|Comfrey - Symphytum
Officinale - also known as Knitbone, Knitback, blackwort, Consolida,
This plant grows wild in in the wetlands of Europe and parts of Asia.
rhizome and leaves of the plant are used.
Because of the Pyrrolizidene
Alkaloids Comfrey must never be ingested
used for treating:
we list reported constituents of this herb. This may not be complete as
continuous research constantly discovers new constituents. Where possible we
also provide information about constituents and their application, effect and
side effects, if any. We do not provide information on the interaction between
constituents. We do not give quantities of each individual constituent as these
vary considerably due to region and climate. By comparing the treatments above
with the constituent benefits below some indication of quantities can be gained.|
Phenolic acids: Therapeutically valuable and not toxic the
Phenolic acids are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and
Saponins: Wound healing, anti-scarring. Saponins occur as
glycosides with aglycone structures that are steroidal or terpenoid. Saponins can cause the
destruction of red blood cells if injected causing anaemia or worse. Ingested
saponins are poorly absorbed in the digestive system reducing the risk of
poisoning but care must be taken on dosage as Saponins are mucus membrane
Many herbs containing saponins have been identified as
"adaptogens" also referred to as harmony remedies (see: The Root of
being: Ginseng and the Pharmacology of Harmony - Stephen Fulder 1980).
Instead of being purely remedial herbs these adaptogens improves and energizes
vitality and resistance thereby keeping ailments at bay. It is claimed that
these adaptogens can improve mental functions like learning speed, awareness and
alertness as well as help with emotional and intellectual stress. As a tonic
they will also reduce the risk of infections by stimulating the immune system.
Saponins are also expectorant, anti-inflammatory,
hepaprotective, combats cholesterol build up and antifungal.
Glycosides: Most glycosides remain inactive
until they are hydrolysed in the gastric tract by specialised bacteria which
then releases an aglycone (phenols, terpenes, steroids and quinones) that has
the active effect. These compounds could be phenol, sulphur or alcohol based and
many of them like the Cyanogenic glycosides are extremely toxic.
Glycosides are widespread in plants and are extremely
varied in action, effect and medicinal application.
Glycosides are characterized by the chemical composition
of a combination of sugar and non-sugar compounds capable of forming esters with
an acid or ethers with alcohols.
When glycosides hydrolyse (with enzymes or acids) they
form glycones (sugar moiety) or aglycones (non-sugar moiety)
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids: Pyrrolizidine
Alkaloids are associated with the formation of occlusion (blockages) in veins.
This compound is wide spread amongst Boraginaceae, Astereceae and Papilonaceae
families of plants. None of these plants should be ingested.
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids have little or no known therapeutic
value and are exceptionally toxic. Unless a herb is used for external topical
application that can not be satisfied by any other means we suggest that
alternatives be found.
Several countries have
banned the herbal use of plants containing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids. Keep away
from children and never ingest.
extract||Do Not ingest|| |
|* Statements made
have not been evaluated by American Food and Drug Authority or similar board
or authority of any other country.|
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