Coltsfoot extract is a medicinal herb that is popularly known as Colt’s Foot, or Coughwort. The scientific name of this is Tussilago farfara species; Asterceae or Compositae, of the Sunflower family. The flower of the plant indeed looks like a sunflower with a single golden-yellow bloom that’s usually associated with the spring season.
The earliest records of Coltsfoot herb are associated with European country sides, as seen in parts of England and North Africa. It was later found in North America too. Coltfoot is said to have been used in the ancient days of Greece and Rome to relieve bronchial congestion and all types of respiratory problems. It was used in those days to cure whooping cough.
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The modern day usage of the herb is mostly as an infusion, extract or tincture, taken orally with honey or used topically as a remedy.
Coltsfoot Benefits for Skin, Hair and Health:
- Coltsfoot is most commonly used to reduce inflammation. But the antioxidant properties of Coltsfoot work wonders on the skin too. It helps condition the skin and reduces the oxidative stress on it. Coltsfoot safeguards against microbial function and makes the skin look younger. It’s for this reason that cosmetic toners use Coltsfoot, it’s in huge demand for its rejuvenating properties.
- Its anti bacterial properties promote Coltsfoot as an anti septic for all types of external wounds, including insect bites. The high mucilage content in it helps fight dandruff, both dry and oily types.
- Coltsfoot flower is not just lovely looking, but its essences help fight depression and are used as therapeutic oils. Regular consumption of the herb boosts immunity. Coltsfoot prevents diseases like diarrhoea, gastric ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and colitis. It has excellent anti microbial properties, so it is also used to treat cystitis and other urinary tract infections.
- The leaves of the Coltsfoot plants are useful in treating respiratory problems like asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, colds and coughs, chest ailments, congestion, and sinus problems. And to smokers who have been unsuccessfully trying to give up smoking; here’s some good news! Coltsfoot is your best nicotine substitute herb for that must-have drag.
- The Coltsfoot leaf is dried and cooled and often used as a douche or for relief from other vaginal irritations. But it is important to remember that excessive douching can cause various other vaginal problems and is discouraged by doctors.
- The tea of the Coltsfoot plant has excellent microbial properties, which has made it popular with indigenous practitioners. It is also a part of grandma’s magical eyewash that helps to cure irritated eyes in a jiffy! Combining the Coltsfoot tea with pot marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis), barberry bark (Berberis vulgaris) and purple coneflower (Echinacea spp.) is a concoction that will clear all eye irritations.
- A tincture made from the Coltsfoot dried leaf tea can be used internally to treat colitis and other duodenal problems. Coltsfoot helps clear nasal passages and helps fix sore throats too. It boosts the immune system by improving the lymphatic discharge in the body and helps cure allergies as well.
Coltsfoot – Nutritional Value:
The nutritional constituents of Coltsfoot are rich and varied. It contains mucilage, tannin, the alkaloid pyrolizidine, and saponins. They are known for their ability as an expectorant, diuretic, anti-spasmodic, demulcent, anti-tussive, astringent, emollient, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal and antiscrofulous.
- Coltsfoot is rich in various elements like zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, sulfur, vitamins A, B, C and P and iron.
- Ancient Chinese medicine records its use as a cough medicine.
- It has also been used topically, to externally treat sores, minor injuries, rashes, and painful joints. For this treatment, an extract or a poultice of crushed leaves is made.
Side Effects of Coltsfoot Herb:
- Over use of the herb has raised doubts about it causing liver toxicity. It is also advised that children below the age of 5 and pregnant women should not use Colt’s Foot.
- This multi-utility herb thus has rich and varied uses, and being readily available, is immensely popular too.
Like all powerful and effective herbs, this should be best taken under medical supervision.