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.