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A powerful healing agent and astringent.
Phenolic acids: rosmarinic, chlorogenic, caffeic and lithospermic acids
Mucilage, about 29%, composed of a polysaccharide containing glucose & fructose
Miscellaneous: choline, asparagine, volatile oil, tannins, steroidalsaponins, triterpenes
The impressive wound-healing properties of Comfrey are partially due to the presence of allantoin. This chemical stimulates cell proliferation and so augments wound-healing both inside and out. The addition of much demulcent mucilage makes Comfrey a powerful healing agent in gastric and duodenal ulcers, hiatus hernia and ulcerative colitis. Its astringency will help haemorrhages wherever they occur. It has been used with benefit in cases of bronchitis and irritable cough, where it will soothe and reduce irritation whilst helping expectoration. Comfrey may be used externally to speed wound-healing and guard against scar tissue developing incorrectly. Care should be taken with very deep wounds, however, as the external application of Comfrey can lead to tissue forming over the wound before it is healed deeper down, possibly leading to abscesses. It may be used for any external ulcers, for wounds and fractures as a compress or poultice. It is excellent in chronic varicose ulcers. It has a reputed anti-cancer action.
Priest & Priest tell us that it is a
soothing demulcent, gently stimulating to the mucous membranes, allays irritation and encourages cell growth. Increases expectoration and tones the bronchi, especially suitable for conditions involving capillary haemorrhage or excessive mucous. They give the following specific indications: coughs & colds, gastric & duodenal ulcers, gastro-intestinal inflammation, haemoptysis, haematemesis, pruritus ani, chronic suppurative ulcerations, bruised & damaged joints and muscles or pulled tendons, delayed union of fractures, traumatic injury to the eye.
Ellingwood recommends it for the following patholgies: bronchial irritation, pneumonia, inflammation of the stomach, and quotes
old European writers as being useful in all hurts and bruises both internal and external.
- Put 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb in a cup of water, bring to the boil and let simmer for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
- Take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.