EXTERNAL use of comfrey root or leaves is NON- toxic
Based on the HMPC "Public statement on the use of herbal medicinal products containing toxic, unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs)"(EMA/HMPC/572844/2009). The acceptable daily intake is maximum 0.007 μg/kg/day for cutaneous preparations. Assessment report on Symphytum officinale L., radix EMA/HMPC/572844/2009 Page 27/27 Generally for adults the calculation is done with a body weight of 50 kg. Therefore the daily dosage would be: 0.007 μg/kg/day x 50 kg body weight = 0.35 μg/person/day for short- time use only (maximum 2 weeks). The use is restricted to intact skin.
However, combining DMSO with comfrey for external use is equivalent to taking it internally - since DMSO allows comfrey to penetrate skin through to the bloodstream.
Applying comfrey to broken skin allows comfrey PAs to enter blood stream
Consume comfrey for a maximum of 4 weeks;
Use Common rather than Russian comfrey, and leaves not roots (leaves contain less PAs). Prefer comfrey source with a lower uPA (unsaturated PA) content
DAILY dose limit of 3- 5 ml liquid extract or 3- 5 g comfrey tea (in divided doses). ~1 tsp. (1.5g) dried comfrey leaves makes 1 cup of tea.
- Comfrey tea drinkers could be ingesting up to 5 mg of PAs per day (i.e. 0.083 mg/ kg body weight /day). Ingested toxic dose for humans is ~ 0.1- 10 mg PAs/kg body weight per day. In fatal cases, total comfrey ingestion estimated 6- 167 mg/kg of body weight) and non- fatal cases of hepatic venoocclusive disease at 2- 27 mg/kg
Speijers and Egmond, as cited in Deshpande 2002b , p. 368)
Utilize a concurrent liver/kidney pyrrole-effect detoxifier
• Licorice extract - Alkaline Glycerite (alkaloids not water- soluble in alkaline
environment) /Glycyrrhizin - Rat study found that taking glycyrrhiza for 3 days prior to injection of
powerful UPA retrorsine greatly
prevents pyrrole damage to liver
• Sulfur. Glutathione is a powerful "in- house" antioxidant citical to detoxifying pyrrole in the liver, and glutathione's key-limiting ingredient is sulfur, particularly found in N acetylcysteine (500- 2000mg daily on empty stomach), alpha lipoic acid (300- 600mg 1- 3 x daily, also lowers blood sugar), MSM (1- 5g daily), glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg /day divided doses).
Good food sources of sulfur include egg yolks, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, asparagus, onions, and garlic.
• Possibly taurine and heparin
The SALE of comfrey products for INTERNAL use is illegal in the U.S. and Canada - but it is legal to purchase and grow your own comfrey in the U.S.
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