Coltsfoot Tea and Marshmallow Extract for Persistent Dry Cough

Coltsfoot Tea leaves
Coltsfoot Tea Leaves

When I was a kid, I had childhood asthma and the doctors were always quick to prescribe cough syrups and inhalers.

Although these were strong, quick and effective remedies, over the years, I realized that they may have weakened my bronchial structures (air passages).

As a result, every time I caught a cough, it would stubbornly persist for weeks (and sometimes months!) until I took another “puff” from the inhalers.

Nature offers herbs to help with almost any condition. Most natural remedies are much milder than our new drugs but effective all the same.


This is Coltsfoot Tea and it’s been amazing for treating a whopping dry cough that’s been bothering me for weeks!

Ever since I started drinking this tea 3x/day, the persistent ‘itchiness’ at the top and back of my throat has decreased significantly. During the day this has made my throat more comfortable and eliminated much of my dry cough too.

However, at night I was still finding it hard to sleep and had coughing spells before sleeping and periodically through the night.

I consulted my naturopathic physician and he gave me a marshmallow extract to swallow and ‘coat’ my throat before sleeping. I was not to drink any fluids for 30 minutes after taking this to allow the herb to do its job.

The marshmallow was so effective that I slept like a baby for the first time in weeks! No dry coughing spells at all! 😊

As this was the first time I’ve heard of Coltsfoot, I was also curious and did some reading up on it.

As a herb, Coltsfoot has been used for thousands of years in Europe and Asia for treating cough and other respiratory ailments. However, recently, there have been a number of studies revealing the potential harmful effects of coltsfoot on the liver.

“The pyrrolizidine alkaloids found in coltsfoot are known to have potential liver-toxic and cancer-promoting effects.” However, these are mostly limited to case reports of infants who consume the tea. There have been no double-blind placebo controlled research trials done on coltsfoot. [1]

Most naturopathic physicians will also agree on coltsfoot’s potential liver toxicity and  that it is never prescribed in the form of concentrated extracts of the herb such as tinctures or in pill form. It is generally considered safe for adults to take in the short-term until symptoms improve (which doesn’t take more than a few days!). Definitely not recommended for infants long term treatment!  

In conclusion, I hope this post has increased your awareness of modern conventional medicine’s great efficacy at suppressing symptoms but consequently weakening our body’s natural resistance in the long run, as in the case of my weakened air passages.

Also, I hope you realize that nature provides an abundance of natural remedies which are milder but still effective for treating our bodies.

It is always prudent to try a naturopathic approach to non-life threatening illnesses before jumping straight into modern western drugs which may carry potential long-term unintended side effects. One way is to consult an experienced Naturopathic physician.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog was created mainly to educate and inform and should not be mistaken as professional medical advice. I’m not a qualified physician and even if I were, I’d still advise you consult with your preferred holistic medical practitioner before attempting any self-medication. He/she will be able to assess your unique health constitution and tailor-make a treatment protocol for you. What worked for me may not work for you!

May god’s grace be with you. 🙏
Jahn Tang



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