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Coltsfoot belongs to the daisy family. The botanical name for the plant is Tussilga Farfare. It isalso known by the name of coughworth, bull’s foot, assfoot and farfara. The coltsfoot plant has bright yellow flowers (which are beautiful) and has scaly stalks. The flowers have a sweet honey taste. The flower blooms first and then the leaves develop.
The flowers and the stalks of the coltsfoot are edible. The plant grows in damp and warm conditions therefore it is normally found in waste land, in waterlogged places, in the edges of woodland, rough ground, building sites and such other places. All the parts of the plant, like the leaves, the roots and the flower can be used. This plant spreads by rhizomes and seeds.
Medicinal uses and benefits:
For thousands of years coltsfoot has been mixed with various formulations and used as herbal remedies. For cough and other breathing problems oral preparation of coltsfoot was made. The herb contains mucilage, tannnis and bitter glycosides which give the herb its anti inflammatory property and thus cures coughing.
Both the western and the Chinese traditional herbalists suggest coltsfoot for treating cough. It cures chronic cough such as emphysema or silicosis. It has been used to cure diarrhea and slow metabolism. It also acts as a blood purifier and diuretic. The roots of the coltsfoot contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Coltsfoot has the property of curing respiratory problems. It also has the capacity to cure asthma, laryngitis, headaches and nose blockage. The flower of coltsfoot is used to cure skin infections and diseases like sores, eczema, inflammations and ulcers. The leaves of the coltsfoot contain zinc which is useful as an anti-inflammatory or even as an expectorant. Coltsfoot acts as an astringent. It also softens inflamed and irritated bowels making the intestine health.
Methods of uses:
Coltsfoot is often smoked by blending it with other herbs to treat coughs and chest problems. The flowers, leaves and even the buds of this plant can be used for smoking. The tincture that is prepared with this particular plant should be taken in a limited dosage of 1m, twice a day for healthy lungs.
A special decongestive type of syrup can also be prepared from this pant. For the preparation of this syrup, ingredients like honey, marshmallow root, licorice, balsam shoot, ground ivy and water is added. The intake of this syrup helps to improve the condition of lungs.
The overuse of coltsfoot has reported to cause hepatic veno-occlusive diseases. The reason of this disorder is the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in coltsfoot. Therefore it is recommended that liver patients should avoid it. It should also be completely avoided by pregnant ladies and nursing mothers.
Smoking the leaves of this particular plant is considered to be legal in many countries across the world including the U.S.