Is Comfrey Oil (Symphytum Officinale) Safe For Baby? – Yes, organic comfrey oil ointment can treat stubborn and itchy rashes that occur in both adults and children. Comfrey oil in topical creams aids in the growth of new skin cells.

Organic Symphytum Officinale or Comfrey is a fast-growing herb with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It has high amounts of allantoin which accelerates the healing of wounds. Comfrey also contains Vitamin C which produces white blood cells, the immune system’s first line of defense. Comfrey oil skin benefits are far-ranging as comfrey oil is a powerful healing ingredient that is safe and mild to infants’ skins.

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Is Comfrey Oil (Symphytum Officinale) Safe For Baby?What Is Comfrey Oil

Comfrey oil, also known as organic Symphytum officinale, is a part of the fast-growing Boraginaceae family. Its Latin name comes from the Greek word “symphis” which means “knit together” or “growing together of bones.” It is also known as “knitbone” and “boneset”. In France, it is known as “consoude” which translates to “weld together.” [4].

Comfrey or comphrey comes from the genus Symphytum and is considered an essential herb in gardens. It has black, turnip-like roots and big, hairy leaves that carry the cream or light purple, bell-shaped flowers. The comfrey herb usually appears in damp, grassy areas in Europe, mostly in Britain’s ditches or riverbanks, and all over Ireland. The most commonly used species of the plant is the hybrid of the common comfrey and the rough comfrey which is the Russian comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum). Compared to the common species, it grows more flowers that are violet or blue in color [1].

The comfrey plant is fast-growing and seeks a lot of nitrogen. It is a robust herb but can benefit from manure and lawn clippings. The plants can be harvested four to five times annually. During the middle of spring (its growing season) the comfrey plant can be picked. It can be cut when it reaches about 60 cm or 24 inches in height, and it immediately grows back after cutting. It can be ready for cutting again after only five weeks and continues to grow until autumn [2].

Comfrey oil contains 0.6-4.7% of allantoin, up to 0.2% of rosmarinic acid, 0.012% of chlorogenic acid, and 0.004% caffeic acid, all of which are phenolic acids. It also contains polysaccharides, glycosides, amino acids, and lithospermic acid [3].

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Origins Of Comfrey OilOrigins Of Comfrey Oil

As early as the Middle Ages and as far back as 50 AD, the origin of comfrey oil appears in the Materia Medica. According to the Materia Medica, comfrey oil skin benefits include healing skin irritations.Other comfrey plant therapeutic treatments include healing sprains, bruises, and fractures when used as a topical salve. When taken orally, the comfrey plant heals a variety of medical ailments from gastric ulcers to certain internal disorders among women.

The comfrey plant is widespread throughout Europe and some parts of Asia. The use of comfrey oil is also prominent in North America where it was bred and quickly spread. Native Americans utilize comfrey essential oil for its healing properties, and it is included in their therapeutic armamentarium [5].

Around 400 BC, early Greeks used comfrey oil and comfrey leaves to stop bleeding caused by wounds, mend injured bones, and provide relief to bronchial problems. During the Irish potato famine in the 1840s, an Englishman named Henry Doubleday proposed that the comfrey herb could save the world from hunger. As a result of his persistence, various literature and research about the common comfrey were printed, some of which are referenced to this day [6].

For many centuries, comfrey root was used as a traditional medicinal plant. Today, with the help of controlled trials and experiments, its efficacy and safety stand true. The plant’s root is clinically proven to relieve pain, discomfort, and inflammation of muscles and joints. Comfrey essential oil is especially helpful to athletes as it heals acute myalgia, sprains, degenerative arthritis, contusions, strains, and sports injuries [7].

Oral consumption of comfrey oil is not recommended because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). However, when delivered in other ways, comfrey oil is known for its healing effects.

Comfrey oil skin benefits provide natural relief to babies’ skin issues such as diaper rash, bug bites, allergies, and scratches, it is also an effective medicine for adults who experience back pains, muscle aches, and arthritis. Comfrey soap and comfrey powder are both found to provide many benefits [8].

