Proliferative and antioxidant activity of Symphytum officinale root extract

Nat Prod Res. 2018 Mar;32(5):605-609. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2017.1326492. Epub 2017 May 10.


The root of Symphytum officinale L. is commonly used in folk medicine to promote the wound healing, reduce the inflammation and in the treatment of broken bones. The objective of our investigation was to analyse the extract from S. officinale in term of its antioxidant activity and the effect on cell viability and proliferation of human skin fibroblast (HSF). Moreover, the quantification of main phenolics and allantoin was conducted using HPLC-DAD method. Five compounds were found: rosmarinic, p-hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, chlorogenic and p-coumaric acid. DPPH, FRAP and TPC assay showed the high antioxidant activity of the extract. MTT test proved the stimulatory effect on cell metabolism and viability of HSF cells. Moreover, no changes in cytoskeleton structure and cells shape were observed. The obtained results indicate that non-toxic extract from S. officinale root has strong antioxidant potential and a beneficial effect on human skin fibroblasts.

Keywords: Symphytum officinale; allantoin; antioxidant activity; cell viability; comfrey; human skin fibroblast; phenolic acids.

MeSH terms

  • Allantoin / analysis
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Comfrey / chemistry*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Skin / cytology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Allantoin