Effective but Controversial

Welcome to the second week of our three part series on Simple Remedies for the cold and flu.

This week’s remedy has been the cause for much controversy over the years (specifically in the 1990’s). Scientists identified a group of chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s) which have been found to be toxic to the liver (hepatic toxic). A less reported fact is that over 99% of all toxic PAs come from other plants. As with all else moderation is key. Toxic effects found have all been associated with very high consumption levels. 

In some countries the internal use is banned and only the external use permitted. 

The late Dr. Sebi, the chief advocate of electric foods and the alkaline movement also spoke against the use of this herb. Other traditional herbalists however, have championed the cause of this healing plant as they have seen enormous benefits resulting from the usage. 

On a personal note, my elder folk have also worked with the leaves and root of this plant in caring for and returning body systems to a place of balance.

Why have I chosen to include this “controversial” herb as a remedy for the cold and flu?

My purpose is to inform, educate, bring to awareness NOT TO PRESCRIBE.

Comfrey (Symphytum Officinale)

Comfrey is known by many different names. Some of these are Bruisewort, Boneset, Blackwork, Salsify, Wallwort, Knitback, and Knitback.

Comfrey is one of the most effective remedies for ulcers, asthma, diseased lungs and bronchial concerns.


  • helps in the regeneration of flesh and bones 
  • soothes and heals inflamed tissue
  • is great for coughs and
  • is most effective in healing the respiratory system especially in cases of hemorrhage of the lungs.

Comfrey is usually used when the body is weakened so much so that blood is present in the urine, faeces, or sputum.

Due to the controversy surrounding comfrey (particularly in relation to the internal use), I will refrain from sharing recipes for internal use in this space.

Foot bath

2 oz comfrey root to one quart water.

Soak root in water for about 12 hours. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add enough (as warm as you are able to comfortably handle) to a clean container and place both feet in. Sit until medicine cools.

Comfrey Salve

Comfrey salve is also available on the market for external use. Follow manufacturers instructions.

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