Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a Medicinal Herb Used in Traditional Herbal Medicine.

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Medicinal Herbs & Therapeutic Botanicals

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Botanicals: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this page is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this page should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. The claims made about specific products throughout this article are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.


Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has traditionally been used to treat wounds and reduce inflammation associated with sprains and broken bones. The roots and leaves of comfrey contain allantoin, a substance that promotes wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Botanicals: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)






Biological Name: Symphytum officinale

Family: Boraginaceae

Other Names: Comfrey, Knitbone, Blackwort, bruisewort, gum plant, healing herb, knitback, salsify, slippery root, wallwort

Parts Used: Root and rhizome, leaf.

Active Compounds:

  • Allantoin
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including echimidine, symphytine, lycopsamine, symlandine. The alkaloids are found in the fresh young leaves and in the root, but in two separate investigations were found to be absent in the dried herb.
  • Phenolic acids; rosmarinic, chlorogenic, caffeic and lithospermic acids.
  • Mucilage, about 29%, composed of a polysaccharide containing glucose & fructose.
  • Miscellaneous; choline, asparagine, volatile oil, tannins, steroidal saponins, triterpenes

Wildcrafted Herbal Products Containing Comfrey:


Comfrey Herbal Cream

Comfrey Cream

To assist in the healing of wounds and to prevent formation of scar tissue associated with wounds. Comfrey should not be used on open or infected wounds.

Natural cream base, Allantoin, Symphytum officinale radix, natural preservative.


Comfrey Herbal Cream

Comfrey Plus Cream

To relieve pain associated with traumatic injury to nerves, joints, bone, muscles and connective tissues and with post-operative trauma. Comfrey Plus also stimulates rapid healing.

Natural cream base, Allantoin, Symphytum officinale radix, Arnica montana, Hypericum perforatum, natural preservative.

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

Therapeutic actions of Comfrey:

Vulnerary, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has traditionally been used to treat wounds and reduce inflammation associated with sprains and broken bones. The roots and leaves of comfrey contain allantoin, a substance that promotes wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Comfrey was once used in treating fractures and hence the alternative name 'Kitbone'. The pounded root forms a mucilaginous mass, which can be bound around a fracture and which, when dry, holds the bone in place.

Comfrey is an excellent wound-healer. This is partially due to the presence of allantoin. This chemical stimulates cell proliferation and so aids wound-healing both internally and externally.

The root, used internally, is usedful in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, and diarrhoea
The leaf is used in pleurisy and bronchitis.

For wounds, bruising, ulceration and dermatological complaints, the leaves or macerated root may be applied as a poultice, lotion or decoction.

Comfrey is considered of benefit in neuralgia and rheumatism, applied externally.

The whole plant, beaten to a cataplasm and applied hot as a poultice, has always been deemed excellent for soothing pain in any tender, inflamed or suppurating part. It was formerly applied to raw, indolent ulcers as a glutinous astringent. It is useful in any kind of inflammatory swelling.

Comfrey should always be used together with an anti-septic, for example Echinacea purpurea, Calendula, or other anti-septic herb.

Other indications include:
Supportive of cell regeneration and normal tissue replacement.

Used externally for skin problems and infections (extract).

For bruises: crushed leaves applied directly.

Poultice form is used for cuts, boils and abrasions.

Used in ointment or salve form for abrasions, wounds, burns, swollen breasts and skin problems.

A fomentation (roots and leaves) is used for sprains, swellings, bruises.

For bruises, inflammations, ulcers, and sores, dampen the root powder with water until it's a wet, gummy mash; place in a clean cloth and apply.

A hot decoction of the root is used for styes.

Used as a "cast" for broken bones by pounding the root then binding the mash around a break; the mixture will set when dry.

Tea was traditionally used for colds.

Decoction: 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.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Cold Extract Tea: Use 3 heaping tsp. fresh or dried rootstock with 1 cup water; let stand for 10 hours and strain. Bring the waked rootstock to a boil in 1/2 cup water, then strain. Mix this with the cold extract and drink a mouthful at a time over the course of the day.

Pulp: Stir fresh, chopped rootstock into a little hot water to form a thick mash. Spread on a linen cloth and apply. Renew every 2 to 4 hours.

Combinations : For gastric ulcers and inflammations it combines well with Marshmallow and Meadowsweet. For chest and bronchial troubles use it with Coltsfoot, White Horehound or Elecampane. For wound healing use with Calendula.

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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