Win a copy of For the Love of Paw Paws this week in the Fruit Trees forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Comfrey and cancer-causing compounds: any new info?

 
                    
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I researched the heck out of Comfrey a couple years ago RE: PA safety. Does anyone have any newer information on this? The last in-depth studies seem to be in '08, and while they say that "some cultivars have more PAs than others", they do not specify if one type is safe, or even SAFER. I'd really like to be able to grow Comfrey, but until we know whether or not any certain plant will be carcinogenic/blood/liver toxic, I can't in good conscience have it on my land.

Scientists and medical doctors agree that the use of Comfrey should be restricted to topical use, and should never be ingested, as it contains dangerous amounts of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Use of comfrey can, because of these PAs, lead to veno-occlusive disease (VOD). VOD can in turn lead to liver failure, and comfrey has been implicated in at least one death. In 2001, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against internal usage of herbal products containing comfrey, and eventually banned Comfrey products intended for internal use. In addition to restrictions on oral use, scientists and medical professionals recommend applying Comfrey extracts no longer than 10 days in a row, and no more than 4–6 weeks a year.

Comfrey contains excessive amounts of symphytine, a PA, the injection of the pure alkaloid of which may cause cancer in rats. The whole plant has also been shown to induce precancerous changes in rats.

 
Posts: 232
Location: San Diego, CA USA
1
medical herbs writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am sorry I did not see this thread before today. Honestly, I think Comfrey is darn near a food group for me. However, I realize not all people are like I am. My constitution is cold/dry/deficient and most people are "excess" in some way.

Try these links to help you decide for yourself:
http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/376-comfrey
http://www.comfreycentral.com/
http://medherb.com/Materia_Medica/Symphytum_-_Comfrey,_Coltsfoot,_and_Pyrrolizidine_Alkaloids.htm
 
The only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you. Or this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!