BOTANICAL NAME: Tussilago farfara

SE: Hästhov

COMMON NAMES : Coltsfoot, Tussilago – The name “tussilago” is derived from the Latin tussis, meaning cough, and ago, meaning to cast or to act on

ORIGIN: native to Europe and parts of western and central Asia

HABITAT: often pioneering on waste and disturbed grounds and along roadsides and paths, frequently on alkaline clays

SEASON: flowers (march – april), leaves (april-october)

EDIBLE PARTS: Flowers – raw or cooked in salads or in infuse in water/milk for its distinct aroma.

Leaves – cooked  in salads, vegetable dish, added to soups, used as wrap.

The bitter taste of leaves weakens when cooked.

The dried and burnt leaves were used as a salt substitute.

NUTRITION HIGHLIGHTS: rich in various elements like zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, sulfur, vitamins A, B, C and P and iron.

SUPER POWERS: coating, antitussive (cough suppressant)  expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic,  disinfectant.

MEDICINAL USE: inward: cold, flu, respiratory problems, asthma – syrup, tincture, decoction

outward: skin disorders including eczema, ulcers, sores, bites and inflammations

HAZARDS: It contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (senkirkine and senecionine) which may be toxic when consumed for extended time. Erring on the side of caution use only occasionally and in moderation, especially by  kids, pregnant and breastfeeding woman.