Coltsfoot tea is a popular remedy for cough as well as for other respiratory problems. Read more about it.
More about Coltsfoot Tea
Also known as tussilago farfara, coltsfoot is native to Europe, but can also be found in North America. It is a perennial, woolly herbaceous plant, with green heart-shaped leaves, that blossoms in early spring with a bright yellow flower, resembling a dandelion.
Coltsfoot can be bought as tea infusion, capsules, syrups or extracts.
The active constituents of coltsfoot tea are mucilage, flavonoids, tannins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, zinc and vitamin C. These constituents are known to impart the expectorant, antitussive, demulcent, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-catarrhal properties of the herb.
While the pyrrolizidine alkaloids are believed to be toxic for the liver, they are obliterated when boiled to prepare a decoction.
How to brew Coltsfoot Tea
Flowers and leaves are usually used to prepare a tasty cup of coltsfoot tea. Making the tea is easy. Just use one teaspoon of dried plant and let it steep for 30 minutes in a cup of hot water.
Health Benefits of Coltsfoot Tea
Coltsfoot Tea is said to be effective in treating and relieving lung, chest and bronchial ailments such as: whooping cough, dry cough, asthma, catarrh, bronchitis, emphysema.
This tea may improve the immune system.
It may help alleviate the inflammations.
When applied externally, especially the crushed flowers, it is said to cure certain skin conditions.
Side Effects of Coltsfoot Tea
The main side effect of coltsfoot tea is the fact that the pyrrolizidine alkaloids contained may contribute to liver toxicity and even cancer. It is still a subject of debate as some countries even prohibited its usage.
There is a concern that coltsfoot tea taken in large amounts might interfere with treatment for patients with high blood pressure, heart and liver diseases.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children are advised not to use coltsfoot tea as a safe precaution. The long-term use of this herb is also not advised.
Occasionally, it can also generate allergies.
Although it contains harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the herb is considered to be safe when taken in small doses.
However, the risks are generally seen by many as small and the health benefits outweigh these risks. As long as you keep the moderation and pay attention to the precautions, you may enjoy a cup of coltsfoot tea in your diet.