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Ask the Experts

Supplements for minor injuries

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Ask the Experts
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Q: I’m a little injury prone. Is there something I can keep handy for everyday cuts, scrapes, and occasional backache?

A: Everyone has those moments when an activity or even just sitting in an office chair causes an injury. Sometimes one wrong turn can result in a backache.

When you want to heal quickly, try comfrey extract in the form of a comfrey cream, which can help relieve pain and heal wounds. It can also be useful for sprains and muscle strains.

Comfrey has various phytochemical properties, including allantoin, known to improve wound healing, and rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects.

Doctors historically used comfrey poultices for bruises, wounds, and broken bones. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the comfrey they used naturally contained high levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances that often led to liver damage and sometimes death.

Now a safe and effective comfrey called Symphytum x uplandium NYMAN that is free of toxic alkaloids is used. It has been harvested from a controlled cultivation in Bavaria, Germany, for more than 20 years, with an excellent record of safe use.

Many studies show comfrey cream being used safely for wound healing, muscle pain, and blunt injuries. One study in the field of muscle pain looked at muscle soreness induced by muscle overload through physical activity. This placebo-controlled trial resulted in a very early onset of pain-relieving effects just 15 minutes after application.

It’s a good idea to have a tube of comfrey cream in your office desk, medicine cabinet, or gym bag for quick application upon the first sign of a cut, scrape, or muscle soreness. Just remember to use a comfrey cream that’s free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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