✵The article gives records of the herb Comfrey, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Symphytum officinale L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Comfrey, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Comfrey.
Latin Name: Symphytum officinale L.
Common Names: blackwort, Boneset, Bruisewort, common comfrey, Consolida, Consound, Gum plant, knitback, knitbone, prickly comfrey, slippery root, salsify, etc.
Property and flavor: cool in nature, tastes sweet and sour.
Brief introduction: Comfrey is a stout perennial plant, it has rough, hairy stems and lance-shaped leaves, and bears clusters of bell-shaped purplish to pale yellow flowers.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Comfrey as the leaves and root of the species (1).Symphytum officinale Linn. It is a plant species of the Symphytum genus, the Boraginaceae family (borage family, forget-me-not family). The leaves, roots and rhizome are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Symphytum officinale L.
Botanical description: Symphytum officinale is a tufted perennial herb, it grows up to 30~90 cm tall, the whole plant is covered with downward slightly curved bristles and short hairs. The root is developed, fusiform, branched, black on the outside and white on the inside, the taproot is thick, and it is light purple-brown. Stems are several, erect or inclined, with branches. Basal leaves are usually 50~80, up to 200, with long stalks. The leaves are banded-lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate to ovate, wrinkly and roughly pubescent, 30~60 cm long, 10~20 cm wide, slightly fleshy, and the apex is tapered; The middle and upper leaves of the stem are smaller, sessile, the upper leaves are lanceolate and broad, the lower leaves and the basal leaves are ovate-lanceolate and pulled together in the petiole, and the base of the stem descends.
Inflorescence with many flowers, they are arranged in crowded, apical, 2-rayed hanging cymes; Calyx split to near base, fused and has 5 tips, lobes are lanceolate, the apex is tapering; The corolla is 14~15 mm long, lilac, purplish red, violet to yellowish-white, fused and is cylindrical-campanulate with a pentangular tube and 5-tipped border, with triangular lobes, the tip is rolled out, and the throat appendage is lanceolate, about 4 mm long, and does not protrude from the corolla brim; Anthers are about 3.5 mm long, with a slightly prominent connective at the top, filaments are about 3 mm long, and the lower part is nearly as wide as the anthers; Ovary is usually sterile, and occasionally a nut matures in individual flowers.
Nuts are obliquely ovate, 3~4 mm long, black, smooth, and shiny. Its flowering period is from May to October.
Ecological environment: Symphytum officinale is native to Europe and Caucasus area. It grows in moist grasslands in the eastern area of North America and most of Europe. The plant was introduced to China in 1963, it is now widely cultivated. The plant can be used as green fodder for livestock.
Growth characteristics: Symphytum officinale grows in mountain forest areas, it is a typical mesophyte. It is suitable for a wide area, cold-resistant and high-temperature-resistant, and is not limited by the area; There are no strict requirements on soil, except saline-alkali land, thin ridge land, and low-lying land with poor drainage, it can be planted on general land. It can be cultivated on farmland or barren hills in large areas, and farmers can plant it in front of houses, behind houses, along rivers and roadsides, on barren slopes, and on other abandoned lands.
Characters of herbs: Comfrey herb consists of the fresh or dried above-ground parts of Symphytum officinale, comfrey leaf consists of the fresh or dried leaf, and comfrey root consists of the fresh or dried root section.
Pharmacological actions: ①.wound lealing effect; ②.anti-inflammatory activity, etc.
Comfrey's wound healing property was found mainly for its components allantoin, mucilage, allantoin promotes the growth of new cells, it is used in ointments for psoriasis and other skin disorders, leaves contain more tannin, tannin has an astringent property and helps wound healing by constricting tissue and reducing oozing and bleeding. Mucilage expands into a gooey mass and protects irritated skin and mucous membranes. The plant also has significant anti-inflammatory activity, and it can promote the formation of callus.
Medicinal efficacy: Comfrey was used by ancient Greeks for wounds and swollen tissue around broken bones, and other wounds including sprains, bruises and burns, and internal wounds. Internally comfrey is recommended for digestive upset, internal bleeding and bleeding gums, bronchial congestion, and ulcerative colitis, its gargles and mouthwashes are used for sore throats, bleeding gums, and hoarseness.
Due to its well-recognized health hazards, herbalists recommend comfrey for soothing and promoting healing from skin wounds to leg ulcers, insect bites, ulcerative lesions, bedsores, dry or chapped skin, rashes, sunburn, itchy skin, and bruises. In Europe, the herb is approved externally for blunt injuries, bruises, sprains, pulled muscles and ligaments, and the promotion of bone healing. In folk medicine, the root has been used externally as a mouthwash and gargle for gum disease, pharyngitis, and strep throat.
The young shoots and leaves were eaten as food.
Administration of Comfrey (Consolida):
Administration Guide of Comfrey (Consolida)
Herbal classic books:
An infusion is prepared with 5 to 10 grams of comminuted or powdered herb, steeped in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then strained. The daily dosage for external use should not exceed 1 mcg of pyrrolizidine alkaloids for external preparations calculated with 5 to 7% herb, with a maximum of 1 ppm/gram for commercial preparations. The herb should be used for a maximum of 4 weeks. Ingestion or internal use is not advisable due to its toxic effects, hepatotoxic and carcinogenic.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Many sources strongly recommend against taking comfrey because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), it can cause liver damage and even promote liver cancer, the risk develops over time as the effect of the PAs is cumulative. Roots cause more cancer than leaves. Topical formulations appear to be much safer, but several sources warn that only preparations with mature leaves should be used, German health authorities advise the use of comfrey for no more than four to six weeks a year, topical formulations should be used only on intact skin. Young children and pregnant or lactating women should never take comfrey. Ingestion or internal use is not advisable due to its toxic effects, hepatotoxic and carcinogenic.
URL QR code:
1.Introduction of Comfrey:Consolida or Bruisewort.