Let me begin with some of my own health history. In 1985 I had major back surgery to repair a badly herniated disc at L4-L5 and a broken bone at L5-S1. The surgeon took out seventy percent of my disc and then took bone from my hip and grafted it to the broken area of my spine. It was fully a year before I felt “normal” again; but I went on to play professional volleyball as well as other things which my surgeon told me would be athletically impossible. A doctor friend told me that I had had an unusual recovery, one out of a thousand, given the type of surgery. Interestingly enough, I took herbs after I left the hospital, though I was uninformed at the time; I just took what was handed to me and left it at that! As the years passed, I found as long as I stayed in great shape athletically my back never bothered me. After my athletic career ended in 1990, I changed occupations to carpentry.
In 1992, I hurt my back at work and was out for three months. I did physical therapy and returned to work full-time, until I hurt it again in 1997. I could never manage to stay in the kind of physical shape I needed (for my back), work full-time as a carpenter-and live life! So my back became progressively weaker until in 1997 it gave out. It was at this point that I became interested in herbs. I knew modern medicine could give me no hope for full recovery, so I began to look elsewhere; in my search I discovered the School of Natural Healing, Complete Tissue & Bone and all the wonderful help that is available through natural therapies. In 1997, I was in constant pain, couldn't walk around the block without pain and couldn't bend forward at the hips more than ten degrees. I saw my chiropractor three times a week for a year. Now, in May of 2000, I can walk (even jog!) around the block, work a full day free of pain as a carpenter, and work in my garden; basically I am not hindered from doing the things I want to do in my life.
Comfrey, in the Complete Tissue & Bone formula, has been a major part of this process. At first I began only taking Complete Tissue & Bone internally; as I learned more, however, I branched out into other avenues of healing. I have done two three-week stints of “The Incurables Routine” for the past two summers and intend to do it again this summer. This, of course, involves drinking Comfrey leaf tea three times a day, taking Complete Tissue & Bone internally, as well as Complete Tissue & Bone fomentations it at night. I was surprised the first time I did this routine to discover that I felt amazingly strong and energetic throughout the entire process. I look forward to doing “The Incurables Routine” again as it made me feel wonderful!
I grow Comfrey in my garden as well. I have one plant that I know is Symphytum officinale; I also have two other plants that I know are not Symphytum officinale, as I purchased them before I knew there were different types. I have made and used “Comfrey tea” fertilizer for my garden; many of my plants are healthy and thriving. Though it was smelly, I'm sure that the Comfrey tea played a big part to do in my garden's success.
I've made the “Potassium Drink” recipe, which involves Comfrey leaves fresh from my garden, and had no deleterious effects from the Comfrey ingestion. I drank the whole eight quarts of it in one week and found that the broth was both tasty and nutritious.
In December of 1998 I wrenched my right hip out of the socket; I also discovered I was born with an unformed right hip socket (known as hip dysplasia). This caused another eight months of chronic pain. During that time I took large quantities of Complete Tissue & Bone internally (3-4 `00' capsules three times a day), fomented with Complete Tissue & Bone, and continued with other therapies-chiropractic, exercises, (semi) mucusless diet, other herbs, and prayer. In the midst of healing my right hip, I took a self-defense course (May 1999). On the first day I sprained my right ribs! Once again, I took massive doses of Complete Tissue & Bone (2 `00' capsules every hour for about two weeks) internally, as well as fomentations at night. I had to sit out the second session, but was able to fully participate (carefully) for the remaining three sessions.
I use the Complete Tissue & Bone ointment on any cuts or abrasions, of which I receive many in the field of carpentry. I put a glob of ointment on, followed with a bandaid at night; the cut is usually seventy-five percent healed in the morning and fully healed by the following morning. Recently, my husband had a bicycle accident and suffered severe “road rash” on his entire right side. He had severe abrasions on his right calf, thigh, hip and forearm. We used poultices containing slippery elm and fresh Comfrey leaf at night; during the day we also applied copious amounts of the Complete Tissue & Bone ointment. We did not take the ointment off to apply the poultices, but just kept adding more. The wounds have healed without scarring.
I have also had a nagging left knee problem over the past three years that continues to improve and it is nearly gone at the writing of this paper. My chiropractor thinks it's chondromylasia or tendonitis-either way, the therapy is still the same: Complete Tissue & Bone!
I expect to be on the Complete Tissue & Bone formula for a long time due to the amount of skeletal damage I've experienced in my life. I need to grow disc and bone material in my spine, right hip and left knee. X-rays have shown that I have mild arthritis in my spine as well; interestingly enough, however, my chiropractor could not tell by looking at my x-rays that I've undergone past surgeries. The bones have healed so well that the normal things that show up on x-rays (related to surgery) are not present! Due to the warnings about the pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Comfrey, I have been diligent to herbally protect my liver as well. I use the Liver and Gallbladder formula and take Milk Thistle in my morning green drink daily.
In brief summary, my personal use of Comfrey and the historical evidence noting the medicinal uses of Comfrey, have validated many positive healing results. I believe it is necessary for the herbal community to continue research to discover new uses of this wonderful herb and dispel the misconceptions put forth by agencies such as the FDA. I am grateful that Dr. Christopher's has not bent to the pressure of the FDA to remove Comfrey from the Complete Tissue & Bone formula.
What a blessed plant Comfrey is; I for one, am grateful to have found it!
"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"