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Tussilago Farfara Flower

What is Tussilago Farfara Flower?

Tussilago Farfara Flower (kuan dong hua, 款冬花), also known as Flos Farfarae and Common Coltsfoot Flower, is considered to be an excellent herb for treating coughs and colds caused by pathogenic Wind Cold. As this flower blooms during the winter solstice and early spring, the Chinese also call this flower the ‘Welcome Winter Flower’. The best quality Tussilago Farfara Flower is produced in the province of Lingtai Gansu, and this variety is called ‘Lingtai Dong Hua’.

When Tussilago Farfara was first introduced to America, many people treated whooping cough by soaking blankets in a solution of Tussilago Farfara and wrapping the blankets around the patients. In Paris, Tussilago Farfara Flower is a symbol painted on the signs of shops to indicate that they were an apothecary and a place to buy herbs and remedies. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Tussilago Farfara Flower falls under the category of ‘Herbs that relieve coughing and wheezing’. Such herbs can help to relieve Phlegm, which is a condition of stagnation of fluids that have accumulated and thickened. These herbs tend to have antitussive, expectorant, diuretic or laxative properties.

Warm in nature, Tussilago Farfara Flower can help individuals with too much Cold in their body, such as those experiencing a yin excess or a yang deficiency, to restore a harmonious yin-yang balance. Bitter and pungent in taste, Tussilago Farfara Flower can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. Also, Tussilago Farfara Flower can promote the circulations of qi and body fluids. In particular, Tussilago Farfara Flower targets the Lungs.

Functions and Benefits of Tussilago Farfara Flower

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Tussilago Farfara Flower has the following health benefits.

Tussilago Farfara Flower can moisten the Lungs, descend qi, resolve Phlegm and stop coughing. Thus, Tussilago Farfara Flower is indicated for several kinds of cough and wheezing, and it is often stir-baked with honey to enhance its treatment effects. 

For cough and dyspnea caused by Wind-Cold and Phlegm-fluid retention, Tussilago Farfara Flower can be combined with Wind-Cold-dispersing, Phlegm-dispelling and cough-stopping herbs to enhance its effectiveness. 

For persistent cough caused by Lung qi deficiency, Tussilago Farfara Flower can be combined with Lung-qi-tonifying herbs to enhance its effectiveness.

How to Use Tussilago Farfara Flower

The recommended daily dosage of Tussilago Farfara Flower is 3 – 10g, when used as a decoction.  Alternatively, Tussilago Farfara Flower can be used in other forms, such as pills, powder, and ointments. In the treatment of cough, Tussilago Farfara Flower is mostly stir-baked with honey.

Tussilago Farfara Flower and its supplements can be found in herbal stores and Asian specialty markets.

Cautions and Side Effects of Tussilago Farfara Flower

Tussilago Farfara Flower should not be used by individuals experiencing coughing of blood or pus, coughs caused by yin deficiency Heat, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Also, Tussilago Farfara Flower should not be used together with Radix Scrophulariae (Xuan Shen), Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae (Chuan Bei Mu), Bulbus Fritillariae Thunbergii (Zhe Bei Mu), Flos Magnoliae (Xin Yi Hua), Ephedra (Ma Huang), Radix Scutellariae (Huang Qin) or Astragalus (Huang Qi).

We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before deciding to add Tussilago Farfara Flower to your healthcare routine!


Here is a summary for Tussilago Farfara:

  • Herb name (Chinese): 款冬花
  • Herb name (Pin Yin): kuǎn dōng huā
  • Herb name (English): Common Coltsfoot Flower
  • Herb name (Botanical): Flos Farfarae
  • Origin of species: Tussilago farfara L.
  • Part(s) of herb used: Flower bud
  • Geo-specific habitat(s): Henan, Gansu, Shanxi, Shaanxi
  • Taste(s) & Properties: Pungent, slightly bitter; Warm; Administrates the Lung Meridian
  • Actions: Calms coughs and eases phlegm

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