Tuesday, May 8, 2012
MAY 8, 2012 COLTSFOOT
"A friend accepts us as we are .. yet helps us to be what we should."
If you have a friend, he/she should accept for you for what you are. This should be in good and bad times. You always know who your friends are in times of need. I do have a friend who helps me to be what I should be- but this type of friend is rare. I also can tell him how he should be. It is a give and take relationship. That is how a friendship should be.
I do not want to say that friends come and go, but it is true ---it happens. Sometimes you just grow apart. What you thought friendship would be - is not exactly what you would have expected. The older I get, the more I begin to understand all relationships in life. I see it first hand- between husbands and wives, husbands and husbands, mother and children, sibling and sibling, and even wife and wife. So many of my friends have asked how I am doing while my husband has been under the weather. Now that is friendship.
In the Family Astreraceae there are many plants and flowers. How could you not like this family of plants. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is one of my favorite plants. It has been called many other names such as Horsehoff or horse foot. The name I like which describes its use is coughfoot. And the name I do not like is ass's foot. It does have hoof-shaped leaves so I can understand that name. The ass's foot makes no sense to me.
The renowned herbalist Culpepper described it as, "...this plant is under Venus. The fresh leaves or juice or a syrup made thereof, is good for a hot dry cough, for wheeziness and shortness of breath."
It has been used as an expectorant for a cough, used in astham and "old' or chronic bronchitis. Someone told me that English Tobacco has as its first ingredient- coltsfoot. I did not know that and will have to see when in England again. I smoked tobacco as a medical student in England but paid little attention to the ingredients.
Coltsfoot is very popular in Europe compared to the United States. It has proven useful for chronic emphysema and silicosis. In Europe they use as a chest tea. I think here we go for ginger and elderberry for coughs first, but I do prefer coltsfoot. There were repoprts of carcinogenic compounds found in this plant, but I ignored this after reading the literature. The way I look at this - If you look hard enough you can find bad in just about everything, including nature. The amount of carcinogens in this plant is so minimal it is not even worth writing about it.
Another little tidbit of information I did not know is that a replica of 'coltsfoot' was placed above Parisian Pharmacies to solidify the effectiveness of the medicines in the pharmacy. This is a nice touch for pharmacies.
I used to confuse this Coltsfoot with Dandelions, but now I know the difference. You can see both coltsfoot and dandelions in the general lawns of your neighbors. You can tell the difference by the shape of the leaves. The leaves of coltsfoot are thick and used as a mucilage as is Slippery Elm.