Comfrey, known scientifically as Symphytum officinale, is a plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. Traditionally, its leaves were used to treat a variety of ailments including wounds, sprains, and bone fractures, earning it the nickname “knitbone”.
Modern research has substantiated some of these traditional uses. The leaves of the comfrey plant are rich in a compound called allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells and speeds up wound healing. This makes comfrey beneficial in the treatment of bruises, sprains, and other injuries.
Comfrey leaves also contain rosmarinic acid, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. This may contribute to comfrey’s traditional use in relieving pain and inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and gout.
In addition, the plant’s mucilage content can soothe irritated skin and may help with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Comfrey also has astringent properties, which can help tighten the skin and potentially reduce the appearance of aging.