Coltsfoot is cheered as the spring’s first gold due to its highly vibrant and cheerful yellow flowers. It resides in the daisy family Asteraceae and the appearance of its remarkable blooms reminds us of dandelions.
This herbaceous perennial can show a typical height (characteristic of to its family) that ranges from 4 to 12 inches. The shape of coltsfoot leaves has given birth to numerous names, by which it is hailed- folefoot, bull’s hoof, foalswort, horsehoof, and ungula caballina. Coltsfoot is the first to bloom among its other family members and allows its angular-shaped leaves to thrive un-paralyzed with subsequent blooming process.
Coltsfoot is employed medicinally, in cooking, and for making wines. Topically, it is used to soothe the irritation of the skin. Internally, coltsfoot can help attenuate cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and laryngitis. Its smoke is inhaled by the people who experience chronic cough with phlegm. It reduces the volume of phlegm which ultimately results in decreased shortness of breath and improved quality of life.
However, with benefits come side effects hand in hand. A case was reported in Germany regarding the miscarriage due to the consumption of coltsfoot preparation. Since then, coltsfoot is prohibited by pregnant women as it can induce abortion.