Photos of Tussilago farfara, Colt's Foot.
Tussilago farfara. Coltsfoot is a medicinal plant known since ancient times. The leaves and flowers are demulcent, emollient, and expectorant. The leaves have long served as a remedy for pulmonary ailments such as bronchitis, laryngitis, asthma, cough, and sore throat. The leaves are rich in polysaccharide-based mucilage, and like comfrey (Symphytum spp.), coltsfoot contains liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause veno-occlusive disease, a rare disorder involving obstruction of venous outflow of the liver. The effects of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids are cumulative. Development of this condition is dependent upon the chemical structure of the alkaloids, on the total dose ingested, and the susceptibility of the individual. The herb has been banned in some countries.
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