Last update Aug. 18, 2021

Comfrey, common comfrey

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.

The root and leaves are used.
Contains mucilage, allantoin, phenolic acids (rosmarinic acid) and pyrrolizidine alkaloids (
Properties attributed without clear evidence of efficacy: topical anti-inflammatory.
Indications from Commission E of the German Ministry of Health (Blumenthal 1998) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA 2015 and 2009): bruises on intact skin.
Topical cutaneous administration on intact skin.

At the date of the last update, the authors did not find any published data on its excretion in breast milk.

The small dose and poor plasma absorption of most topical dermatological preparations make it unlikely that a significant amount will pass into breast milk.

Avoid putting on wounds or oral ingestion. Do not apply to the breasts or to areas of the mother’s skin with which the infant may come into contact.

Due to the content of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are hepatotoxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic, this plant is included in several lists of unauthorized products (EMA 2015, ONU 2005, MSC 2004, FDA 2001).

See below the information of this related product:

  • Allantoin ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Comfrey, common comfrey in other languages or writings:


Comfrey, common comfrey belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Comfrey, common comfrey in its composition:


  1. Vanaclocha B, Cañigueral S. 1992 - - Disponible en: Consulted on Dec. 21, 2023 Abstract
  2. EMA. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Comfrey root. Herbal medicine: summary for the public. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. EMA. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). Monograph on Symphytum officinale L., radix. 2009 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Chitturi S, Farrell GC. Hepatotoxic slimming aids and other herbal hepatotoxins. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  6. UN- ONU. United Nations Consolidated List of Products Whose Consumption and/or Sale Have Been Banned, Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or not Approved by Governments. Twelfth issue. None 2005 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. MSC - Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo de España. ORDEN SCO/190/2004, de 28 de enero, por la que se establece la lista de plantas cuya venta al público queda prohibida o restringida por razón de su toxicidad. BOE 2004; 32:5061-6065 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. FDA. USA Food and Drugs Administration. FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey Products From the Market. 2001 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Com; Boston, MA, USA: 1998

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