How to Use Comfrey to Heal Wounds

Overview

Comfrey, an herb also called blackwort or slippery root, originated in Asia and Europe, but is also produced in North America. The leaves and root of the plant are crushed to release tannins and acids that can help speed wound healing. Comfrey is to be used externally only, to avoid exposure to toxic alkaloids, substances that can do more harm than good.

Step 1

Read the product labeling carefully to ensure that your comfrey ointment or poultice conforms to standards that are safe for you to use on your wounds. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that ointments that contain between 5 and 20 percent comfrey are standardized and appropriate for use on your skin.

Step 2

Rub a small amount of comfrey onto a closed wound. If you have an open sore, do not use the herbal remedy, as too much of the toxic substance called pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be absorbed into your body. Consult your doctor or other medical care provider to determine what amount of the preparation is safe —such as a pea-sized amount—and how many times daily you should use the herbal concoction.

Step 3

Avoid potential harm to your liver and kidneys by limiting wound treatment with comfrey to a period no longer than 10 days at a time, explains UMMC.

Step 4

Mark down the days you use comfrey for wound healing on a calendar. For your optimum health, this herbal remedy is recommended for a short duration only. If you find you need wound care for more than four to six weeks during the calendar year, discuss your condition with your doctor. Comfrey should be limited to no more than six weeks each year to avoid potentially dangerous complications.

About this Author

Erica Roth has been a freelance writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.