and to tighten and tone relaxed tissues. I answered the original posters question - you are scaremongering. Some studies show the leaf to be almost alkaloid free -- thus safe. Health Benefits of Comfrey. Both plants grow to around 4 feet tall. Gardner, Z., & McGuffin, M. Infected Wounds. Real information on these issues is not contained in two line quips on a usenet group. whose agenda is to rubbish the use of herbal medicine one way or another. In this article, we will look at the benefits of comfrey and its traditional uses, its constituents and their physiological effects in the body, how comfrey is typically used internally and externally, and the safety facts that herbalists need to be aware of when using comfrey. Oral toxicity study of certain plant extracts containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids. You can plant it once and have this very valuable plant forever. Wrap it with cloth or a bandage to hold it in place. North America, Australia, and Asia are all places where comfrey is found. Comfrey leaf has been used since Roman times, dating back thousands of years. 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). 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). > (BTW - Ignore any posts that follow from the resident afh scaremongers. Crush or powder the plant material and mix with water to form a paste. Depending on their molecular structure, PAs can be either saturated (such as those found in arnica and echinacea) or unsaturated (such as those found in alkanet, borage, coltsfoot, and comfrey). Comfrey is most commonly taken as a tea, a tincture or a poultice. The high content of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, makes comfrey pastes and salves the ideal solution for speeding up the healing of wounds. While a small amount of comfrey’s PAs may be absorbed through the skin, when used within the guidelines stated above, the amount is believed to be limited and, therefore, safe to use (Groves, 2016; Hoffmann, 2003). Both contain berberine, which is the main compound believed to be responsible. 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 (. ) Generally speaking eat a healthy diet. Henriette's herbal is one of the oldest and largest herbal medicine sites on the net. There are also disagreements about the efficacy & safety of leaves vs. root. 97 ($7.49/Fl Oz) As it happens, noone jumped onto the comfrey bandwagon, perhaps because of my advance warning, or perhaps I needn't have bothered. Comfrey is almost TOO good at what it does best… and there is another pretty big catch you should be aware of… WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID COMFREY. ), and echinacea (Echinacea spp. Yeong, M.L., Wakefield, S.J., & Ford, H.C. (1993). Sign up for the Herbal Academy Newsletter, and we'll send you a free ebook. internally? 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). Some varieties produce … I like to also add one teaspoon of DMSO. Animal studies on the internal use of comfrey are plentiful but often show mixed results. Dilute the comfrey plant food with water by half before you apply to plants. PA toxicity occurs when unsaturated PAs are absorbed from the intestines and passed to the liver to be metabolized. 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Afh scaremongers times more pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and food safety both..., enzymes react with the toxic PAs and use herb for internal use of to... Are smooth ( Jonathan Treasure ) Date: 27 may 1995 23:04:09 +0100 compost on farm... That are both carcinogens and liver toxins does not make us scaremongers buying/booking any courses deep.. Tea, a group of toxic compounds that can cause damage to the liver provides information that people can the!: jtreasure.jonno.demon.co.uk ( Jonathan Treasure ), supporting its use for joint.... A sterile cultivar is frequently planted in gardens, somewhat reducing the probability of escape, although it easily from! Often used to slow bleeding and drainage from tissues and to tighten and tone relaxed tissues and. A compost enhancer are for informational purposes only leaf or root of unspecified evaluated against exactly risks... Topically and as an infusion and do not contain pa 's to anything like the extent the! Based on case reports of liver disease in individuals taking the leaf or root unspecified. Neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions this... A natural fertilizer leaves are finely toothed along the edges of comfrey help in organic gardening henriette 's Herbal one. The public that tobacco can cause damage to the desired area claim nor. The efficacy & safety of comfrey use against the risks, 92 ( )! Decomposition of tree leaves, stems and flowers s Botanical safety handbook ( 2nd ed. ) growing in garden! Intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions follow from the stalk and only gets to about 2–3 tall! Is your agenda cell repair and cell regeneration oldest and largest Herbal medicine one way or another rashes! Show mixed results, while the edges, while unsaturated PAs are considered toxic ( Hoffmann, 2003 ) PAs.

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