Comfrey - Herbal Treatment

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Comfrey - Herbal Treatment

Post by Katy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:57 am

Comfrey - (Symphytum Officinale)

Warning: Comfrey may be unsafe for use in any form. There are serious toxicity concerns. It causes cancer and people have died from it. It is partially banned in Australia and in Europe. In Australia, comfrey is restricted to dermal use on intact skin for short periods of time. I am providing this post as information only as people occasionally ask about it. I am not recommending its use on chickens or people.

Other Names:
Common comfrey, prickly comfrey, Russian comfrey, boneset, knitbone, consolida, blackwort, bruisewort, gum plant, healing herb, knitback, salsify, slippery root, wallwort, yalluc (Saxon), ass ear, nipbone.

Parts used traditionally
Leaf, roots, rhizomes

Traditional Uses:

* This herb has been traditionally been used for coughing and bronchial irritation. Unfortunately, internal use of the herb has been associated with at least four human deaths, and in lab animal studies, it is carcinogenic.

* Traditionally used for wounds, the pain of inflammation, tenderness, broken bones, fractures, and sprains. The wound healing properties of comfrey are partially due to the presence of allantoin, which stimulates cell proliferation and accelerates healing. Allantoin is able to diffuse through the skin and tissues, hence its traditional use as an external application for the treatment of bone fractures.

* In the past it has been used internally as a laxative. (Too risky - don't do it - there are plenty of safe laxatives.)

* The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of topical comfrey preparations have been found to be effective for the treatment of bruises, sprains, and distortions, as well as for painful conditions affecting muscles and joints (Koll, 2002).

* Topical application on cows with mastitis has been found to be effective.

* Now considered unsafe for internal use, however has been traditionally used internally for cough, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, rheumatic pain, and arthritis.

* May be considered unsafe for external use, however has been used as a poultice, ointment, for chronic skin ulcers, fractures, rashes, strains, sprains and wounds. Caution: not suitable for very deep wounds because the external application of comfrey can lead to the formation of tissue over the wound before it has healed deeper down, leading to the possibility of an abscess.

Dosage for Small Animals:

I am not providing dosage information here as I believe Comfrey is too dangerous. Consult your practitioner for advice.

Clinical Actions:

Leaf: Vulnerary (healing wounds), demulcent (soothing film), antihemorrhagic, entirheumatic (stops bleeding), anti-inflammatory.
Root: Vulnerary, demulcent, cell proliferant, astringent, antihemorrhagic, expectorant, antiulcer, hemostaic (arrests bleeding).

Toxicity Information:
NOTE: Long-term consumption of Symphytum spp has been associated with hepatotoxicity because of the presence of PAs in the plant. Basically, these result in cell damage and death. Several PAs in comfrey have been found to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) to rats. Even when applied externally to rat skin, PAs have been detected in urine. Comfrey may be unsafe for use in any form. It is banned in Australia and Europe. It consistently contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and recent studies point to an additional quinoid toxin.

Toxins in comfrey are associated with hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Comfrey root contains a greater quantity of PAs than are found in the leaf. Evaluation of risks from ingestion of PA that contains herbs is a complex, controversial, and unresolved subject. PAs vary in toxicity, not only by distribution in different species of the same genera, but in their distribution in different plant parts of the same species.

The carcinogenicity was studied in rats. Hepatocellular adenomas were induced by feeding comfrey in all experimental groups. Hemangioendothelial sarcoma of the liver was infrequently induced (Hirono, 1978).

Especially, do not use during pregnancy or lactation.

Source: Wynn, S.G. & Fougere, B.J. (2007) Veterinary Herbal Medicine. Mosby Elsevier. Sydney

All threads listed in this Index are the opinions of caring forum users. Poultry Matters takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained within, and if in doubt, always refer your poultry queries and problems to your vet.

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Join date : 2011-09-30
Location : Morayfield QLD

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