Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial plant that has been used for various medicinal purposes throughout history. It belongs to the Boraginaceae family and grows in the form of a shrub in lands of countries such as Europe, Asia and North America.
In traditional medicine the roots and leaves of the plant are usually used. In fact, in countries like Japan, it is known as a knitbone and is used for muscle sprains, bruises, and superficial wounds. What does the evidence say? Next, we will tell you all about it.
Common uses of comfrey
First of all, it is important to note that comfrey is one of those plants that must be used with caution. Although some studies support its medicinal properties, it has also been warned about the presence of toxic products, such as pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can harm health.
In fact, some countries have banned the sale of oral comfrey preparations and it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, it is best to completely avoid its consumption and use it only topically, in specific cases.
On its own, comfrey root has not shown effectiveness against back pain. However, in a study published in Phytotherapy Research , creams that had comfrey root were helpful in soothing upper and lower back pain.
Specifically, it seems that the application of this product on the affected area, for five days, reduces the sensation of pain and tension. However, more studies are still needed to corroborate these effects.