Comfrey (Symphitum officinale), also known as Knitbone was used as a home remedy by our ancestors for healing bone fractures. It is the root of the plant, that contains the medicine, but occasionally the leaves are used as well. The roots are collected in the late autumn or in early spring, before the start of the flowering. It can be fresh or dried at the time of the processing, it is grinded into powder and added to creams, used in poultices, tinctures or as infusion. It is used to heal bruises, sprains, bumps, to reduce bone, muscle, joint and rheumatic pains and inflammations accelerating the process of healing. Its tissue repairing properties are a result of a protein containing substance named allantois, and the polysaccharides, while the hormone named auxin helps the growth of new cells. It also has analgesic effect, due to its polyphenol derivatives, especially the rosmarinic acid.
Because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are toxic and damaging the liver, and also carcinogenic substances, it cannot be ingested without medical prescription and its long-term internal use is not recommended. It is forbidden in the case of pregnancy!
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