Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is sometimes used on the skin to treat wounds and reduce inflammation from sprains and broken bones. Comfrey roots and leaves contain allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow, along with other substances that reduce inflammation and keep skin healthy.
In all western European languages, the name for comfrey is derived from its application. All the different names focus on uniting and firming. For example, the Greek term symphyton, (Symphytum in Latin), is derived from symphyo; “I grow together”. Solidago, derived from Solido (“I make firm”), was also a synonym.
The German names, Beinwell and Wallwurz, are based on the verb Wallen, which means “growing together”. Bein originally meant bone, thus comfrey is an agent that makes bones grow together. Comfrey has also been known as boneset, knitbone, black wort, wall wort, and slippery root.
Caution: comfrey must not be taken by mouth as toxins in the leaves can damage the liver and cause death