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How Comfrey Oil Works
How Comfrey Oil Works

Allantoin is the key reason that comfrey oil works in baby products. Since ancient times, comfrey oil has been a prominent figure in treating a wide range of skin conditions because of its high amounts of the allantoin. This substance is responsible for promoting the production of new skin cells. This, in turn, helps comfrey oil heal wounds, moisturize dry skin, prevent scarring and blemishes, and relieve pain and inflammation.

Because of this substance, comfrey oil acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic when used as a cream or ointment. It even works deeper to heal broken bones and strained muscles quickly. Its high amounts of essential oils and substances coupled with its mildness and accessibility are what make comfrey oil a powerful ingredient in baby products.

Comfrey Oil For MothersComfrey Oil For Mothers

Reduces Appearance Scars and Blemishes

Mothers can acquire dark and undesired stretch marks during and after pregnancy. The allantoin in comfrey oil helps lighten dark spots on the skin. Aside from its brightening effects, it also moisturizes and smoothes rough skin while removing dead skin cells. With the regular topical application of comfrey oil on the face and body, more flawless skin will emerge.

Alleviates Lower Back Pain

Approximately 31 million Americans suffer lower back pain on a daily basis. Pregnant women may experience this during pregnancy. If this happens, look for a medicine that is both effective and safe for you and your baby. The comfrey root extract is one such herb. It is clinically proven to produce quick results compared to other topical medicines [10].

Reducing Arthritis Discomfort

Chronic arthritis pain occurs when bones rub together. One in five people in the US experience arthritis. Although there is a wide range of medication made solely for this affliction, some of them have terrible side effects such as bone loss, stroke, or heart attack. Infused oil from the comfrey plant is one of the best alternatives. It significantly decreases the pain caused by arthritis and does not produce any negative side effects [11].

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Comfrey Oil For The Skin
Comfrey Oil For The Skin

Treats Rashes

Comfrey ointment can treat stubborn and itchy rashes that occur in both adults and children. Comfrey oil in topical creams aids in the growth of new skin cells.

Healing Time Of Wounds

Aside from allantoin, the comfrey root also contains rosmarinic acid, tannins, and Vitamin C. These antioxidants make comfrey cream an ideal solution to wounds. It eliminates foreign harmful substances while promoting cell growth. It also produces collagen which makes healing time much faster [12].

Reduces Inflammation

One of the benefits of comfrey oil for babies is its anti-inflammatory properties. The saponins and tannins found in the comfrey essential oil gives the ointment its anti-inflammatory components. Comfrey cream is potent in healing inflammations such as gout [13].

Comfrey Oil For Hair

The use of comfrey oil for hair is also popular. The herbal plant contains proteins and minerals that, when applied directly to the scalp, can control and cure hair loss. Using comfrey oil for hair is also a great conditioner. Most commercial shampoos and conditioners contain harmful compounds that remove essential oils from the hair. Comfrey extract is a natural cure to dry, brittle hair and dandruff.

Comfrey leaves contain a protein called mucilage. This protein is responsible for detangling knots in hair and keeping it soft and smooth [14].

Benefits Of Comfrey Oil For Babies
Benefits Of Comfrey Oil For Babies

There are various benefits of comfrey oil for babies. Most of these are attributed to the comfrey plant’s high contents of allantoin. This compound promotes the growth of new skin cells along with other substances that are equally beneficial to the maintenance and health of the skin.

The benefits of comfrey oil for babies have clinical proof. According to an observational study which included 196 children, topical application of the comfrey plant’s infused oil can treat pain and hematoma caused by wounds, strains, or blunt trauma. No other negative side effects occurred during the application [15].

Below are more benefits of comfrey oil for babies that are also effective.

Relieves Diaper Rash Irritation

A comfrey poultice can effectively relieve the pain and itch caused by diaper rash. This herbal mixture produces powerful healing properties that fight diaper rash but is gentle and mild on infant skin. It can be used as an oil or in comfrey soap [16].

