The Complementary Medical Association

Delivering excellence in complementary medicine since 1993

Coltsfoot – Herbal Remedy

Coltsfoot Herbal Remedy
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Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)   

The name coltsfoot refers to the hoof shape of the leaves. A replica of the leaf of this herb was often placed above the door of Parisian pharmacies to indicate the effectiveness of their medicine. Its use internally is banned in Germany.

Other names: Ass’s foot, son before father, coughwort, horsefoot, butterbur, foal’s foot.

Description and the places it grows in

Originally from Eurasia and North Africa, and now grows in North America too.

Parts used

Flowers, leaves, and roots. Roots used less now though.


Soothing, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, demulcent.

Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, coughs, asthma, emphysema, whooping cough. It acts as an expectorant, but it also has a soothing effect. 

Ulcers and sores: When applied in the form of a poultice it is both soothing and healing, this is probably down to zinc that is found in the herb.


Mucilage, bitter glycosides, and tannins. 


Not to be used internally because the pyrrolizidine alkaloids cause liver damage. Do not take this herb for longer than a month without taking a break. 

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