Coltsfoot Flower

Latin name: Tussilago farfara
Other names: ass’s foot, bull’s foot, butterbur, coughwort, farfara, foal’s foot, foalswort, horse foot, tash plant, winter heliotrope

What is Coltsfoot Flower?
Coltsfoot is a plant that has leaves shaped like hooves, which give the plant its name. The flowers superficially resemble dandelions, though the coltsfoot flower appears in early spring before dandelions come up. Coltsfoot was such a well-known and well-respected herb in eighteenth-century France that apothecary shops used a painting of the plant on their signs. Chinese herbalists prefer to use the flower and flower buds, while Western herbalists usually use only the leaves.

What are the health benefits of Coltsfoot Flower?
Coltsfoot has been used as a cough remedy in both Western herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine for at least 2,500 years, and is still used in the treatment of lung ailments such as asthma, smoker’s cough, and chronic bronchitis. The crushed flowers are thought to cure skin conditions.

Are there any precautions for taking Coltsfoot Flower?
The discovery of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the plant has resulted in liver health concerns. Some American herbalists are recommending that the internal use of coltsfoot be discontinued as a precaution until further research clarifies the risks involved.

Where can I find Coltsfoot Flowers?
Coltsfoot flowers can be found online through herb suppliers, in the offices of Chinese medical practitioners, and in health food stores.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Breathe Ease, which helps protect against asthmatic cough, wheezing, and congestion.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.