Tussilago farfara (Kuan Dong Hua)
Pharmaceutical name: Flos Tussilaginis Farfarae
Botanical name: Tussilago farfara L.
Also known as: Sponne (Gaelic, sacred to Brighid)
I agree that Coltsfoot is a good Candlemas herb, for Candlemas is a time to make new beginnings such as making a commitment to stop smoking. Coltsfoot can be added to tobacco to lessen the amount of tobacco smoked. This herb is used to heal respiratory diseases and so it is good for winter coughs due to external cold. It helps "smokers cough" and moistens the lungs. It is often used as a tobacco. It should not be used if the cough is due to heat. Hopman suggests using it as poultice for stings, swellings, burns, ulcers and phlebitis.
The dosage used 1.5-9g. It should not be used in larger doses. It can be fried in honey to enhance its ability to moisten the Lungs. The color of the tussilago that is grown in China is different from that grown elsewhere. A good quality of tussilago is large firm and has a fresh, purplish red color. Mrs. Grieves describes it as having yellow flowers with sea green leaves. The harvesting time between the two continents also differs. In England, the leaves are harvested in July and the flowers in February. In China, the plant is harvested during the months of October through December.
Cunningham writes that it has both the powers of love and visions. It is often used in love sachets and in spells for peace and tranquility. I suggest using it as an incense at Candlemas to enhance your visions for the coming year and create a tranquil sacred space. Pliny believed it had to be burned on cypress charcoal. Since that may be difficult to find, why not just add a little cyprus to coltsfoot and satisfy everyone.
Chinese and Western Herbs are not to be taken without the personal advice of an Herbologist able to diagnose your condition. The information on these pages is only for knowledge not for self medication purposes.