Podbel soothes coughs and stimulates the appetite


Tussillago farfara (lat. Tussillago farfara ) is a perennial herbaceous plant with a thin, long, branched rhizome. In early spring, 4-15 cm tall, unbranched stems covered with small, ovate-lanceolate, brown-red leaves grow from the rhizome. The flowers are golden yellow, the outer ones are tongue-shaped, and the middle ones are tubular. After overblooming, the stems die and only then do the leaves appear, which are arranged in a rosette. The leaves are long-stalked, almost round, 10-20 cm in diameter. Blooms from February to April. The podbel grows mainly in wet places, most often in ditches and embankments, along the banks of rivers and streams, and also in wet fields throughout the country. 


Action and application. Fenugreek leaves are a long-known remedy for coughs and shortness of breath. They have a softening, anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect. They are used to treat laryngitis with a hoarse voice, acute catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, inflammatory processes of the lung. The drug is also used to treat inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as an appetite-stimulating and digestion-improving agent. It is also used in inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.


In folk medicine, it is popular to apply fresh leaves of cinquefoil on wounds, ulcers, boils, and in the form of poultices of crushed fresh or dry leaves - for the treatment of skin diseases, inflamed varicose veins of the legs, calluses, etc. Dry leaves are also used for smoking in case of shortness of breath (bronchial asthma).


Method of use . Two tablespoons of the drug are poured with 500 cm3 of boiling water and, after cooling, the infusion is filtered. It is drunk in 1 day. 

Chemical composition . The leaves contain from 5 to 10% mucilage, on hydrolysis of which D-galacturonic acid, galactose, glucose, arabinose, xylose, ribose and rhamnose are formed. In addition, they contain a bitter glycoside substance - tussilagin, which is responsible for the soothing effect on cough. The leaves also contain saponins, tannins, the polysaccharides inulin and dextrin, gallic, malic and tartaric acids, carotenoids (about 5%) and ascorbic acid. The steroid compounds phytosterol, stigmasterol, faradiol and taraxanthin were found in the inflorescences; the flavonol glycosides rutin and hyperin.


Drugs . The leaves ( Folia Farfarae ) and flower baskets ( Flores Farfarae ) are used . Not to be confused with Petasites species, whose leaves are fibrous above.


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