Coltsfoot is used as medicinal plant since ancient times. The Latin name for the flower is tussilago and comes from “cough” and “chase away” Latin words. In Rus this plant was named based on its leaves appearance -the underside of the leaves is soft and warm, and the upper side is smooth and cold, that’s why its name in Russian is «mother-and-stepmother.”
Coltsfoot belongs to Compositae or Asteraceae family. It is perennial herb with a rhizome small yellow reed flowers, gathered in calathids. The leaves are large, rounded-cordate, sinuate-toothed, dark-green and smooth upside, white and fluffy downside. The leaves appear only after flowering. The height is 5 through 25 cm.
Plant leafs contain bitter glycoside tussilyagin and other glycosides, sitosterol, saponins, gallic, malic and tartaric acids, polysaccharides, inulin anddextrin, mucous substances, tannins, carotenoids, vitamin C, essential oil. The flower calathids contain faradiol, arnidiol, taraksantin, stigmasterol, phytosterol, tannins and colouring matter and essential oil.
Coltsfoot has expectorant, emollient, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, wound – healing, choleretic, antispasmodic action. The plant is used as an expectorant, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory aid in upper respiratory tract diseases, and to cure diseases, to strengthen the hair when applied externally.