Comfrey root is used to relieve pain from blunt injuries, promote healing of broken bones, sprains and bruises, reduce swelling and edema, and encourage the rapid and healthy regrowth of skin and tissue cells.
Because comfrey may contain PAs, which have caused cancer and liver damage in animal studies, and because the root contains it in higher concentration than the leaves, internal use is not suggested.
In one major European study, an ointment based on comfrey root proved more effective at relieving both pain and swelling in 142 patients with sprained ankles.
With regards to the warnings that comfrey can cause cancer and liver disease, most herbal practitioners point out that those results were from studies that isolated the pyrrolizidine alkaloids and fed or injected them into animal subjects in doses far higher than any typical usage of comfrey leaf, and that comfrey leaf has been regularly ingested by thousands of people around the world without reported ill effects.
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Comfrey should also not be used by pregnant or nursing women.
Use caution or avoid internal consumption if you have liver damage.