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Coltsfoot - Dried Herb

Coltsfoot - Dried Herb Image

COLTSFOOT

Tussilago farfara
Alternate Names: Coughwort, Foal's Foot, Horsehoof, Bull's Foot, Filius Ante Patrem, Kuan-dong-hua (Chinese), Butterbur, Owl's Blanket, British Tobacco

Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, buds.

Properties: Analgesic, Anticatarrhal, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Astringent, Demulcent, Diuretic, Emollient, Expectorant, Immune Stimulant.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Cough, Diarrhea, Emphysema, Flu, Gastritis, Laryngitis, Lung Cancer, Tuberculosis, Wheezing, Whooping Cough

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup.

The soothing expectorant properties of Coltsfoot make it useful for treating a wide range of respiratory ailments.
It is thought to stimulate the movement of mucus out of the respiratory tract.

Topical Uses: Asthma, Insect Bites, Wounds
Leaves have been used as a poultice for wounds and insect bites.
Coltsfoot has been recommended as a medicinal smoke since the days of Dioscorides, and is still smoked as a tobacco substitute and lung medicine for asthma. In Scotland, Coltsfoot has been used to stuff mattresses.

Flowers are used to make wine.
The leaves have been burned and the resulting ashes have been used as a salt substitute.
The leaves have also been used to wrap cakes of butter. Hence, the folkname Butterbur.

Chemical Constituents: Flavonoids (hyperoside, isoquercetin, rutin), mucilage (polysaccharide, inulin), alkaloid (pyrrolizidine), tannins, triterpenoid saponins, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin C.

Contraindications: The pyrrolizidine alkaloids show hepatotoxicity when fed to rats.
However, research in Sweden, shows that this alkaloid is inactivated during heat processing of the plant.
The alkaloids have not been found to be harmful in humans.

It is still being investigated for liver toxicity, but preparations without the pyrrolizine alkaloids are currently available. However, it is best not to use during pregnancy and nursing until further research is conducted.

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