Botanical Name: Tussilago farfara
- English: Cough Wort
- Also, Known As: Horse Hoof, Bull’s Foot, Foal’s Foot, Huflattich, Tussilage, Tusilago, Tossalaggine, Fanjiun, Watpan Afangium, Ass’s Foot, Foalswort, Fieldhove, Bulls- foot, and Fanjiyun.
Habitat: England and Western Himalayas
Harvested: Wild or Cultivated
Part used: Leaves and Flowers
Tussilago farfara is a perennial plant that looks like a dandelion when it blooms in spring. This wild edible plant is unusual in that the flowers bloom and die before the appearance of any leaves, which earned Coltsfoot the name of "son before the father" in earlier times. Before the introduction of matches, the felt-like covering of the plant, wrapped in a rag and dipped in a solution of saltpeter, was considered to be excellent tinder after being dried in the sun.
The bright yellow flowers appear early in the spring, prior to the emergence of any leaves. The top of the leaf surface is smooth and almost waxy in appearance, while the underside is covered with white, wool-like hairs. Plant height is between 10 and 17cm.
Coltsfoot flowers are single, measuring about 2 cm across surrounded by involucre bracts. Flowers are bright yellow, have ray-florets with tongue-like pistillate flowers in many rows. It has five stamens. This flower is typically the first flower to appear in spring and withers away when the leaves appear.
The leaves are top ‘hoof-shaped’. Flowering stem leaves alternate, scale-like, reddish brown. Leaf surface is smooth and almost waxy in appearance, while the underside is covered with white, wool-like hairs. Blade broadly kidney-shaped, 10–25 cm broad, with irregularly toothed margins. Coltsfoot can be hard to eradicate as a weed of cultivated ground and in yards because of its deep-reaching, layered root. Its large leaves shade the soil and stop other plants growing.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.