As we get older, we tend to experience more joint and muscle pain because these parts of our bodies become inflamed from overuse. But it can also happen as a result of withering cartilage, which naturally occurs over time. Luckily, traditional remedies like comfrey may help soothe joint pain and inflammation to help you regain comfort.
Grown natively in parts of Asia, North America, and Europe, comfrey is a shrub that produces blue, white, and purple flowers. Interestingly enough, it’s been used in systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years to treat ailments like burns, muscle sprains and spasms, bruises, arthritis, gout, and joint inflammation.
The roots of the comfrey plant contains a compound called rosmarinic acid which is said to be responsible for its pain-relieving effects. Rosmarinic acid has shown in studies to significantly reduce inflammation when applied topically, leading to relief of pain. Because of this, many ointments, creams, salves, and lotions are fortified with comfrey extract to help reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Results from one review of studies suggest that it may be a promising treatment for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. The same review found comfrey to be effective for muscle or tendon injuries like a sprained ankle. Another study also found that a cream containing comfrey helped relieve upper and lower back pain.
It’s not recommended that comfrey be taken internally because it’s been associated with liver damage and could potentially be carcinogenic. Short-term use of comfrey is generally considered safe, but be sure to consult your doctor before using products with it, especially if you’re undergoing other treatment for pain or arthritis. You should also refrain from using comfrey on open wounds.
There are several comfrey products out there that you can use topically to treat pain and inflammation. You can try an ointment like this one from Christopher’s ($12.06, Amazon), or a salve (which are said to absorb more easily) like this one from Earth Elements Organics ($22.95, Amazon).
We hope this healing ingredient can help you lead a happier, more pain-free life!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.