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ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Comfrey, black root, boneset, common comfrey, consolida, consound, knitbone, slippery root
Botanical name: Symphytum officinale    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)
Synonyms: Symphytum uliginosum

Comfrey is a perennial herb with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped white, cream, purple or pink flowers. It is native to Europe, growing in damp, grassy places, and is widespread throughout the British Isles on river banks and ditches. Comfrey has long been recognised by both organic gardeners and herbalists for its great usefulness and versatility; of particular interest is the "Bocking 14" cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum).
Medicinal uses: The herb contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. Comfrey was used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating 'many female disorders'.

Identification credit: Tony Rodd
Photographed at Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
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