The external use of comfrey: a practitioner survey.
AIMThe survey aimed to assess how often and in what ways herbal practitioners use comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) externally in everyday practice.
METHODSA 2-sided A4 survey was sent to all UK members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy and the Association of Master Herbalists with viable practice addresses (n = 598).
RESULTS239 herbalists responded, of whom 179 (75%) reported regularly using comfrey, in 15% of their consultations. It was most commonly prescribed as a cream for tendon, ligament and muscle problems, for fractures, and for wounds, the indications for which it was also perceived to be most effective. Comfrey was rated least effective for haemorrhoids, varicose veins and boils and was considered to carry the greatest risk when prescribed for ulcers, wounds and boils.
CONCLUSIONPractitioner experience suggests that comfrey can be used safely and effectively externally for certain indications.
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: email@example.com.,
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Pub Type(s)Journal Article