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SYMPHYTUM OFFICINALE (COMFREY)

Score:

Data: Limited

Cancer

Cancer concern is MODERATE

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Developmental & reproductive toxicity concern is LOW

Allergies & Immunotoxicity

Allergies & immunotoxicity concern is LOW

Products with this Ingredient

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moisturizer4 products
after sun product2 products
lip balm1 products
serums & essences1 products
shampoo1 products
conditioner1 products
diaper cream1 products
muscle/joint soreness1 products
moisturizer with SPF1 products
hair treatment/serum1 products

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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Concern Reference
The FDA classifies plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including comfrey, as a serious health hazard to consumers due to liver toxicity.FDA 2001. FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey Products From the Market. FDA Safety Alerts and Advisories.
Comfrey caused liver toxicity in a 13 year old boy.C F. Weston, B. T. Cooper, J. D. Davies & D. F. Levine. 1987. Veno-occlusive disease of the liver secondary to ingestion of comfrey. British medical journal (Clinical research ed.) 295(6591), 183.
Limited evidence of any toxicityFDA Herbals 1993

Cancer

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Concern Reference
The FDA classifies plants containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including comfrey, as a serious health hazard to consumers due to potential carcinogenicity.FDA 2001. FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey Products From the Market. FDA Safety Alerts and Advisories.
Consuming comfrey roots or leaves caused liver cancer in rats.I Hirono, H. Mori & M. Haga. 1978. Carcinogenic activity of Symphytum officinale. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 61(3), 865-9.
Comfrey extract was mutagenic in human cells.C Behninger, G. Abel, E. Röder, V. Neuberger & W. Göggelmann. 1989. [Studies on the effect of an alkaloid extract of Symphytum officinale on human lymphocyte cultures]. Planta medica 55(6), 518-22.

Data gaps

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Concern Reference
172 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed

Data Sources

  • FDA 2001. FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey Products From the Market. FDA Safety Alerts and Advisories.
  • C F. Weston, B. T. Cooper, J. D. Davies & D. F. Levine. 1987. Veno-occlusive disease of the liver secondary to ingestion of comfrey. British medical journal (Clinical research ed.) 295(6591), 183.
  • FDA Herbals 1993
  • I Hirono, H. Mori & M. Haga. 1978. Carcinogenic activity of Symphytum officinale. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 61(3), 865-9.
  • C Behninger, G. Abel, E. Röder, V. Neuberger & W. Göggelmann. 1989. [Studies on the effect of an alkaloid extract of Symphytum officinale on human lymphocyte cultures]. Planta medica 55(6), 518-22.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

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EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings below indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Learn more | Legal Disclaimer

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