Comfrey has been used for centuries and is also known as ‘Knitbone’.
Comfrey, of the family Boraginacaea and genus symphytum, is a perennial shrub that is native to Europe and temperate parts of Asia. It is found in Britain and Ireland alongside river banks and in ditches. Fond of moist soils, comfrey has a thick, hairy stem, and grows 1 metre in height. The flowers are bell-like, occurring in forked spikes; they are white or mauve and sometimes striped.
Comfrey contains allantoin, a substance that has been used on the skin. It contains other substances such as rosmarinic acid, and tannins and helps to keep skin healthy. Comfrey also contains mucilage (polysaccharide), inulin (fibrous carbohydrate), pyrrolizidine alkaloids (naturally occurring alkaloids produced by plants as a defence system) and saponins (plant chemicals).
Traditionally comfrey has been used for musculoskeletal health needs. Comfrey oil is also known as knitbone or boneset.