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The external use of comfrey: a practitioner survey.

Abstract

AIM

The survey aimed to assess how often and in what ways herbal practitioners use comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) externally in everyday practice.

METHODS

A 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).

RESULTS

239 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.

CONCLUSION

Practitioner experience suggests that comfrey can be used safely and effectively externally for certain indications.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: rachael.frost@gcu.ac.uk.

    ,

    Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: s.m.omeara@leeds.ac.uk.

    Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK. Electronic address: hugh.macpherson@york.ac.uk.

    Source

    MeSH

    Administration, Topical
    Adult
    Aged
    Comfrey
    Data Collection
    Female
    Health Personnel
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Phytotherapy
    Plant Extracts

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    25113427

    Citation

    Frost, Rachael, et al. "The External Use of Comfrey: a Practitioner Survey." Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 20, no. 4, 2014, pp. 347-55.
    Frost R, O'Meara S, MacPherson H. The external use of comfrey: a practitioner survey. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014;20(4):347-55.
    Frost, R., O'Meara, S., & MacPherson, H. (2014). The external use of comfrey: a practitioner survey. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(4), pp. 347-55. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.07.003.
    Frost R, O'Meara S, MacPherson H. The External Use of Comfrey: a Practitioner Survey. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014;20(4):347-55. PubMed PMID: 25113427.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - The external use of comfrey: a practitioner survey. AU - Frost,Rachael, AU - O'Meara,Susan, AU - MacPherson,Hugh, Y1 - 2014/07/30/ PY - 2014/05/15/received PY - 2014/07/18/accepted PY - 2014/8/13/entrez PY - 2014/8/13/pubmed PY - 2015/6/3/medline KW - Comfrey KW - Herbal medicine KW - Survey SP - 347 EP - 55 JF - Complementary therapies in clinical practice JO - Complement Ther Clin Pract VL - 20 IS - 4 N2 - AIM: The survey aimed to assess how often and in what ways herbal practitioners use comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) externally in everyday practice. METHODS: A 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). RESULTS: 239 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. CONCLUSION: Practitioner experience suggests that comfrey can be used safely and effectively externally for certain indications. SN - 1873-6947 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25113427/The_external_use_of_comfrey:_a_practitioner_survey_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1744-3881(14)00043-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -