Thursday, March 29, 2018



     Living in America, there are a few things that we have to deal with. Traffic is one of them. Sometimes traffic is great, you get to sing along to your favorite songs, or listen to an excellent book on tape, and you don't encounter any problems at all. Then there are times when you're getting cut off left and right, where you feel like your car must have a huge target on it because all the idiots in the world are gunning for you, where you're caught at every red light, etc. Those days you might need a bit of help calming down, chilling out, and not having road rage.

     Aromatherapy helps deal with these negative emotions, and helps keep your car smelling wonderful. Just invest in a car diffuser, add your favorite essential oil blend, and drive carefree. As a bonus, keep a spray bottle in your car, use a great calming blend (include a little Rescue Remedy) and spritz it when you need a little extra help behind the wheel.

     Here are some of my favorite essential oil blends to use in the car, and a few recipes that might help you get through your drive easier. Remember to store anything made with essential oils in glass, as essential oils have a tendency to eat through plastics. When choosing a carrier oil, I tend to stick to oils such as Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Coconut Oil. Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, and argan oil also make great carrier oils. Check out a great list of carrier oils and their uses here.

     A word of caution. Essential oils are very strong. Avoid using eucalyptus, rosemary, and camphor essential oils around people who have seizures, as well as young children and pets.

Mom's Helping Blend

10-15 drops Mandarin Essential Oil
5-10 drops Rosewood Essential Oil
5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil

Mandarin and rosewood are calming and soothing, but only mildly so you don't run the risk of falling asleep. They are particularly effective on any children that may be in the car. Frankincense also helps reduce stress. This is a great blend for families on the go.

Happy Go Lucky

15-20 drops Bergamont Essential Oil
10-15 drops Spearmint Essential Oil
5-10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Grapefruit is uplifting, soothing, clarifying, helps to reduce stress and depression, it's also a lesser-known hangover remedy. Bergamont helps to reduce stress and anxiety, reducing depression and helping to uplift the emotions. Ylang ylang helps to balance our emotions, helping to reduce stress and maintain an air of peace. Spearmint helps to cool our minds and emotions, helping to calm us in times of stress, and provides a protection for our brains, even helping to reduce migraines. All of these oils are stimulating, increasing circulation and uplifting the body as well as the spirit. This blend is a great way to start the day.

Motion Sickness

5-10 drops Ginger Essential Oil
5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
5-10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Ginger and peppermint are well-known helpers when nausea is an issue. However the sharp and fresh smell of citrus can also help to calm a tumultuous tummy.

Rage Reducer

10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
10-15 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
5-10 drops Geranium Essential Oil
5 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil

This blend is filled with oils that help calm you down, reduce stress, and let you know that everything is alright. Just take a deep breath and feel the calm working.

Rage Reducer for the Manly Man

10-15 drops Mandarin Essential Oil
5-10 drops Basil Essential Oil
5-10 drops Cypress Essential Oil
5 drops Lime Essential Oil

A calming blend with a more masculine scent. For those guys who don't want their car to smell too “girly” or those ladies who appreciate the more masculine scents in their lives.

Wake Me Up

10-15 drops Lemon Essential Oil
5-10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
5-10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
5-10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil

Nothing can replace a good night's sleep, but this blend can help provide a quick pick-me-up during your drive. Just keep in mind that rosemary and eucalyptus are super strong and should not be used around small children, animals, and people prone to seizures. However, for the rest of us, these oils help energize our minds and help us to focus on our task.

You can use the above blends to create the following recipes:

Quick Spritz

2 oz Distilled Water
2 oz Witch Hazel (or just 2 more oz water)
1 oz Vodka (at least 60 proof)
20-30 drops Essential Oil Blend of your choice
*optional: 16 drops RescueRemedy (especially to help reduce road rage)

Combine all ingredients in a 6 oz glass container with a spray top. Shake well with each use. Spray in the car vents and/or on your person for maximum benefit.

