Comfrey to the Rescue

Good Health LifestylesHerbal Helpers

Lazy afternoons by the pool, fun-filled weekends at the cabin, starlit campfires with family and friends—when beautiful weather hits, you jump in with both feet. But idyllic summer settings aren’t without their risk of mishaps, which is why you should always have comfrey cream on hand. From scraped knees to broken bones, comfrey helps heal injuries in no time.

Magical Healing Powers

Comfrey is a perennial herb with a long history of use for treating wounds and preventing infection. Thousands of years ago—long before 24-hour urgent care clinics existed—people would go out to a field, harvest comfrey, and use it to create a healing tincture, poultice, or salve. It was referred to as Knitback, Knitbone, Bruisewort, and Boneset, names reflective of comfrey’s unique curative abilities.

Herbalists love the stuff, and can often be heard referencing comfrey in the same sentence as “magic” or “miracle.” That’s because the plant’s fast-acting ability to heal sprains, strains, bruises, and sore muscles seems almost too good to be true. But it’s not. Clinical studies prove that comfrey is both safe and effective for treating everything from minor cuts to nagging back pain. Comfrey relieves soreness, reduces inflammation and swelling, heals damaged tissue, and may even have the ability to mend broken bones. To top it all off, comfrey has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it safe to use wherever your adventures lead you.

How Does It Work?

Comfrey contains allantoin, a soothing, healing agent that allows cells to regrow quickly. It encourages trauma to heal faster and also stimulates white blood cell production, which helps defend the wound against infection and disease. Allantoin also has a moisturizing effect, keeping your skin soft and elastic to act as an effective barrier against germs and bacteria.

The comfrey plant also contains a wealth of other health-promoting vitamins including strong doses of A, plus B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, and E. It contains 15 essential minerals, as well as various plant compounds that work together therapeutically to maximize the healing process. Phenolic acids in comfrey, like rosmarinic and caffeic, have the ability to protect cells from oxidative damage. Together, the components of comfrey reduce swelling and inflammation, and help damaged tissue recover quickly.

PA-Free Please

Today, herbalists and other plant-loving people still make their own comfrey compresses and creams, but for those who aren’t into the DIY scene, there are ready-made, safe, effective creams available at health food stores.

Make sure the comfrey cream you purchase is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). In the past, certain forms of comfrey have been associated with liver damage because they contain PAs. This caused many countries to ban oral (not topical) comfrey, giving people the impression that comfrey was unsafe. Because of this, European biologists focused their attention on growing a comfrey that is PA-free. Though fear of topical comfrey with PAs is unfounded, this PA-free variety has given peace of mind to many comfrey users.

Every Household Needs Comfrey

Having a tube of comfrey cream on hand is always a good idea. From little league games to backcountry camping, summer is full of settings where comfrey cream could come in handy. This summer, when you encounter sprained ankles, pesky bug bites, bruised knees, and more—reach for the comfrey!

Don’t Leave Home Without It!

The benefits of comfrey cream are endless, which makes it a necessity for your purse, backpack, gym bag, medicine cabinet, glove box—anywhere you can access it easily in case of an injury! Slather it on to speed up the healing of:

  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Strains
  • Open wounds
  • Scrapes
  • Cuts
  • Punctures
  • Bone fractures
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Burns
  • Bug bites
  • Bee stings
  • Rashes

 

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