Coltsfoot herb or (Tussilago farfara) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows over much of Europe. It’s name is derived from the horseshoe shaped leaves which spreads by seeds and rhizomes and has been traditionally used to treat chest ailments. The herb generates flowers on stems in the early spring which resemble dandelions.The plant is typically grows between 10 – 30 cm in height.
Medicinal properties include: Emollient, demulcent,exporant, pectoral, diaphoretic and tonic.
As a remedy, coltsfoof has been used in cough syrups and is an excellent remedy for catarrh, consumption, and all lung troubles. American colonists used coltsfoot herb on the sick by wrapping the person with blankets soaked in a tea solution. Today good results can be obtained by soaking a towel in the tea and apply to the chest and throat. The tea has also been internally for diarrhea and applied externally for burns, sores, ulcers and insect bites.
Make tea by using one ounce of leaves to a quart of boiling water. Add sweetner (honey) to taste and take 3 or 4 cupfuls a day.
Precautions: The discovery of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the plant have resulted in liver health concerns.
Other names include: Bull’s foot, horsefoot, horsehoof, Butterbur, British tobacco, foal’s foot, flower velure, coughwort, ginger root.