Roller Ball Blends

1 oz Carrier Oil
10-15 drops Essential Oil Blend of your choice

Combine in a glass roller ball bottle. Apply to pulse points and/or temples for maximum effect.

I hope you enjoy these car-omatherapy recipes. For more essential oil blend ideas, check out my previous entry, Herbal Home Fresheners for Spring. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Veggie Madness

     When I first decided to start this blog, I knew that nutrition would be a big part of it. I try to share healthy recipes with everyone, but I also try to keep them vegetarian friendly. If possible, I include substitutions for vegan diets as well. However, I am not a vegetarian. I get asked about vegetarianism a lot, and I think I can cook some really good vegan dishes. However, I choose to continue to consume meat. However, since I get asked about these diets so often, I decided that I'd give everyone a basic introduction to them, and talk about the health benefits as well as the negative health effects of these diets.

Types of Vegetarianism

The term “vegetarian” is really a fairly broad term. When most people talk about vegetarians or vegetarianism, they're typically talking about either lacto-ovo-vegetarianism or veganism. But what's the difference? This is the most common question I get asked, so here's a quick breakdown of the different types of vegetarianism.


Vegans, also called strict vegetarians, only consume plant based foods. They don't consume animal products at all. No meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin, or even honey. Some vegans also choose to not purchase animal based clothing or other items.


Lacto-Vegetarians consume plant based foods with dairy. These vegetarians tend to consume more animal products like honey and gelatin as well.


Ovo-Vegetarians consume plant based foods with eggs. These vegetarians may not mind eating eggs, but they tend to prefer unfertilized eggs or only free range. They may or may not decide to consume honey and/or gelatin as well.


Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians consume plant based foods along with eggs and dairy. They are most likely to consume honey, gelatin, and other animal products that are not meat.


While technically not a vegetarian, pescatarians stick to a mostly vegetarian diet, with seafood added in. Some consume dairy and/or eggs, but most of them don't mind consuming other animal products such as honey and gelatin.

The Pros of Becoming Vegetarian

There are quite a number of benefits of moving towards a plant based, or vegetarian, diet. Not all of them are health focused. One of the more common reasons to choose this diet has a lot to do with philosophy and ethics. I am also just listing the most common benefits, there are other benefits that are not listed here.

Weight Loss

When you first change any diet, there may be a little bloating and digestive distress. However, if you have a healthy diet and make sure to consume enough of all the necessary nutrients, a vegetarian diet can certainly help you loose weight.

Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Scientific studies have shown that vegetarians have about a 40% lower chance of developing certain cancers. This is largely attributed to the increase of vegetable and fruit consumption in vegetarians. Fruits and vegetables help boost the immune system.

Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

When you remove meat from the diet, you remove a large percentage of the fats as well. This helps to lower the risk for developing heart disease. Just don't forget to supplement with healthy, plant-based fats, and plenty of potassium, so that you keep your cardiovascular system running right.

Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Increasing consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables helps to improve glycemic control and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consuming high levels of meat is also associated with an increased risk of developing type 3 diabetes.

Improve Colon Health

Vegetables and fruits contain high amounts of fiber. Not only does fiber help rid your body of excessive cholesterol, and help improve bowel movements. It also helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut which leads to quite a few other health benefits.

Increased Consumption of Certain Nutrients

In a properly planned vegetarian meal, you can easily receive all the necessary nutrients for every day function. However fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So increasing your consumption of plant based foods can increase your consumption of those nutrients.

No Need to Harm Animals

Unethical farming practices are a serious concern. There are quite a few farms that have moved away from most of the worst ones, but certain meats and meat products are more commonly found to be raised with these unethical standards. Cutting out meat from your diet helps to reduce our dependence on these standards.

The Cons of Becoming Vegetarian

While the benefits of changing your diet to be plant based are numerous, there are certain risks.

Not Getting Enough Protein

When you don't properly plan your meals, you run a large risk of not consuming enough proteins. But along with the proteins, you also need all the essential amino acids for proper cellular function. Most plant based foods do not have a few of these amino acids. Your body also does not store amino acids, so you need to make sure you are consuming them every day. When you don't consume enough of them, you can develop certain health issues over time. The first symptom of this is muscle wasting. When you don't get enough amino acids in your diet, you body starts breaking down muscle tissue in order to get the amino acids it needs. After this, you can begin to see symptoms such as fatigue, decreased immune response, changes to the texture of your skin and hair, and higher levels of anxiety and stress.

Not Getting Enough Calcium and other Minerals

Meat and dairy are the best sources for calcium, iron, and quite a few other necessary minerals. When you don't consume enough of these minerals, your body starts taking them from your bones which can lead to brittle bones and/or osteoporosis. Even if you are consuming plants high in these minerals, you may not be getting enough. Minerals from dairy and meat are more bioavailable (easily absorbed and used by the human body) than those from vegetables and fruit.

Other Possible Nutrient Insufficiency

There are a number of nutrients that are not easily found in the plant world. Vegetarians that are not careful with meal planning may run the risk of developing B12 insufficiency, for example.


Many people are under the misconception that removing meat from their diets and food automatically makes them healthy. This is not true. You can choose to not eat meat and still have a very unhealthy diet. Macaroni and cheese is vegetarian, so is cheese pizza. Living off these two meals will run you a higher risk of developing health conditions later on. There are also quite a few other popular “junk” foods out there that are vegan (oreos are a great example of this), this does not mean it's healthy. There is also a misconception that vegetarians live longer. This is not necessarily true. People who have a healthy vegetarian lifestyle tend to be more health conscious. Health conscious people tend to live longer.

When Plant Based Diets are Poorly Planned

When changing your diet in any way, you should properly prepare and plan for those changes. Make sure that you are consuming all of the proper nutrients you need, in the proper amounts. Combine your meals well and continue to make healthy choices. When you choose to be vegetarian with a string of poorly planned meals, you are still making unhealthy choices. You can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc instead of reducing it. You also could be reducing your ability to function on a day to day basis. Poor diets (vegetarian or otherwise) lead to chronic fatigue, malnutrition, osteoporosis, muscle pain, depression, anxiety, etc. Eat mindfully and you'll be healthy and able to survive the daily rigors of life.

Other Health Concerns

There are certain health conditions that limit what you can and cannot eat. I have encountered people who cannot properly process plant protein and have to consume either fish or meat. I have also encountered people who cannot consume meat for various reasons. It's important that when you change your diet, you keep in close contact with a health professional who can help you determine if your changes are good for your or not.

Limited Choices in Social Situations

I am lucky enough to live in Orlando, FL where there are lots of options for vegetarians. However, many people do not live in areas like this. It's important to realize that becoming a vegetarian may make it hard to eat at restaurants and parties. It may make social situations slightly awkward by having to explain your limitations.

I hope this entry has helped clarify differences between the types of vegetarianism and made you aware of the possible health risks. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!


6 Pros and Cons of Eating Meat: Green Garage:

6 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat: Prevention:

7 Pros and Cons of Switching to a Vegetarian Diet: Active Beat:

8 Surprising Benefits of Eating Meat: Organic Facts:

Everything You Need To Know About The Pescatarian Diet: Legion Athletics:

The Pros and Cons of Being Vegetarian: Nestle:

The Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet: Health Scope:

Pros and Cons of a Vegetarian Diet: Live Strong:

Pros and Cons of Eating Meat and Other Animal Products: Cleaver Fitness:

Proven Advantages and Disadvantages of Vegetarianism: Healthy Futures:

To Eat Meat or Not To Eat Meat: Men's Fit Club:

Should People Become Vegetarian?: Vegetarian ProCon:

Should You Try a Pescatarian Diet?: Dr. Axe:

Vegetarianism Pros and Cons: GOQii:

Vegetarian-Is It Better Than Eating Meat?: Fitness Republic:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Avocado: More than Guacamole and Toast

     Avocado has become a huge craze in the culinary world. You can find it almost everywhere. But aside from being the main ingredient in guacamole, mostly it's found on toast. Avocado toast has hit the world and it does not seem to be going away. Don't get me wrong, there are so many good things about this trend, it's healthy, tasty, and so much more. However, avocado is so good in so many other dishes, and I thought I might share some of them with you.

     But first, a little bit about the health benefits of this awesome little fruit. Avocado is one of the most nutrient dense foods I know of. It's loaded with calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium (more than a banana), copper, phosphorous, and zinc. It's a great source of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. Avocado also contains niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. And a single serving of this awesome fruit can contain over 40% of the recommended daily value of fiber. Though it contains a LOT of fat (about 22.5 grams) over two-thirds of this fat is monounsaturated and actually good for you. Oh and yes, it is a fruit, but it's super low in fructose.

     All of the nutrients help to make avocados great for your health. Several studies have shown that avocado helps keep your heart healthy, prevents age related vision loss, improves digestion and nutrient absorption, protects against sun damage to your skin and hair, balances blood glucose levels, and so much more. How can you go wrong with avocado? That's why I felt I should share these recipes today. Just in case you are wondering, yes, all of these recipes are gluten free. Most are also vegan friendly.

Avocado and Egg Dishes:

I love having avocado for breakfast, and these recipes work so well for that. They're also great for a light lunch. These would be great with smoked salmon or bacon as well, if you like that sort of thing.

Southwest Avocado Frittata

2 teaspoons Butter or Olive Oil
½ of a medium Onion, thinly sliced
1 Avocado, halved and sliced
1 Tomato, halved and sliced
¼ cup Black Beans
½ cup Corn
8 Eggs
½ cup Heavy Cream (or full fat Coconut Milk)
2 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional 1 small Jalapeno, seeded and sliced
*optional ¼ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Pepper Jack for some added heat)

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large, oven proof skillet (8-10 inches), on medium heat, use 2 teaspoons of butter (or oil) to sautee the onion (and jalapeno) until the onion is transparent. Remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream (or coconut milk), salt, pepper, and cilantro. Whisk until eggs are well incorporated. Pour the mixture into the skillet. Add in remaining ingredients. I prefer to start with the black beans and corn, then layer tomatoes and avocado on top. *Optional, top with cheddar cheese. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake 25 minutes, or until the frittata begins to brown and the eggs are cooked. Remove from the oven, sit 5 min to allow frittata to set. Slice and serve warm!

Egg Stuffed Avocado

2 small Eggs
1 Avocado, sliced and pitted
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional Shredded Cheese and herbs of your choice

Preheat oven to 425. Scoop out a little of the avocado, to make the hole a little bigger so you can accommodate the egg. Arrange avocado halves in a cooking dish, careful to not let them tip over. Crack an egg into each half of the avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and herbs if desired (I like to put a little garlic powder and fresh Parmesan on mine, but feta and chive is a great option as well). Place into oven and bake for 15 minutes (or longer if you don't like runny yolk). Serve warm!

Avocado and Pasta:

These recipes make a great lunch or light dinner. If you like chicken or shrimp, feel free to add it into these recipes. These recipes also work really well with Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash instead of pasta.

Creamy Avocado Pesto

1 ripe Avocado, pitted and diced
1 cup fresh Basil leaves
1/3 cup Pine Nuts (or Cashews)
3 Garlic Cloves, smashed
Juice of 1 Lemon
about ¼ cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese or Nutritional Yeast
1 12oz-16oz box of pasta of your choice (I like Bowties or Angel Hair)
*optional- fresh Spinach, Mushrooms (sliced), or Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
Follow instructions on box of pasta and set aside. In a food processor, combine avocado, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Process into a thick paste. Slowly add in olive oil until you have reached your desired, creamy, consistency. Mix in parmesan cheese until incorporated. Toss over pasta and fresh vegetables. The heat from the freshly cooked pasta will be enough to warm the sauce perfectly. Serve warm!

Pasta with Garlic Lemon Sauce

For the Sauce:
6 Garlic Cloves
2 ¼ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
¼ tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (or grated Parmesan Cheese)
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional ¼ cup Herbs of your choice (oregano, thyme, basil, and marjoram are all good choices)

For the Dish:
1 12oz-16oz box of Pasta of your choice (I like Rotini or Penne for this)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
8-10 fresh Asparagus Spears, cut into 1-2 inch segments
½ medium Onion, sliced
1 Avocado, pitted and cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the sauce:
Preheat the oven to 300. In a small oven proof container, combine garlic cloves and ¼ cup of olive oil. Cover and cook in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until the garlic is a pale golden color and tender. This removes the pungency of the garlic and brings out the sweetness. Cool to room temperature. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and combine with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, yeast, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. (Lasts about 2 weeks in the refrigerator)

For the dish:
Follow the instructions on the box of pasta and set aside. Using olive oil, sautee asparagus and onions over medium-high heat until asparagus is tender and onions are transparent. Remove from heat and toss with pasta, avocado, salt, pepper, and sauce. Serve warm!

Avocado Salads:

I love adding avocado to my salads, but in these salads, avocado is the main event! They'd also be great with chicken or tuna added.

Creamy Southwest Avocado Salad

2 Avocados, pitted and cubed
1 small Sweet Onion, diced
1 small Jalapeno, seeded and diced (or bell pepper if you don't want the heat)
1 large Tomato, diced
¼ cup Corn (grill it first to add some awesome flavor)
¼ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt (or vegan sour cream)
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional-baby or micro greens

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently, but well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (it's super tasty if left overnight). Enjoy!

Avocado Chickpea Salad

2 Avocados, pitted and cubed
2 medium Cucumbers, halved and sliced
1 large Tomato, diced
1 15 oz can Chickpeas (or try Fava Beans for a nice twist)
Juice of 1 Lemon
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk well. Pour over all other ingredients in large bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (it's really tasty if left over night). Enjoy!

Avocado Dips and Spreads:

Everyone knows about guacamole, so I decided to introduce you to a few other ways to use avocado in dips and spreads. The first recipe is based on a salad dressing that I love, but it's super thick so you can use it as a dip for fresh veggies or chips.

Green Goddess Dip

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 clove Garlic, minced
Juice of ½ a Lemon
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 super ripe Avocados, pitted (you should be able to mush them with a spoon)
1 cup fresh Parsley Leaves
1 Green Onion stalk
1 tablespoon fresh Tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons White Miso Paste (make sure you have a gluten free variety)
¾ cup Tahini
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a food processor, blend dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Add in the avocados, parsley, onion, tarragon, miso, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add in the Tahini. Mix well.

*If you want to turn this into a salad dressing, add ½ cup (or more) olive oil.

Avocado Hummus

1 Avocado, pitted and diced
1 15 oz can Chickpeas, reserve the liquid
¼ cup Tahini
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Juice of ½ a Lemon
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tablespoon ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, adding in chickpea liquid if needed to achieve the right consistency. Enjoy!

Avocado Sweets:

Avocado for dessert? It's surprisingly tasty when combined with the right ingredients.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

2 super ripe Avocados, pitted
½ cup Chocolate Chips or Cocoa Powder (or try Carob)
¼ cup – ½ cup Milk (or Full Fat Coconut Milk)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
2-6 teaspoons Honey or Maple Syrup

If using chocolate chips, melt them (on a double boiler) before begining. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Use less milk for a thicker mousse, or more milk for a creamier mousse.

