The spring is here! My camera caught these little guys along the road on the way from town the other day!
They are always the very first flowers that pop up in our area, announcing the arrival of spring.
In most places, they grow in March, when the snow is gone, our area sees them usually at the end of April.
They are tiny, and look fragile, but they in fact are amazingly strong. Just think about it - pushing through the still partially frozen ground to get on the surface. Blooming in the cold weather, often getting still snowed over or bitten by the morning frost. They are tiny, but incredibly tough little flowers.
And did you know they also have a medical use?
Their name is Coltsfoot (official latin name is Tussilago Farfara).
The use of Coltsfoot in natural medicine is mainly for treating coughs and colds, but also asthma and they make a great mask for oily or inflamated skin.
You can pick and use the flowers and leafs. Always make sure to pick them on a sunny day, when the contained healing properties are the strongest. Also, make sure to pick the flowers dry (around or shortly after noon is ideal, when the dew or frost is gone).
Coltsfoot can be used in the following forms:
- Infusion - against cough and cold or flu
Infusion can be used as tea, herbal bath or for inhalation.
- Tincture - to treat chronic cough and asthma
Tincture is used in form of drops in a glas of water, that you sip.
- Syrup - helps to moisturize during dry coughYou can drink syrup directly (use a spoon full at a time) or added to water or other drink.
Here is how you can make a home made herbal tincture. It is incredibly simple and cheap!
Please note that the video shows an example tincture of a different herb for a different health issue than the cold and coughs I am writing about in this post. What´s important are the steps and technology.
If it´s already late for this flower where you live, or if you live in a city, with no possibility to pick and dry it yourself, you can buy organic Coltsfoot at Mountain Rose Herbs, which I highly recommend due to their service, eco-friendliness and approach to nature and health.
Isn´t it fascinating how Mother Nature has everything planned out and organized so well? In spring, we have tendencies of getting coughs and colds (often as a result of changing weather and also of the body´s natural detoxification and cleaning process), and just like that, one of the very first spring flowers comes up. And to no surprise, it has the healing powers to help cure the cough and the cold.
Happy Trails and Loads of Health!