Tussilago farfara L. - Asteraceae - coltsfoot, Huflattich
Perennial herb, 5-30cm high, native to Eurasia, North Africa, naturalized in North America; yellow flowers appear in spring
before leaves (after the leaves from last autumn) on a stem with reddish scales; leaves 10-25cm broad, cordate, underneath hoary.
„The large leaves of coltsfoot are soft-hairy underneath and are therefore referred by naturalists as hikers toilet paper.“
Dried leaves of coltsfoot (Farfarae folium) is used to treat dry cough and as an expectorant. Mucus-forming substances of the hot water extract from the leaves cover mucous membranes of the throat and thus reduce the urge to cough.
[Wichtl, Max. Teedrogen, Teedrogen und Phytopharmaka, Stuttgart 2002]
Flos Farfara (dried flower buds of T.farfara, 'Kuandonghua'), are an important traditional Chinese medicine,
widely used for the treatment of cough, bronchitis and asthmatic disorders.
[Committee for the Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China, 2010]
„Chemical studies on the dried, young flowers used in this experiment suggested that the carcinogenicity of coltsfoot is most probably due to senkirkine, a hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid.“
[Carcinogenic activity of coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara L., Hirono, Iwao, Hideki Mori, and C. C. Culvenor. Gann= Gan Vol.67(1), 1976, 125-129]
„…concentrations of senkirkine varying from 2.5 to 11.2 ppm were estimated in a commercial sample of coltsfoot.“
[Quantitative analysis of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids senkirkine and senecionine in Tussilago farfara L. by capillary electrophoresis. Lebada, R., Schreier, A., Scherz, S., Resch, C., Krenn, L., & Kopp, B., Phytochemical Analysis, Vol.11(6), 2000, 366-369]
Because the use as medicinal plant has been restricted in Austria and Germany due to the content of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, „…an in vitro collection of clones was established as a basis for the selection of suitable lines. Analyses of the alkaloid content showed that some clones were free of the toxic compounds. One of these clones has now been cultivated in the field for several years, and permanent monitoring confirms that the quality is in accordance with the requirements of the legislation. By large scale culture of the variety Tussilago farfara ‘Wien’ it is now possible to provide material for pharmaceutical and dietary purposes and thus to re-introduce this medicinal plant to the market.“
[Permanent monitoring of pyrrolizidine alkaloid content in micropropagated Tussilago farfara L.: a tool to fulfill statutory demands for the quality of coltsfoot in Austria and Germany. Wawrosch, C., Kopp, B., & Wiederfield, H., In International Symposium on Methods and Markers for Quality Assurance in Micropropagation 530, 1999, 469-472]
„Tussilagone (TSL), isolated from the flower of buds of Tussilago farfara (Compositae), is a sesquiterpenoid that is known to exert a variety of pharmacological activities. In the present study, we demonstrated that TSL exerts anti-inflammatory activities in murine macrophages by inducing heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression.“
[The anti-inflammatory effect of tussilagone, from Tussilago farfara, is mediated by the induction of heme oxygenase-1 in murine macrophages. Hwangbo, C., Lee, H. S., Park, J., Choe, J., & Lee, J. H. International immunopharmacology, Vol.9(13), 2009, 1578-1584]
„Preparative high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) was successfully applied for separation and purification of sesquiterpenoids from an extract of Tussilago farfara… The separation produced a total of 32 mg of tussilagone, 18 mg of 14-acetoxy-7β-(3'-ethyl cis-crotonoyloxy)-1α-(2'-methyl butyryloxy)-notonipetranone and 21 mg of 7β-(3'-ethyl cis-crotonoyloxy)-1α-(2'-methyl butyryloxy)-3,14-dehydro-Z-notonipetranone from 500 mg of the crude extract in one step separation…“
[Preparative separation and purification of sesquiterpenoids from Tussilago farfara L. by high-speed counter-current chromatography., Wang, D., Fang, L., Wang, X., Qiu, J., Huang, L., Química Nova, Vol.34(5), 2011, 804-807]
Thomé, O.W., Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz, Tafeln, vol.4, t.565 (1885)