Comfrey relieves back pain

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Study: Comfrey helps with back pain

Many people suffer from acute back pain of unclear origin. Local anti-inflammatory applications as an alternative to pain relievers are interesting if they have fewer side effects. Comfrey appears to meet this requirement.

A new study shows that there is an analgesic alternative to pain relievers in the form of an ointment from comfrey root and nicotinic acid methyl ester.

The study included a total of 362 patients with pain of unclear cause in the upper and lower back. The first group (156 patients) massaged approx. 4 g of the combination ointment of 35% comfrey root extract and 1.2% methyl nicotinate on the painful areas every 8 hours. The second group (156 patients) used an ointment without comfrey root extract and with 1.2% nicotinic acid methyl ester. Another control group (50 patients) received a placebo ointment.

After 5 days the movement pain in the combination group was 27% less than in the nicotinic acid methyl ester group. It was even reduced by 50% compared to the placebo group. The pain at rest was also significantly lower in the combination group than in the nicotinic acid methyl ester group and in the placebo group. All differences were significant. (Source: Pabst H et al. Combination of comfrey root extract plus methyl nicotinate in patients with conditions of acute upper or low back pain: a multicentre randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2013 Jun; 27 (6): 811-7. Doi: 10.1002 / ptr.4790)

Image: Walter Eberl /

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