Tuesday, 15 October 2013

comfrey - what to do with it...

Comfrey (Symphytum, or 'knitbone') is a traditional herbal remedy for broken bones.  So, quite a few people mentioned comfrey in the context of my broken clavicle:

1.  My friend somehow talked with a homeopath friend who recommended homeopathic comfrey – I obediently got some – but she then said it would be knocked out by drinking coffee, which worried me since I wasn’t in a stop coffee drinking space.

2.  A medical doctor/ acupuncturist also suggested it, but without specifying form or frequency.

3.  A shiatsu practitioner also suggested comfrey cream, and drinking comfrey tea.

Obediently, therefore I got some comfrey cream, and put it on the affected area (on top of armica cream) after my morning bath.  I also managed to buy some dried comfrey from Bumblebee in London, and drank a small pot of tea daily.

I ran out of that batch recently, and managed to get some more in London at Neal’s Yard Remedies yesterday.  Whilst there I looked at a book on herbs there, which said comfrey should not be used for internal use since there is a risk of liver cancer.  Oh dear.

I remember that there was something about comfrey not too long ago – a couple of years perhaps where I think I heard hearing it was banned by the ?MHRA – presumably for this risk.  But I also remember it as being rather controversial, and many disagreed with this ruling, presumably because the risk was arguably exaggerated or irrelevant to context used.

So now I’m not sure what to do.

One thing I may do is try to research further.

I think there is a general point that it often seems hard to get exact information, or even any information about what to do with folk remedies.  Also, I think there has been some legislation which forbids the mention of what certain remedies have been used for traditionally.  I seem to remember hearing this again at Neal’s Yard remedies – that buying a product in a bottle – eg I vaguely remember this was about the ‘woman’s herb’ Dang gui, they may not put what it’s ‘for’.  If bought loose, then I think it was considered OK.

all very confusing – just for a change.  Do post any thoughts or information you may have which may help enlighten us!

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