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Posted by Cher123 on April 28, 2003 at 16:02:50:
In Reply to: Can Coltsfoot flowers be fed to my Uro? posted by saint alphonzo on April 28, 2003 at 14:24:32:
Thank you for the information.
These flowers are frequently mistaken for dandelions, but they are quite different. Coltsfoot blossoms are on the end of a leafless scaled stalk. The seed heads look much like dandelions, but are on a longer stalk. Later, the leaves appear which are shaped like a colts hoof. Hence the name.
:Herbalists make cough-drops out of the leaves.
:And on this site http://www.sbherbals.com/031999HotM.html I found the following:
:One of the first blossoms to see, the bright yellow flower of coltsfoot pops up as early as February in some areas of the country. It is unusual in that the flowers bloom and die before any of the leaves are seen. This earned coltsfoot the name Filius ante patrem or "son before the father" in earlier times. (1,2) In Paris, the coltsfoot flower was the symbol of apothecary shops and was painted outside as advertising. (1) Coltsfoot is Nature’s gift to help us make it to spring. These flowers are one of the most widely used herbal expectorants for relieving coughs and congestion from colds, and there is no time when they are needed more than at the end of a long winter.
:After the flowers have died, the broad, flat, hoof-shaped leaves grow; from which coltsfoot gets its modern name. These, too, are used as an herbal expectorant, but are not harvested until June. (1) Both the leaves and flowers contain mucilage, tannins, flavonoids, inulin, sterols, a bitter principle, potassium, calcium, zinc and a small amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. (2,3) Plants that grow in sunny areas contain a higher amount of mucilage than plants that grow in shade. (4) The flowers have little to no pyrrolizidine alkaloids and the leaves vary in amount depending on where they grow. (4) There is controversy as to whether herbs with pyrrolizidine alkaloids should be used internally due to the possibility of liver damage, however, trials in Sweden found that simmering the leaves and flowers for 30 minutes effectively eliminates these alkaloids. (3)
:Coltsfoot has a warm and pungent energy (2) and is best used for conditions where there is copious clear mucus as in asthma, emphysema, and colds due to wind-cold invasion. Its demulcent action from the high amount of mucilage also makes it useful in bronchitis and irritating coughs. (2,4) The dried flowers and leaves may be made into tincture, decoction, syrup or smoked. (1,2,) Fresh leaves can be applied externally to sores to promote healing. (2,3) To make a decoction simmer 1 ounce of dried herb in 1 quart of water down to 1 pint. Sweeten with honey or licorice. (1) A syrup can be made from the decoction by adding more honey with or without glycerin. In earlier times coltsfoot leaves were smoked in herbal mixtures for lung conditions. (1,2,3,) The leaves have no nicotine and therefore are not addictive. (1)
:Coltsfoot should only be used short-term and should be avoided during pregnancy and nursing. (4)
:Although there is controversy surrounding one component of this plant, proper preparation and use allow it to be a part of our herbal medicine chest. It has been used for centuries with good results. In lung conditions it is an excellent soothing expectorant. Its bright yellow flower is a welcomed sign for people suffering from the chilling colds of winter.
:Personally I have no experience with yhis plant as food for the Uro's.
:Greetings from the Netherlands