What are the uses of comfrey in herbal medicine?

Comfrey is a herbaceous plant growing mainly in humid places. It is native to Europe, but nowadays it can be found in West Asia. It belongs to the Boraginaceae family. Its scientific name is Symphytum officinale. This plant contains many medicinal properties and since Antiquity, it is at the origin of the cure of several diseases. It also contains several active components. We distinguish in particular tannins, mucilages, allantoin, pyrrolizidine alkaloids and saponosides.

Usual therapeutic indications

Comfrey promotes regeneration of tissues and cells. As a result, it is effective in the treatment of lesions affecting the skin, muscles and bones. In case of burns or non-bleeding wounds, for example, it accelerates the healing process. It can also be used to treat various skin conditions. These include chapped breasts, acne, abrasions, bedsores and insect bites. At the level of bone mass, it promotes bone consolidation in the event of fractures. It is also useful in case of strains, sprains and joint swelling.

In addition, thanks to its antiphlogistic and analgesic properties, it helps to alleviate joint and muscle pain. She soothes rheumatic and back pain, arthritic attacks, gout attacks and osteoarthritis. It also helps relieve muscle aches and spasms.

Comfrey also acts on the vital organs of the body. It stimulates the motor functions of the digestive system and allows treat diarrhea and stomach ulcers. At the level of the ENT sphere, it cleanses the oral flora by treating canker sores and various inflammations. It also helps to treat dry coughs or even bronchitis.

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Galenic forms marketed

In phytotherapy, the most used parts are the roots and the aerial parts. The pharmaceutical forms available are:

  • Herbal tea or decoction
  • Dry extracts
  • Balm
  • Gel
  • Vegetable oil
  • Oily macerate
  • Mother tincture


Herbal tea or decoction:

Leave to infuse for 10 minutes 100 g of dried roots in 1 liter of boiling water. Drink a cup after meals in case of digestive disorders. For the preparation of a decoction, boil for 20 minutes 200 g of dried roots and 1 liter of water. Apply to the skin as a compress to moisturize the skin.

Fresh plant:

Crush some fresh leaves and apply it as a poultice on the skin to fade bruises and treat skin problems.

Balm or gel:

Apply directly to skin up to 4 times per day.

Vegetable oil :

Reserved for external use only, comfrey vegetable oil is used in its pure form or mixed with a few drops of essential oil. Then massage the parts to be treated with the preparation obtained.


I’use of comfrey should be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as in people with liver problems. In addition, its internal use must only be done under a medical prescription.


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