Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is a perennial herbaceous plant found throughout the western regions of Turkey excluding Asia and Europe. It is commonly used in traditional medicine in the areas where it naturally thrives.
Coltsfoot root, referred to as miracle lungwort in the USA, possesses medicinal properties that aid weakened coughs, whooping cough, and damp forms of asthma.
In Europe, the leaves are utilized for bronchial infections, whereas in China, the flower buds are preferred. Moreover, in conventional Chinese medicine, coltsfoot flower buds are frequently employed in detoxifying agents.
The leaves of the plant are frequently used by indigenous populations throughout Europe, for relief from an array of ailments, such as gastrointestinal disorders, wounds, burns, and urinary tract infections. Most notably, these plant leaves are used to alleviate respiratory complaints.
The composition of chemicals comprises of phenolics such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid, gallic acid, tannic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, as well as aliphatic acids including malic acid and tartaric acid, and alkaloids like pyrrolizidine alkaloids. In addition, flavonoids such as quercetin and kemferol are present along with some volatile compounds.
Coltsfoot has demonstrated antibacterial activity against various Gram-negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus hauseri, Bordetella pertussis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus vulgaris.
Moreover, research has compared the anti-inflammatory effects of coltsfoot with those of Indomethacin. The findings suggest that the impact seen in a chronic inflammation experiment is possibly attributable to the water-soluble polysaccharides within coltsfoot. Coltsfoot has also demonstrated some mild acute anti-inflammatory effectiveness when tested against rat paw edema induced by carrageenan.
Additionally, the tussilagine alkaloid has proven to be a potent stimulant for the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. A dose-dependent study following intravenous injection in cats, rats, and dogs has demonstrated pressor activity. The activity is similar to that of dopamine but does not result in tachyphylaxis. Correspondingly, peripheral and central mechanisms are thought to regulate cardiovascular and respiratory effects.