Health & Fitness

Herbal Remedies


Comfrey - An Overall Tonic, and a Wonder Healer

by: Sushma Taneja

Botanical Name - Symphytum Officinale

Parts used - Leaves and Root

Comfrey is one of the most valuable herbs known to botanic medicine. It has been used for centuries with success as a wound-healer and bone knitter. It feeds the pituitary with its natural harmone and helps strengthen the body skeleton. It helps in the calcium-phosphorus balance by promoting strong bones and healthy skin. It helps promote the secretion of pepsin and is a general aid to digestion. It has a beneficial effect of all parts of body, being used as an overall tonic. It is one of the finest healer for the respiratory system. Comfrey is a powerful remedy for coughs, catarrh, ulcerated bowels and stomach. It is one of the best remedies for internal bleeding anywhere in the body and can be used both internally and externally for healing fractures, wounds, sores and ulcers.

It can be used as a strong decoction for bleeding and to build new flesh during wasting diseases. It is excellent for dysentery and helps regulate blood sugar.

The common herb Comfrey, seems to possess extraordinary healing powers when used as a poultice or tea drink. As a poultice, bruise the fresh leaves, apply to first and second degree burns, wounds, open sores, gangrene and most ulcers. Comfrey tea and decoction can be used as a fomentation for the above mentioned ones also. The dosage is 2 oz. of the decoction several times a day for internal hemorrhaging. Poultice can also be made by meshing leaves and moistening them with Comfrey tea and other oils and tinctures and infusions which is good for swellings, cuts and wounds. Comfrey is a cell proliferator and will help heal broken bones, sprains and slow healing sores.

Doctors have used its medicinal extract - Allantion - in cases of stubborn ulcers, burns and open wounds with spectacular results.

Comfrey is a very good source of calcium. It is also good for varicose veins.

Green comfrey is a miracle medicine for hay fever. My daughter, who is now 15, used to fall sick very frequently during winter season, which made her miss school. About two years ago I put her on a program of eating a Comfrey leaf (about 6" long) twice a day, once in the morning and once in the night for about 15 days. Since then she has not fallen sick.

Comfrey leaves chewed thoroughly are also good for ulcers. Tea is good for Asthma. It can also be sweetened with honey if desired.

Benefits -

Comfrey is a good:
  1. Expectorant - It facilitates excretion of mucus from the lungs.
  2. Demulcent - It has mucilaginous quality that soothes the throat, stomach, lungs, small intestines and bowels during inflammation.
  3. Tonic - It is a good tonic for the whole body.
  4. Vulnerary - It promotes the healing of wounds, cuts and broken bones.
  5. Alternative - It alters (purifies) the blood. It promotes the cleaning action of spleen, liver kidney and bowels.

Exactly two years ago I suffered from bronchitis. Immediately after that I lost hearing in my left year completely. I went to a specialist. According to him my ear had been completely damaged. When I asked the doctor whether I could use a hearing aid or have surgery done. He said, "How can you wear glasses if you don't have eyes." Though I was disturbed I did not lose hope. I brought one Comfrey plant and started taking fresh leaves. After three days I went to a health food store and bought herbs worth $70. When I was returning from the health food store, I felt some sensation in my ear. I had taken only three Comfrey leaves till then. I immediately went to my ENT doctor and requested for an audiogram. To his surprise 70 percent of my hearing had come back. After three more days of taking Comfrey leaves 100 percent hearing came back. I continued to take Comfrey for a few more days. Since then I have no complaints. My doctor said "It is a miracle. There is no way you could get your hearing back. I am surprised."

Comfrey is rich in Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C. It is high in calcium, potassium, phosphorous and protein. It contains iron, Magnesium, Sulphur, Copper, Zinc as well as eighteen Amino acids. It is a good source of Amino acid hysine, which is usually lacking in diets that contain no animal products.

Availability -

One can get dry Comfrey leaves and roots in almost all health food stores. Green Comfrey i.e. Comfrey plant is available in some of the nurseries. It is a medicinal plant and its botanical name is Symphytum Officinale. It is available only till end of December or beginning of January. During the rainy season its leaves die, fresh leaves start growing back in April or May. It spreads very fast. It is very good to have a Comfrey plant in the house.

Courtesy: Sushma Taneja, owner of Passage To India Restaurant in Mountain View, CA is extremely well versed in herbs. She not only teaches but practices healthy usage of herbs in her recipes.

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