Coltsfoot – Tussilago farfara
Country of origin: E. Europe
Coltsfoot is a perennial member of the sunflower family that is native to Eurasia and now naturalized in some parts of North America. Although it closely resembles the dandelion, the herb appears several weeks earlier in the spring season. Coltsfoot also lacks the toothed leaves that are characteristic of dandelion. In fact, the plant doesn’t produce leaves at all until the flowers set seed.
In Germany and Austria, coltsfoot, also known as coughwort, was once used to produce teas, tonics and syrups to counter various respiratory complaints. The herb also has a long history of use in China for similar purposes.
Coltsfoot contains quercetin, kaempferol and other anti-inflammatory compounds, the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids makes the internal use of the herb risky.
Safety: External use only