HERBAL INFORMATION – Coltsfoot
Latin name: Tussilago farfara
Common names: Coltsfoot, Tash Plant, Bull’s Foot, Butterbur, Coughwort, Foal’s foot, Foalswort
Parts Used: Flowers & leaves
Constituents: Flavonoids (rutin, hyperoside, isoquercetin); mucilage, consisting of polysaccharides based on glucose, galactose, fructose, arabinose, xyolse; inulin; pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including senkirkine and tussilagine; tannins1
Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant that spreads by seeds and rhizomes. Because it spreads by rhizomes, it is often found in colonies containing dozens of plants. The flowers first start to appear in early spring, and although they look similar to dandelion, they appear before dandelions.
The leaves appear only after the seeds are set and the flowers have died back. They are large, heart-shaped with a slightly toothed edge. The leaves have shown marked amounts of zinc, which explains their excellent anti-inflammatory actions.
Traditionally Coltsfoot was used to treat lung conditions, including coughs and asthma. In fact, the name tussilago means “cough suppressant”. The crushed flowers were used topically to cure skin conditions.
Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitussive, antiulcerogenic, astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant (relaxing, stimulating), febrifuge, nervine, relaxant, tranquilizer, peripheral vasodilator, vulnerary
The plant contains hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can have negative effects on the liver. Caution must be observed when using the plant medicinally. Coltsfoot should only be used by persons with in depth knowledge of herbs.
- Pregnancy, lactation, liver disease, infants, seniors, those who are chronically ill
- Avoid external use in pregnancy if the skin is broken
- Use to a maximum of 20% in formulation
- Sedative and mood-altering medications
- Topical use for boils, abscesses, eczema, insect bites, skin inflammation
- Topical and inflammatory digestive conditions
- Ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, Crohn’s disease, etc.
- Sinus congestion, sinusitis, colds, flu, pleurisy, asthma, allergies, whooping cough, irritating coughs (including smokers cough)
- Chronic or acute bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, laryngitis
- Fevers (do not use on very young children)
- Inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract
- Stress related conditions, muscle tension, tension headaches etc.
Powers: Love, Visions
Add to sachets and use in a spells of peace and tranquility.
The leaves when smoked were traditionally said to cause visions.
Class Notes – Living Earth School
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs – Scott Cunningham
Earthwise Herbal, The – Matthew Wood
Holistic Herbal – David Hoffman
Medical Herbalism – David Hoffman 1
New Encylopedia of Herbs & Their Uses – Deni Bown