Saturday, 31 March 2012


Coltsfoot is a common plant on wet waste ground and spreads easily producing 1,500 to 3,500 seeds per year, also spreading by rhizome and long runners. Both the flower and leaf have practical applications. The plant acts as a relaxing expectorant, antitussive, demulcent, anticatarrhal, diuretic and is used to treat bronchitis, laryngitis, pertussis, asthma. Specifically indicated in chronic spasmodic bronchial cough; as such it may be found as a major ingredient of many herbal cigarettes and also taken as an infusion or tincture. The flowers are collected in spring, whilst the leaf can be collected until July.

Caution should be taken when using Coltsfoot as there is concern that they contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids and may cause liver damage, although research suggests that they are destroyed by boiling.

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