The first flowers of spring locally have arrived, our Coltsfoot is up and in full flower, the flowers rise out of the ground on them stems coming many weeks before the leaves will show themselves.
I picked a full cup of tightly budded flowers to make a lovely homemade cough syrup to help with my cold, I washed the flowers with luke warm water, giving them a good rince and then packed a full cup of them into a liter glass jar, and filled it with 2 cups of fresh boiling water, and let it steep for 20 min (if you are using dried flowers from a health store, I would let it steep 4 to 8 hours) but as I am using fresh, I don’t feel the need to let it steep that long.
I drained my Coltsfoot flower tea though a strainer layered with cheese cloth, and into a steel pot and at a VERY low simmer, I reduced it by half from two cups to one cup.
Measure your liquid and match it with raw local unpasturized honey into a pot and bring to a boil, and then pour into a clean hot glass canning jar, let cool till room temp and then store in the fridge, I personally don’t use more then six tsp per day and only use for limited time.
If I wanted to make this to keep for later use in the year, I would also add 1/4 cup of high quality vodka to help in the preservation. If you want to make this into cough drops, you must used the sugar instead of the honey to do so, follow any basic Candy recipe using the reduced tea as the base liquid.
I personally find the taste to be very reasonable, its got a flowery hint to it, with a slight bitter.
This plant has mixed reviews, some folks don’t think it should be used at all but on the other hand it has a history of medical use in China for 2000 years and now has many recent studies in that country backing that its very good for helping in regards to colds and sore throat.
So, I am not going to recommend it as safe, but instead use with care and do your own reading and decide for yourself on if you are comfortable with using small amounts or not! Please do not eat raw! I only use it when cooked and only in small amounts.
Do any of you use Coltsfoot? and if so, how do you use it?
From the link you included, it also says: “In China, the flowering stem is the preferred ingredient, even though the flowers have a higher level of the alkaloids.” Do you ever use the stems, Val?
No, I do not use the stem only, I have done a mix of stem and flower but mostly I use the flowers only