Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara (мати-й-мачуха)
Tussilago farfara, commonly known as Coltsfoot, is a plant in the
It has been used medicinally as a cough suppressant. The name
“tussilago” itself means “cough suppressant.” The plant has been used
historically to treat lung ailments such as asthma as well as various
coughs by way of smoking. Crushed flowers supposedly cured skin
conditions, and the plant has been consumed as a food product.
Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant that spreads by seeds and
rhizomes. Tussilago is often found in colonies of dozens of plants. The
flowers, which superficially resemble dandelions, appear in early spring
before dandelions appear. The leaves, which resemble a colt’s foot in
cross section, do not appear usually until after the seeds are set.
Thus, the flowers appear on stems with no apparent leaves, and the later
appearing leaves then wither and die during the season without seeming
to set flowers. The plant is typically between 10 – 30 cm in height.
Coltsfoot is native to several locations in Europe and Asia. It is also
a common plant in North America and South America where it has been
introduced, most likely by settlers as a medicinal item. The plant is
often found in waste and disturbed places and along roadsides and paths.
In some areas it is considered an invasive species.
Other common names include Ass’s foot, Bull’s foot, Butterbur,
Coughwort, Farfara, Foal’s foot, Foalswort, Horse Foot and Winter
heliotrope. Sometimes it is confused as Petasites frigidus, or Western
Coltsfoot is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera
species including The Gothic and Small Angle Shades. The Coltsfoot is
also worked by the honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera). Dried coltsfoot
is often used as a tobacco alternative, notably in Amsterdam, since the
legal status of tobacco was tightened in August 2008.
Coltsfoot has also become a popular confectionery product made by using
Coltsfoot essence to create a hardened rock that is used to soothe sore
throats and chesty coughs; the recipe has been developed exclusively by
Stockley’s Sweets of Oswaldtwistle, UK and has become a favourite
medicinal sweet around the globe known simply as Coltsfoot rock.
Tussilago farfara L.
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