Perennial herbaceous plant up to 1 m tall. The root is black-brown, long, spindle-shaped, branched, departing from a short rhizome. Stem (one or more) erect, branched, angular below, winged above, covered with stiff hairs. The leaves are alternate, ovate or oblong-lanceolate, petiolate, the upper ones are sessile. The flowers are purple, white-pink or dirty purple, in whorls. The fruits are dry, breaking up into 4 nuts. Blooms from May to September.
Distributed in all regions of the South-East and in the black earth zone of Russia, less common to the north. Common in wet meadows, shrubs, river floodplains, ravines, gullies, within ditches, streams.
Medicinal raw material is the root, less often the tops of the stems. The root is collected in autumn, cleaned from the ground and aerial parts, washed in water and cut into pieces. Dried in the shade in the air or under a roof in attics, in dryers.
The plant is poisonous.
Stored in ventilated areas. Storage period 3 years. All parts of the plant contain toxic substances (alkaloidscinoglossin, glucoalkaloid-consolidin and their decay products – consolicinum, choline, etc.), which in large doses paralyze the central nervous system. In addition, the comfrey root contains a lot of mucus, tannins and starchy substances and organic acids, the alkaloid lasiocorpine, and traces of essential oil.
In medical practice, comfrey finds extremely limited use. Essence from fresh roots is used in homeopathy.
In folk medicine, the root is used, and in its absence, the herb. In most cases, they use an infusion of the root in hot milk, evaporating it in the oven or in the oven for 6-7 hours, without bringing it to a boil, so as not to destroy the beneficial substances. Root infusion is used as an enveloping and anti-inflammatory agent for inflammation of the oral mucosa.
With pulmonary tuberculosis, they drink a decoction of water or a decoction with milk, often add honey, all kinds of fats, eggs; the same water decoction is drunk for bone tuberculosis, stomach diseases (gastritis, ulcers), general exhaustion, toothache; for rheumatism, sciatica, and also for dislocations, they drink a decoction of water and rub with tincture of vodka. They drink a decoction, in the summer they use a fresh pounded root, and in the winter steamed, applying in pure form or in the form of an ointment with pork fat for bone fractures and severe bruises, thrombophlebitis, sarcoma.
A decoction of the root is given to drink, babies are bathed in a decoction to strengthen the bones.
Outwardly, an aqueous infusion of the root (in boiling water, but without boiling) is used for gargling with catarrh of the throat; powder from the root is applied to bleeding wounds. Juice from the root or stem or powder, put into the nose on a cotton pad, stops nosebleeds, the ointment is used as a lubricant for sore throats, preferably with simultaneous gargling.
As an astringent, it is used for simple and even bloody diarrhea, for boils, ulcers and abscesses inside and out.
Vodka tincture: South roots for 150 ml of vodka; insist 10 days (if the root is dry, it will need to be crushed); take 10-15 drops 3 times every day.
Infusion on hot milk: 10 g per 200 ml; 1 st. spoon 3 times every day.
Infusion on water (hot) – in the same proportions and the same doses of use for bone fractures, bone tuberculosis, cancer, brucellosis, hypertension, polyarthritis.
A mixture of comfrey with honey (instead of root infusion in milk): take a fresh or dry, but soaked root, pound on the dough, add half of the honey and mix; this rather thick mass is consumed 1 teaspoon with water, 3 times every day.
Ointment 1: fresh root is ground, dry crushed, yellow sulfur, rosin, unsalted pork fat are added, everything is boiled, raw egg white is added when cooling, mixed until completely cooled or the root is mixed with pork fat, camphor oil is added to the semi-cooled mass, this ointment used for fractures of bones, severe bruises, rheumatism and all kinds of tumors.
Ointment 2: fresh crushed root is mixed in half with heated pork fat, used in the treatment of thrombophlebitis, ulcers, bone fractures, sarcomas.
Reminder. The plant requires caution when using. In case of comfrey poisoning, it will be necessary to wash the stomach with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, prescribe saline laxatives and agents that support breathing and blood circulation.