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COLTSFOOT - Tussilago farfara

Family  Asteraceae

Usable part of the herb - the leaves - Folia Farfarae.

Description. The coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant. In early spring from its rhizome grow single or several aboveground stalks up to 25 cm high, covered with ovoid lanceolate, pinkish-purple skins and carrying on its top large yellow flower baskets. Stalks of coltsfoot are encased by two rows of sheets, the outer of which are larger. Color bottom of the herb is bare and flat. After maturing and spreading the seed leaves grow in a rosette. They have long handles often colored violet. Lamina is rounded ovoid, palmate streaked ,long about 15-20 cm edge wholesale and wavy jagged. Notching its end with small, red-brown, hard thorns. Lamina is green top and bottom - felted-matted and because of that it looks as white.

Distribution. The herb coltsfoot occurs in wet clay shores and shady and outcrops in trenches, embankments, steep ravines and along brooks that flowed throughout the country.

Drugs. The leaves - Folia Farfarae.

The drug consists of coltsfoot younger leaves, which are harvested in July-August. After cleaning, are dried in the sun for half a day, and then drying continued in the shade or in a drying oven at temperatures up to 45 ° C. The dried herb coltsfoot is a light green top and bottom - hairy, whitish, with characteristic smell and taste slightly bitter. When harvesting should be careful to not mixed the with the leaves of Butterbur, distinguished by the shape of coltsfoot leaves and nap. The drug is stored in a shady, well-ventilated, dry place. Allowed to contain up to 13% moisture.

Chemical composition. The leaves contain mucilage, fitosterin, tannins (up 17%), gallic, malic and tartaric acid, bitter substances tussilagine and sitosterol, esculetin, faradiol, arnidol, taraksantin, stigmasterin, proteins, dextrin, inulin, saponins, carotene , the vitamin C and other.

Action and use. Coltsfoot act anti-inflammatory and expectorant for acute inflammation of the respiratory system facilitates expectoration, relieves cough and cough attacks - especially at night. Used mainly in catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, acute bronchitis, laryngitis, emphysema, silicosis. Mucous substances in the leaves, saponins and organic acids liquefy secretions and restore the natural movements of ciliated epithelium in tracheal bronchus. The drug is also used in the gastro-intestinal inflammation, lack of appetite, in hypertension, atherosclerosis, rheumatism and other diseases. Decoction of the leaves or a poultice of fresh herbs act favorably in inflammation of the veins of the legs, skin diseases, boils, burns, eye irritation (for packs).

Usage. Coltsfoot is prescribed in the form of infusion. Two tablespoons of crushed leaves of coltsfoot pour 400 ml of boiling water. Leave to soak for 2 hours. From strained infusion is taken three times a day 80 ml. 15 min. Before meals. As adjunctive therapy in chronic bronchitis and silicosis can be taken and 1 cup of tea from the leaves of coltsfoot, sweetened with honey at bedtime and in the morning before getting up.