Dec 3, 2012

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

      This important herb for the respiratory system is considered a specific for chronic or acute bronchitis, irritating coughs, whooping cough, asthma, emphysema, laryngitis, bronchial asthma and even tuberculosis. Combining a soothing expectorant effect with antispasmodic action, coltsfoot reduces inflammation and promotes free breathing. According to Mrs. Grieves, smoking the dried leaves of coltsfoot has been recommended for relief from coughs since ancient times. Jethro Kloss, another legendary herbalist, recommended snuffing powdered leaves up the nostrils for nasal obstructions and headaches.

    Rudolf Weiss prescribed hot coltsfoot tea for emphysema and morning cough, recommending a cup before rising. Maria Treben wrote that inhaling steam from the flowers and leaves soothes bronchitis and relieves shortness of breath. In 1987, a Swiss infant born with a severely damaged liver died. Every day of her pregnancy, the mother drank an expectorant tea containing coltsfoot. The tea contained senecionine, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid, but its source was uncertain; it may not have been coltsfoot. As a precaution, the German government placed a one-year moratorium on the sale of coltsfoot. No other cases of potential coltsfoot toxicity were discovered and the ban was repealed. Syrups for respiratory conditions are easy to make and use.

No comments: