Symphytum officinale, commonly known as Comfrey, is a perennial herb from the Boraginaceae family. To differentiate it from other members of the genus Symphytum, this species is known as common comfrey or true comfrey. Other English names include Quaker comfrey, cultivated comfrey, knitbone, consound, and slippery-root.
It is native to Europe and it is known elsewhere, including North America, as an introduced species and sometimes a weed. The flowers are mostly visited by bumblebees. Comfrey grows in damp, grassy places and can be found along banks of rivers and ditches.
More recently comfrey is considered to be unsuitable for ingestion due to the naturally occurring hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and it is recommended for topical use only.
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