What is comfrey (comfrey oil) and what is it used for?

true comfrey, common comfrey, comfrey

We often hear and say ourselves that nature hides a cure for everything, and one of the plants whose healing power has been proven by many throughout its long history must be comfrey. This eye-pleasing perennial plant with the Latin name Symphytum officinale has a very long and colorful history of use, so it was known and appreciated even in the Middle Ages for treating joints and healing wounds and for all bone diseases.

If you wonder where you can find it, look for it in wet places, most often along the banks of streams, rivers, along the edges of forests or in wet meadows. It can also be found in the garden or along fences – this natural wonder with a characteristic appearance with succulent and hairy stems and purple and pink flowers hanging down really grows everywhere.

Medicinal comfrey blooms throughout the summer, and the fresh plant is best harvested during flowering. The root and leaves are collected in spring or autumn, and used fresh or dried. Before drying in a warm and airy place or in a drying room, the root should be cut into pieces about 15 centimeters in size, and the drying should be done in as short a time as possible in order to prevent the fermentation process of the active substances.
Dried roots and leaves are stored in a dry place. It is important to know which parts of the plant are medicinal. In the case of comfrey, these are leaves and roots. Both have medicinal properties, but its deep and forked dark brown to black root has a higher concentration of beneficial ingredients.It is important to emphasize here that comfrey is easy to transplant into the garden, by transplanting the root itself. In addition to the healing properties of the roots, comfrey is worth keeping in the garden and because of the leaves, which are soaked in water (alone or with nettle), they become a valuable biofertilizer that strengthens plants and enriches them with minerals.gavez

What makes this plant so effective?
Medicinal anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of comfrey have been confirmed by a series of clinical studies. Comfrey leaves contain carotene, alkaloids, potassium and vitamin C. The root contains tannins, mucilage, starch, allantoin, inulin, choline, triterpenes and alkaloids. It also contains tannins, glycosides, resin, essential oil and asparagine.

Although comfrey is obviously a combination of many powerful ingredients, at the top of the healing scale is certainly allantoin, the main active substance with a strong ability to stimulate the growth of cells in bones, connective and subcutaneous tissue. The active action of allantoin occurs only in cooperation with other active substances from comfrey, so auxin is a plant hormone that stimulates allantoin in the creation of new cells and tissues.

All in all, it is because of allantoin that comfrey is one of the best remedies for healing external and internal wounds, swelling, cuts, scratches, bruises, fractures and bleeding. It is also used for sprains, dislocations, strained muscles and tendons.

Comfrey poultices are effective for psoriasis, ulcers, varicose veins, carpal syndrome and bone inflammation.

Comfrey effectively relieves other types of pain and has proven to be excellent in the form of a pain reliever gel for sprained joints and knee osteoarthritis. Likewise, in researches, it significantly alleviated the participants’ back pain. It is also known in homeopathy, so homeopathic preparations of comfrey are used in:

phantom pains
in wound healing
As for the preparations themselves, comfrey tea, poultices, baths, ointment, tincture and herbal drops are prepared. Preparations from this plant must not be kept in metal containers.

Although there is a herbal tradition and some recipes for teas and tinctures with dried comfrey root or leaves, due to some of the ingredients it contains, research has confirmed certain risks when used internally (especially related to the liver, lungs and even cancer), so today it is safest to use it only for external use. It is especially dangerous for pregnant and lactating women.

What is the safest way to use comfrey?
Taking into account the above, the safest, most widespread, and at the same time the most practical medicinal preparation of comfrey is an ointment for external use – known and irreplaceable for all the effects mentioned in the text, and above all for its effects on sprains, dislocations and reducing inflammation and pain in muscles and bones , as well as on wound healing. Because of all this, it is very often recommended for the same sports injuries, where its use brings quick relief of symptoms.
Sometimes comfrey oil contains some other active substances and plants, such as propolis, yarrow, black mallow and vitamin E. It is applied by simply rubbing it into the skin, and when applying it, it is also good to massage the painful area in order to accelerate the penetration of the cream into the pores of the skin. It is important to apply the ointment to undamaged skin areas, to painful and swollen areas two to three times a day. Hands should be washed after use.
You can buy grease and be at peace, but if you still wonder how to make it yourself, the answer is very simple. Finely chop 4 to 6 fresh, washed roots, depending on the size, and fry them in about 250 g of domestic pure lard, leave to stand overnight, reheat the next day, strain through a cloth and squeeze. Immediately fill clean small containers and store in the refrigerator.

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