Don’t confuse coltsfoot with dandelion. Though they are in the same family, they have different functions. Look at the stem and the leaves. Dandelion leaves are jagged toothed. Coltsfoot leaves are palmate (think “palm” and open your hands wide, then spread fingers).
- Cough wort
Coltsfoot (botanical name, Tussilago farfara L.) is one of nature’s strange creations that entail placing the cart before the horse. Especially, going by the herb’s old Latin name ‘Filius ante patrem’, it denotes ‘the son coming before the father’. Coltsfoot bears flat yellow-hued flower heads quite early in the spring and once the blooms wither away, the herb produces wide, hoof-shaped, jade color leaves. This herb is quite widespread and does not have any preference regarding the soil it is cultivated on.
The botanical name of Tussilago farfara L. (coltsfoot) aptly mirrors the plant’s therapeutic use. As the Latin term tussilago denotes cough, the dried out leaves as well as the flower heads of this plant have been used to treat this condition since early days. Coltsfoot belongs to the member of plant family Asteraceae. It is a short, perennially growing woolly herb which bears flowering stems having a solitary yellow flower head at the terminal. As aforementioned, when the flower has withered away, leaves whose shape has resemblance to hoof appear on the stems. Although coltsfoot is indigenous to Europe, this herb is widespread in places that are sandy and moist in the north-eastern and north-central region of the United States as well as the southern regions of Canada. As the blossoms as well as the leaves of coltsfoot emerge in dissimilar periods, they are harvested and sold separately too.
Since long, coltsfoot has been an extremely preferred herbal medication for treating coughs and bronchial congestion. The leaves and also the roots of this herb form an active ingredient in a whole host of patented tea blends which are available commercially in Europe to treat cough and bronchial blockages.
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