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Herbaceous plant also called "no donkey" or "no horse" in reference to the hoof shape of its leaves, coltsfoot grows in very large colonies on steep slopes exposed to landslides or landslides, in wet grounds and uncultivated, where soil has freshly been turned over.
As it grows, coltsfoot takes up all the space with its leaves covering the ground, inhibiting the development of other species around them.
Perennial with rhizomes, the "donkey step" is cultivated as food plant, ornamental but also, and medicinal.
In the following lines, we will briefly discuss several aspects relating to virtues and benefits of this plant. But, those that will particularly hold our attention will be those beneficial for the health. What are these virtues? Which ailments does this plant cure? What are the uses and dosages recommended?
Here's what you need to know ...
Coltsfoot: for the record
Etymologically, the name of this plant comes from Latin comes from Latin « tussis " which means "cough " and of "agere Which means "hunt ". In short, its name has its roots in Latin "tussilago "Translating" which hunts, which acts on the cough ".
This main virtue has earned it the names of "cough-suppressor" or "cough herb", and clearly testifies to its use on a traditional scale.
Belonging to the Asteraceae family (Compounds), coltsfoot is one of the four most recommended flowering plants in herbal medicine.
The development of this plant is very particular because, unlike other plants, it presents 2 growth phases reversed including: early development of the flower (in spring), then, once faded, that of the leaf.
For 2 millennia, this plant has been strongly recommended in traditional medicine as cough suppressant, on the European continent and that of Asia.
For a long time, therapists have advised patients suffering from nasopharyngitis, asthma or cold, of to smoke like tobacco, leaves coltsfoot.
Towards the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, European practitioners believed that this plant would have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
In China, where it grows in valleys and mountains, coltsfoot flowers - known for their effect expectorant and cough suppressant - were mixed with honey to treat coughs.
But, nowadays, what exactly is it?
Medicinal properties of coltsfoot
The flower coltsfoot, this herbaceous plant, contains:
> vitamin C,
> 10% of natural phenolic substances (or tannins) which can stimulate the production of proteins,
> flavonoids constituting an important source of antioxidants in our diet,
> about 8% of mucilage which is a plant substance used as food additives in the form of fibers,
> tussilagone (a sesquiterpene ester), and others substances known to be toxic due to the presence alkaloids pyrrolizidine that were found there.
As to leaves, they contain:
- an essential oil
- an antibiotic substance
- mineral salts (K, Mg, Ca, Si, Fe, P, Na, S)
- vitamin C,
- a resin,
- 6 to 10% of the mucilage,
- potassium nitrate,
and finally, substances say toxic whose pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Virtues and benefits of Coltsfoot
> Tulissage: a plant to smoke!
Considered a drug of substitution at tobacco, coltsfoot can be smoked. Therefore, it is advisable - after stacking and drying them - to let the leaves of this perennial ferment. Then, in equal quantities, mix these leaves with those of the odorous woodruff and chestnut tree, then in water sweetened with honey, let it macerate.
Once the result is obtained, let them dry again before mixing them again with tobacco and smoking them. This treatment would be recommended to asthmatics and subject to cold, catarrh and others lung conditions.
> Other therapeutic virtues
The use of leaves of coltsfoot is indicated for the treatment of respiratory ailments including colds, bronchitis, tracheitis and allergic coughs and asthma attacks.
True emollient, expectorant, cough suppressant and softening, coltsfoot leaves and flowers are recommended as syrup or infusion to relieve the ailments mentioned above.
In the form of mother tincture, the flowers coltsfoot are also effective in treating pectoral diseases and bronchitis.
About the mother tincture of leaves, it is on the other hand recommended by internal way to relieve the diarrhea.
In the form of poultice by external channel, coltsfoot leaves (macerated overnight in water or fresh) are used to treat burns, the abscess which are slow to heal, tumors or external cysts and sprains.
> Preparation and dosage
Generally, for the preparation of a infusion Coltsfoot based, it is recommended to measure 1 teaspoon of Coltsfoot to pour into a cup of boiling water. Then, for a better effect, let stand for 10 minutes and sweeten it with a little honey.
Singularly effective in relieving (and not treating) chronic cough, a cup of coltsfoot leaf infusion is to be taken in the morning upon waking (when the cough is strong) then, an identical dose at bedtime.
For can take up to 3 or 4 cups a day as appropriate.
On the other hand, to relieve thehyperhidrosis of the feet, it is recommended to boil for 10 minutes, 1 handful of coltsfoot leaves in 1 L of water. Let stand and, once cooled, take a foot bath.
Note that in France and China, we prefer an infusion made from coltsfoot flowers unlike in the United States, where they have chosen an herbal tea made from coltsfoot leaves for their richness in active ingredients.
The virtues of Coltsfoot in gastronomy
Coltsfoot flowers are edible cooked or raw (in salad). As to leaves, we consume them very youth and floods.
In terms of ashes (sieved) dried coltsfoot leaves, they are used spices in the kitchen and can replace salt, especially for subjects subjected to salt-free diet.
Practical advice about coltsfoot
It is advisable to harvest coltsfoot flowers as soon as they hatch because, once opened, “they ripen their fruits when they dry”. Their drying must be done quickly in a dry and ventilated place.
Plant growing on wet forest edges, embankments, banks, paths, fields, and fallow land, it encloses senkirkin (a pyrrolizidine alkaloid) at low doses but, toxic for the liver cell.
According to some specialists, this amount would be "safe". However, it is preferable to avoid of excessive treatments and on a long duration.
NB : Coltsfoot is not recommended to the children under the age of six, to subjects suffering from liver disease and to pregnant women.
If in doubt, seek the advice of your doctor or a specialist (herbalist).