Comfrey is a shrub that produces clusters of white, purple, and blue flowers. It is well-known for its long, slender leaves and black-skinned roots. The leaves and roots of this easy-to-grow plant contain allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Allantoin boosts the growth of new skin cells, while rosmarinic acid helps relieve pain and inflammation (1).
Commonly found throughout Europe and parts of Asia, comfrey has been used for centuries as a traditional medicinal plant for the treatment of painful muscles and joint complaints (2).
A research review suggested that the comfrey plant can help treat osteoarthritis and some injuries like ankle sprains (3).
Furthermore, in a review of topical herbal therapies, it was found that comfrey cream may help treat osteoarthritis. In this review, 220 people with osteoarthritis of the knee were assigned to three weeks of treatment with either comfrey ointment or a placebo. At the end of the study, a significantly greater improvement in pain, mobility, and quality of life was experienced by those who received comfrey treatment as compared to the placebo group (4,5).
How To Use Comfrey For Arthritis?
One of the easiest ways to use comfrey for arthritis pain is to create a simple comfrey poultice and apply it to sore muscles or joints to help reduce inflammation.
For this poultice, we need to mash 6-8 large comfrey leaves using a heavy wooden spoon or pestle until it has formed a thick paste. We may slowly add 2 tablespoons of very hot water to get the correct consistency. After this, place the mash in a cheesecloth square that has been folded over and tied shut with the heavy string or twine. Place the poultice against the area with arthritis pain and wait for 10 minutes. Remove the poultice. We need to wait for at least an hour before applying it again (6).
Reminder: Do NOT mash the comfrey leaves in a bowl that will be used for food preparation. Its leaves contain poisonous chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). It is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone when taken by mouth.
Other Uses of Comfrey (7)
May help Boost Immune System – Vitamin C, a major component of comfrey, plays a primary role in the body as it stimulates the production of white blood cells, which is the first line of defense of the body’s immune system. Topical application of comfrey may increase the strength of the immune system by improving conditions like jaundice and various vitamin and immune deficiencies.
Improved Respiratory Health – Inhaling or rubbing it on the chest may work as an expectorant.
Wound Healing – The high content of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, makes comfrey pastes and salves are ideal solutions for speeding up the healing of wounds
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