Improves Respiratory Health

While comfrey tea is not recommended for oral intake, inhaling the plant’s infused oil from its leaves works as an expectorant for babies suffering from clogged sinuses and other respiratory problems. To add to that, it can help get rid of phlegm-causing bacteria and viruses in your baby’s chest.

Helps Strengthen The Immune System

Vitamin C in comfrey leaves plays a major part in strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C promotes the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense. With the increase of white blood cells, babies’ immune systems improve and effectively protect the body from a variety of wounds, immune, and vitamin deficiencies.

Comfrey Essential Oil Benefits
Comfrey Essential Oil Benefits

Promotes Healing Of Bone Fractures

Comfrey oil is effective in treating fractured bones and ligaments where it is impossible to install a cast. The oil can be directly applied to the problem area where it promotes the accelerated healing of the bones. It also helps reconstruct torn muscles that may have been affected.

Helps Reduce Chronic Pain

When experiencing the direct effects of an injury or recovering from one, the healing powers of the comfrey root prove to be efficient. Comfrey root powder is known to have analgesic qualities that relieve chronic pain. This is confirmed by various clinical studies stating that the application of the herb infused oil improves the pain response of the body to bruises, sprains, and wounds.

Treatment & Remedy For Sunburn

Aside from skin inflammations, dried comfrey acts as a powerful sunburn remedy. Since folk times, comfrey oil has been used to soothe irritated skin. UV-B rays, although a milder cause of sunburn, can still destroy the skin and cause itching, flaking, and redness. The extract from the herb’s leaves provides similar effects to the popular topical cream called Diclofenac. Its healing properties work on both babies and adults.

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Is Comfrey Oil (Symphytum Officinale) Safe For Baby References:

[1]   Edible Forest Gardens. Jacke, Dave & Toensmeier, Eric. (2005).
[2]  University of Wisconsin; Comfrey, T.M. Teynor, D.H. Putnam, J.D. Doll, K.A. Kelling, E.A. Oelke, D.J. Undersander, E.S. Oplinger., February 1992.
[3]   Studies on Symphytum species – HPLC determination of allantoin. Dennis R, Dezelak C, Grime J., 1987.
[4]   Wisconsin, Flora of Wisconsin; Symphytum officinale.
[5]   Cherokee Plants: Their uses – a 400 year history. Hamel PB; Chiltoskey MU., 1975.
[6]   Herbal Encyclopedia; Comfrey.
[7]   US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Comfrey root: from tradition to modern clinical trials, Staiger C, February 2013.
[8]   Mercola; Do the Healing Benefits of Comfrey Oil Outweigh Its Toxic Effects?, October 1, 2017.
[9]   US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Combination of Comfrey Root Extract Plus Methyl Nicotinate in Patients with Conditions of Acute Upper or Low Back Pain: A Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial, Helmut Pabst, Axel Schaefer, Christiane Staiger, Marc Junker-Samek, Hans-Georg Predel, June 2013.
[10]   US National Library Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; A critical scoping review of external uses of comfrey (Symphytum spp.), Frost R, MacPherson H, O’Meara S., December 2013.
[11]   The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More Than 130 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies. Michael Castleman, 2017.
[12]   US National Library Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Comparative Study of the Biological Activity of Allantoin and Aqueous Extract of the Comfrey Root, Savić VLj, Nikolić VD, Arsić IA, Stanojević LP, Najman SJ, Stojanović S, Mladenović-Ranisavljević II, August 2015.
[13]   Purdue University, Edu Field Crops Manual; Comfrey.
[14]   Use and tolerability of comfrey cream ( Symphyti herba ) in children with acute blunt trauma. Grünwald J, Bitterlich N, Nauert C, Schmidt M., 2010.
[15]   Medical Herbalism; The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine, David Hoffmann, 2013.
[16]   US National Library Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Medicinal plants and bone healing Vibha Singh, January 2017.

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