Tussilago farfara

Coltsfoot - Tussilago farfara (in the Asteraceae or Aster family)

Parts used: Whole plant, primarily the leaves.

Taste/smell: Sweetish taste.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 10-50 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Diffusive expectorant, (b) Sedative, (c) Antispasmodic, (d) Demulcent, (e) Cardiovascular stimulant.

Coltsfoot is suitable for debilitated individuals and chronic conditions. It is indicated for chronic respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema and silicosis and can decrease the time for bronchial cilia to recover after damage from smoking.

A compound identified as L-652-469 has been found to be a platelet activating factor antagonist and calcium channel blocker while another component, tussilagone, is a potent cardiovascular stimulant.

Contraindications: Internal use is restricted in some countries due to the content of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. The plant should not be used in excessive amounts or longer than 6 weeks per year. It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the abortifacient effect and the content of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. It is also contraindicated in nursing, again due to the alkaloids.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.