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Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Actions: expectorant, anti-tussive, demulcent, anti-cararrhal, diuretic, emollient, tonic, pectoral
Indications: soothing coltsfoot is a gentle expectorant as well as an anti-spasmodic. This combination makes it a natural choice for easing coughs in children, including whooping cough. Also strong enough for adults, it is frequently used in herbal blends for chronic and acute bronchitis, irritating coughs, emphysema, and asthma. The fresh, bruised leaves can be used to draw out and heal boils, abscesses and ulcers.
Preparation: blend 1 or 2 teaspoonsful of the leaves into 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink 3 x daily.
Caution: coltsfoot, along with comfrey, contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, chemicals that can cause liver toxicity if taken in huge amounts. Some herbalists recommend against using these herbs. Although we disagree, you should make your own mind up about these controversial herbs. One bit of data that youmight be interested in is a study done by noted biochemist Bruce Ames, PhD of the University of California at Berkeley. His data states that a cup of comfrey leaf tea is less carcinogenic than an equal amount of beer.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.