Comfrey Safety
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Tony Staiano
Posted on: March 9, 1999

Is comfrey a safe herb?

This is a matter of some controversy. There are a number of studies that suggest that comfrey can cause liver damage and tumours. On the other hand, there are many herbalists who believe that comfrey was the victim of inappropriate over-regulation based on dubious scientific and clinical studies.

There is no doubt that comfrey has powerful healing properties. We believe that comfrey should have a role in the treatment of short-term illnesses such as acute ulcers, skin problems, etc. Comfrey should not be taken over a long term.

In our opinion, the problem for comfrey began when it was touted as the nuttitional supplement, and zealots advocated its daily consumption for its high protein and vitamin B12 content. People were encouraged to eat leaves or take root or leaf powder daily. Some studies showed that continuous, long term ingestion of comfrey can indeed cause liver damage. But when taken over a short term, as is the traditional usage of comfrey, comfrey, in our opinion, poses little risk to health. In any case, the compounds implicated in liver damage are not absorbed through the skin, and so skin creams and ointments make from comfrey do not pose any risk.

Can comfrey when taken, cause dizziness ?

We have never heard of this effect. There is nothing in comfrey that suggests how it could cause dizziness.

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