Topical symphytum herb concentrate cream against myalgia: a randomized controlled double-blind clinical study

Adv Ther. 2005 Nov-Dec;22(6):681-92. doi: 10.1007/BF02849961.


The effectiveness and tolerability of the topical Symphytum product Traumaplant (Harras Pharma Curarina, München, Germany) (10% active ingredient of a 2.5:1 aqueous-ethanolic pressed concentrate of freshly harvested, cultivated comfrey herb [Symphytum uplandicum Nyman], corresponding to 25 g of fresh herb per 100 g of cream) in the treatment of patients with myalgia (n=104) were tested against a 1% reference product (corresponding to 2.5 g of fresh comfrey herb in 100 g of cream; n=111). The primary efficacy parameter in this double-blind, reference- controlled, randomized, multicenter study of 215 patients with pain in the lower and upper back was pain in motion, assessed with the aid of a visual analogue scale. Secondary efficacy parameters included pain at rest, pain on palpation, and functional impairment. With high concentrations of the treatment product, amelioration of pain on active motion (P<5 x 10 -9 ), pain at rest (P<.001), and pain on palpation (P=5 x 10 -5 ) was significantly more pronounced than that attained with the reference product and was clinically highly relevant. A number needed to treat of 3.2 was calculated from the study results. Global efficacy was significantly better (P=1 x 10 -8 ) and onset of effects was faster (P=4 x 10 -7 ) with the high-concentration product. Tolerability of the highly concentrated study product was good to excellent in all patients. Study results confirm the known anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of topical (Symphytum cream. As a new finding, applicability in certain forms of back pain can be concluded.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / therapy*
  • Comfrey*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion
  • Pain Measurement
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*


  • Plant Preparations