Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 07.04.2021

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Battens; Breast or donkey's saddle; Broad-; Cow patties; Donkey or horse hoof; Farming Lodge; Foal foot and hoof leaf.; Latvian; Tussilago farfara

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Tussilago farfara, also known as coltsfoot, is the only plant species within the genus Tussilago of the family Asteraceae (composite flower). The plant is one of the spring flowers and was named medicinal plant of the year in 1994.

General information
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Coltsfoot grows as a perennial, herbaceous plant and reaches growth heights of between 10 and 30 cm. The basal leaves reach a width of about 10 to 20 cm and have a heart- or hoof-like shape. The leaves are characterised by a slightly bitter taste and a rather faint odour.
In spring only the yellow inflorescences appear at first, only after they have withered do the leaves grow. At flowering time the stems are only covered with brown or reddish, hairy scale leaves. The flowers have a faint scent of honey and taste similar to the leaves, but slightly sweeter.

Tussilago farfara is the parent plant of Farfarae folium

Cosmetics: Tussilago farfara leaf extract refers to the drug extracted from the leaves of the plant.

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acid mucilage polysaccharides (6-10%), inulin, tannins, cave: may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (hepatotoxic), but in special cultivars free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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Mucilage drug: coltsfoot mucilage forms a protective layer that shields irritants from the sensitive mucous membrane in the throat and trachea, thus reducing the irritation of the cough. Additionally soothing and antiphlogistic effect.

Indication according to Commission E: Catarrh of the upper respiratory tract with cough and hoarseness, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth and throat.

Daily dose: 4-6 g drug - maximum 4-6 weeks / year!

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Contraindication in pregnancy and lactation, also caution in children.

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  1. Schilcher H et al. (2010) Leitfaden Phytotherapie, 4th edition: 163-164.

Outgoing links (1)

Farfarae folium;