Comfrey

Highly valued since Roman times, Vauxhall Gardens cultivates the Bocking 14 variety of Comfrey exclusively because it contains the highest allantoin content known. Allantoin is a natural cell rejuvenator that speeds healing and will reduce any sort of inflammation. If you, or someone you love, suffers from sore, stiff, achy joints, Comfrey is an amazing, natural healer.

comfreyNative to Europe, Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferator that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. This makes Comfrey ideal for treating a wide variety of issues whether it be topical or below-the-surface.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how on earth people survived without modern medicine? Well, when you see the research results on how Comfrey works, one can very well wonder how on earth we can survive modern times without the help of ancient plant based remedies! Comfrey is one of the oldest and most medicinally important plants which has been used for hundreds of years for healing wounds and broken bones, sprains, reducing inflammation and encouraging healthy muscle and cartilage cells to grow. At Vauxhall, we grow the Bocking 14 cultivar of Comfrey because it contains the highest allantoin content: Allantoin is a small organic molecule that is thought to stimulate cell growth while simultaneously depressing inflammation. Very promising research shows allantoin to be very effective in treating arthritic conditions.

Comfrey is a very easy-to-grow plant which quickly turn into a large, robust plant – you need a little bit of room to grow it because it is quite a substantial plant. From the first tiny shoots poking out of the ground in early Spring this plant never fails to disappoint. In mid-May, the flowers start to appear and when they do there is constant bee activity. It just never looks bad even well into the Fall.

We harvest Comfrey either in mid-Spring or early-Fall when the allantoin levels are the highest. We use both the root and aerial parts for our infused oil and glycerite. Since the roots are thick and black, and the leaves so deep, deep green, these solvent extractions become a lovely amber brown.

Something does not maintain a high-level of popularity for hundreds of years as a fluke yet, Comfrey has become a very controversial plant over the past few decades. In addition to the allantoin contained in Comfrey, there is also something called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). Taken internally, these PA’s can be toxic and it has been reported to cause liver damage when consumed over a long time. Fortunately, these offending alkaloids are not absorbed through the skin and Comfrey is safe to use topically. At Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. they have a medicinal herb garden which is headed by Dr. Adriene Fugh-Berman. She has conducted much research and education regarding the use of herbs for medical and dietary supplement and she emphatically states: “Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are poorly absorbed through the skin, unless broken, so topical use of Comfrey is considered benign” (Fugh- Berman 2000, 93). Although Comfrey is very good at healing wounds and sores, please consider her words when applying. Additionally, although it is still very common practice (and many people swear by its benefits) please never take it internally.

We have many customers who have seen remarkable benefits using Comfrey Cream for their arthritic and joint pain. Some even use it on their pets! Maybe it is even right for you.

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