Common coltsfoot

Other names: Kamguzhnaya grass, Butterbur, Forest Latrinik, Mother Grass, Two-roomed, Rannik.

Diseases and effects: cough, choking, laryngitis, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, bronchiectasis, selicosis, tuberculosis, rhinitis, boils, thorax, calluses.

Active substances: bitter glycosides, saponins, carotenoids, gallic, malic and tartaric acids, sitosterol, ascorbic acid, inulin and dextrin polysaccharides, mucus, tannins.

Collection time:  May – July

Botanical description

\rA perennial herbaceous plant from the Compositae family, up to 25 cm high, with a longish creeping, branched rhizome. Flowering stems are erect, unbranched, covered with small scaly, red-brown leaves, ovate-lanceolate. Basal leaves are large, long-petiolate, round-heart-shaped, unevenly serrated, dark green above, glabrous, white-tomentose below; develop after the flowering of the plant. The flowers are golden yellow, marginal-reed, median, tubular, with a tuft; collected at the top of the stem in an inflorescence in the form of a basket. The fruit is an oblong, ribbed achene with a downy fluffy tuft. Blooms in March-April; fruits ripen in May.\r


\rDespite significant reserves of raw materials in Ukraine as a whole, the area of ​​distribution of coltsfoot in the south of the republic is insignificant, resources are limited here. Places of growth in the Nikolaev and Dnepropetrovsk regions are marked. The coltsfoot is more abundantly represented in the Sea of ​​Azov, in the foothills and mountainous (on the yayla) regions of the Crimea. It grows along the banks of rivers, streams, ditches, ravines, clay cliffs, earthen pits, pits and other habitats with disturbed grass cover.\r

Procurement rules

\rLeaves are medicinal raw materials. They must be collected by hand, cutting off leaf blades with petioles in May-July (in the first half of summer), when they are relatively small and have a dark green color on the upper side, and are covered with a whitish fluff on the lower side. Dry in the open air, in attics or in ventilated rooms, laying out a thin layer on paper. Browned and spotted leaves are thrown away, ready for use – stored in closed boxes or jars in a dry place.\r

The flowers also have medicinal value and are used in collections. They contain arnidol, tannins, sigmasterol, taraxanthin, faradiol, sitosterol.\r

The finished raw material consists of a mixture of whole and partially crushed leaves, which should not be too young, i.e. do not have dense pubescence on the upper side. The color of the leaves is green on the upper side, whitish-gray on the lower side. There is no smell, the taste is slightly bitter.\r

Raw materials should contain no more than 13% moisture, no more than 20% total ash, no more than 8% browned leaves with brown rust spots, no more than 2% organic impurities, no more than 2% mineral impurities.\r

There may be admixtures of hybrid butterbur and fake butterbur, the leaf blades of which are larger, deeply cut at the base, almost triangular in outline. Also, impurities of burdock leaves are possible. In burdock, basal leaves are oval-rounded, entire.\r

The shelf life of leaves is 3 years, flowers – 2 years.\r

medical significance

\rThe leaves of the coltsfoot contain bitter glycosides, saponins; carotenoids, gallic, malic and tartaric acids, sitosterol, ascorbic acid, polysaccharides (inulin and dextrin), mucus, tannins, traces of essential oil, mineral salts.\r

Infusion and decoction of the leaves, as well as granules from them, have an expectorant, emollient, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant and antispasmodic effect. Coltsfoot is an ancient remedy for coughs and choking. It is used for acute and chronic laryngitis, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, bronchiectasis, as well as selicosis and tuberculosis.\r

In folk medicine, leaves are often used with flowers in the form of decoctions and infusions for inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and urinary tract, to stimulate appetite and improve food digestion. Sometimes juice from fresh leaves is prescribed for tuberculosis, protracted rhinitis (injected into the nostrils) and as a mild diaphoretic. Fresh leaves are applied to wounds, ulcers and boils, and crushed fresh or dry to abscesses. The gruel from the leaves is used for breasts, against calluses, etc. Crushed dry leaves are smoked for shortness of breath and shortness of breath. In dentistry, an infusion for rinsing the mouth and an infusion for applications are used. In gynecology, infusion and decoction are used for inflammatory diseases of the vagina accompanied by leucorrhoea, traditionally in the form of douches and microclysters. Pounded fresh leaves, applied to boils, treat inflammation of the skin and veins on the legs. A decoction of coltsfoot leaves and nettles wash their hair to strengthen hair, also against dandruff. The leaves of the coltsfoot are part of the nursing and diaphoretic fees.\r

The products are prepared as follows: crushed raw materials (10 g) are poured into 200 ml of water, heated in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cooled for 45 minutes, filtered and the amount of infusion is brought to the original volume with boiled water. Take a tablespoon 4 times a day before meals.\r

Brief recommendations for growing in home gardens

\rThe plant reproduces by seeds and vegetatively by rhizomes. It takes root well in the garden, among fruit plantations. This perennial can grow in one place for a long time, providing valuable raw materials for a home pharmacy and delighting the eye with its beautiful leaves and the first spring bright yellow flowers.\r

The plant is unpretentious to soil fertility, but responds well to annual fertilizing with organic and complex mineral fertilizers at the rate of 20-40 g/m 2 . The coltsfoot is drought tolerant but responds well to watering. Prefers slightly shady places where it quickly takes root and propagates by self-sowing. Coltsfoot blooms before the leaves appear for 2-3 weeks. Flowers are not found at the same time. The seeds ripen quickly and are dispersed by the wind.

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