Symphytum officinale

Comfrey (botanical name Symphytum officinale L.) is a perennially growing herb belonging to the Boraginaceae family and can often grow to a height of four feet. Also known as 'knitbone' for its ability to treat broken bones, comfrey has a black root resembling that of turnip and bears large and broad leaves having bristles.

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The flowers of this herb are small and bell-shaped and found in a variety of hues, usually purplish or cream, which may sometimes have stripes. Comfrey is a common plant in many regions of the United States, Europe and Western Asia and has a preference for moist locations.

The plant derived its name Comfrey from the Latin term con firma, which denotes 'to unite' or 'to form'. Later, the herb was renamed Symphytum from the Greek expression Sympho, which too denotes 'to unite'. In fact, comfrey is best known for its ability to join or unite fractured bones.

Present day herbalists consider comfrey to be an inconsistent as well as contentious herb that may possibly offer several remedial benefits.

Comfrey encloses a chemical compound called allantoin, which is believed to assist in replacing as well as repairing the cells in our body by means of its multiple therapeutic properties. There was a time when people employed this herb to treat an assortment of health disorders that ranged from broken bones, arthritis, sprains, bronchial problems, severe burn injuries, varicose veins, acne as well as other problems related to the skin.

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Comfrey was presumed to possess the attributes to build bones and teeth in children and was also valued for its aptitude to treat several health conditions endured by women. This herb encloses a number of elements, including proteins, steroidal saponins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, tannins, mucilage and inulin.

Comfrey has a relatively rapid growth and produces plenty of bulk. This herb can endure several cuttings in a year and may be employed in the form of 'direct compost' for a number of crops, such as potatoes. You may just place the withering leaves of the plant in layers at the base of the potato trench or use them in the form of mulch in gardens where no diggings are done.

You may also immerse the leaves in a little amount of water for about a week to obtain a liquid feed for plants - this is especially excellent for crops that require potassium, for instance, tomatoes. In addition, the comfrey leaves are an extremely valuable supplement to any compost pile. Comfrey roots also yield a gum, which was earlier used for treating wool prior to spinning.

The common comfrey also has culinary use and its leaves are employed to prepare teas as well as poultices. The leaves of this herb contain high amounts of vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and other trace elements.

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There was a time when infusions prepared using the comfrey plant were employed for treating gastric ulcers as well as other stomach disorders. However, contemporary herbalists discourage the use of concentrated form of comfrey, as these infusions enclose high amounts of alkaloids that may potentially damage the liver.

Nevertheless, the leaves of comfrey continue to be employed in the kitchen. Small amounts of these leaves may also be consumed raw in salads. It is, however, important that you do not eat these leaves in excess.

The herb comfrey is used to prepare a homeopathic remedy known as Symphytum.

Parts used

The fresh turnip-like roots of comfrey are used for therapeutic purposes. These roots are unearthed during winter, autumn, or even spring prior to the plant starting to flower.

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The homeopathic remedy Symphytum is used in the form of a first aid medication and, in herbal medicine, it is known by several other names, such as 'knitbone', 'comphrey' and 'bone-set'. These additional names describe the aptitude of this remedy in repairing broken or fractured bones as well as its efficacy in treating diseases related to bones - including bone inflammation, sarcomas, osteitis and even bone cancers.

Symphytum is a wonderful and very effective homeopathic remedy for treating bone fractures as well as mechanical injuries accompanied by extreme pain. This medication makes it easier for fractured bones to set flawlessly; reduce peculiar piercing pain and promotes callous production.

Symphytum works excellently when wounds break through the perineum as well as bones accompanied by piercing pain and tenderness in the periostium. In addition, you should consider taking Symphytum whenever you suffer a bone fracture owing to osteoporosis.

This homeopathic remedy is also vital in treating incidences of excruciating old injuries wherein stitching, piercing and periosteal pain continues even after the wound has healed, especially when the affected area is touched. It is also effective for healing tetchy stump following surgery, prickliness at the place of the bone fracture owing to non fusion of the fissure accompanied by inadequate formation of callous.

The comfrey root encloses a crystalline solid substance, which works to encourage epithelium growth on the surface of ulcers. According to a section of experts, this is vital for accelerating the healing of ulcers in the duodenum and stomach.

Similar to another homeopathic remedy Arnica, Symphytum is also useful for healing injuries due to falls, blows and bruises and is also helpful for people who have an inclination to sustain such injuries or have accidents like these. Using Symphytum may prove to be effective in healing bruised bones and tendons. Again, similar to Ruta, this homeopathic remedy is useful in healing sprains as well as injuries caused by the straining or lifting of muscles, tendons and bones.

This is a vital homeopathic remedy which is also effective for treating eye injuries caused by blows, any blunt object, knocks and others. In such cases, the eye becomes painful following the injury and the eyelid closes sporadically. As far as treating eye injuries are concerned, Arnica and Symphytum have certain similarities. While Symphytum is a particular medication for treating eye injuries, Arnica is more effective in healing injuries caused to the eye orbit.

It is worth mentioning here that Symphytum is a very effective homeopathic remedy for healing injuries caused to the eyeball itself, it is also useful for treating the bone in the region of the eyeball. In fact, Symphytum works best when it is administered in cases where the pain remains, but there is no swelling, after the sufferer has been given Arnica. Symphytum is the main homeopathic remedy for eye injuries.

The homeopathic remedy Symphytum is also effective for treating diseases related to the bones, for instance, bone inflammation, inferior maxillary bone as well as sarcomas or bone cancers. In addition, it is also useful for treating bone necrosis.

Many other conditions that can be effectively treated with Symphytum include gunshot injuries; perineum wounds; head injuries, skull fractures; concussions and splintered bones; sprained or twisted ankles; tennis elbow; corns and even abscesses formed in the legs and psoas abscess.

In addition, Symphytum is also used to treat an unusual symptom - debility and exhaustion owing to excessive sexual activities.

You will be able to remember the homeopathic remedy Symphytum best by keeping in mind its affinity with bones as well as its effectiveness in treating broken bones and diseases related to bones.

Like in the instance of all homeopathic remedies, it is always important to consult a professional practitioner of homeopathic remedies, who is able to consider any conventional medicament for treating bone related problems. There is no doubt that Symphytum is the most effective medication while dealing with damaged bones or any injury caused to the eye socket.

In the world of homeopathy, medics take the patient's physical as well as emotional condition or mentality into account before prescribing a remedy. While a number of remedies may be appropriate for treating the condition, it may not suit the temperament of the patient. However, this rule does have some exceptions - for instance, Arnica, Hypericum, Calendula and Symphytum may be given to any patient, of course subject to the conditions they are meant to cure.

In this regard, despite its narrow range, Symphytum is really an exceptional homeopathic remedy, which every individual should have in his or her emergency kit. While Symphytum is safe for use by nearly all people, it is advisable that you check with a professional practitioner of homeopathic remedies when you need to take it for the first time.


A mother tincture is obtained by chopping the comfrey roots and permeating them in alcohol.


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