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Comfrey is a perennial herb native to Europe and temperate Asia and its use has spanned over 2000 years. It was traditionally consumed as a tea to help soothe coughs and was added to baths throughout the Middle Ages to relieve inflamed tissue. Comfrey contains tannin, mucilage, carotene, sugars, beta-sitosterol, vitamin B-12, protein, and zinc. Its remarkable healing properties are attributed to allantoin, a substance that encourages rapid cell growth and allows for regeneration in systems that have been traumatized or stressed. Comfrey is used externally as a poultice for sprains, swelling, and bruising, as well as lacerations or broken bones. It has the ability to draw the edges of a wound together, hence its nickname of 'knit-bone'. It is excellent for soothing pain in any tender or inflamed part. The controversy over pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which was a hot topic of discussion in the early part of this century, does not apply to the common comfrey, Symphytum officinalis

 

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