Avocado Banana Cupcakes

(with 2 Frosting Options)

For the Cupcakes:
2 tablespoons Milled Flaxseed
5 tablespoons Water
1 ½ cups Gluten Free Flour (my favorite is by Namaste)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 ½ cups Mashed Bananas (about 4 bananas)
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¾ cup Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ cup Mashed Avocado
¼ cup Coconut Oil, melted
*optional Sprinkle Crushed Walnuts on top of frosting

Chocolate Avocado Frosting:
2 super ripe Avocados, pitted
½ cup Cocoa Powder (try Carob powder for a vegan option)
6-8 tablespoons Maple Syrup (or Honey)
¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Avocado “Buttercream” Frosting:
2 super ripe Avocados, pitted
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Pinch of Salt
4-5 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed and water. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture. In well, combine the flaxseed mixture, avocados, coconut oil, mashed bananas, and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, be careful not to overmix. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake in oven for 25-30 min, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Chocolate Frosting:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Chill for 10 minutes before frosting

For the “Buttercream” Frosting:
Combine the lemon juice and avocado in a food processor. Process until completely smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar until you have reached the desired consistency. Chill for 10 minutes before frosting.

Tips for frosting:
These frostings are not traditional cupcake frostings. They don't pipe well and are more like a thick ganache. If you want to pipe your frosting, instead of 2 avocados, use 1 and add 8 tablespoons of shortening or unsalted butter.

Bonus tip! If you are looking for a great dessert for your St. Patrick's Day dinner, the “buttercream” frosting is much healthier than a traditional frosting, and it's GREEN!

     Have fun, play around, make more avocado recipes, and let me know what you think below!

Monday, March 5, 2018


     Gotta love Spring in Florida! The temperatures have been in the 80's-90's, the plants are producing new leaves and flowers, and the oak pollen is EVERYWHERE! So far, the pollen count has been astronomical this year. I mean, it's been so bad that despite my daily use of Goldenrod and Nettle, I have been left with a horrible cough. So the next herb I'm going to turn to is Coltsfoot.

     Tussilago farfara is known by several common names, most of which have to do with the shape of the leaf. It resembles the hoof of a horse, or Coltsfoot. Though the flowers appear long before the leaves, and when the leaves to begin to show, the flowers are gone. The flowers are commonly mistaken for dandelion flowers and they appear around the winter solstice and at the very end of winter, right around spring.

     This herb has been used since the time of Ancient Greece and has been so popular that in 18th Century France, it was used on the signs of every Apothecary. I have used this in my personal practice since the beginning. One of my first formulas for chest congestion included Coltsfoot, Marshmallow, and Comfrey. This combination is one I still tend to use today.

Medicinal Uses:

Common Names- Coughwort, Ass's Foot, Assfoot, Horsehoof, Foalswort, Bull's Foot, Farfara, Trash Plant, Winter Heliotrope

Parts Used- Flowers, stem, and leaves.

Summary of Actions- antiscrofulous, antitussive, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, tonic, slight bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)- Known as Kuan Dong Hua (which translates as “winter-arrive flower”), Coltsfoot is a well known Chinese remedy. Though Chinese herbalists tend to only use the flower and bud, it's used in practically the same way as we use it in the West. It covers both qi and blood aspects. It moistens the lung, transforms the phlegm, and suppresses cough. All of this is due to it's heatless warmness, moistening pungency, and unblocked sweetness. It's acrid and slightly sweet in flavor, warm in properties. The main meridian it's used on is the Lung meridian. It's used in all cases of cough, no matter the cause.

Cough- Tussil means “cough” and ago means “depart.” So it's not wonder that this herb is most often called upon to help dispel cough. Coltsfoot works well when dealing with any kind of cough, and has historically been used for every kind of cough. It works especially well in the case of chronic cough, or coughs that accompany emphysema or silicosis. Historically, a blanket would be soaked in a Coltsfoot preparation and wrapped around a patient with whooping cough.

Smoke It!- Coltsfoot was traditionally smoked (often blended with other herbs) to help treat cough and other chest problems. It has also been known to be added to certain tobacco blends to enhance the smoking experience. Several herbalists recommend Coltsfoot as a tobacco alternative for those looking to quit smoking.

Lungs and Throat- Coltsfoot has traditionally been used to help clear the lungs of infections. It's great to help get out any phlegm that is in your chest. It's been used, since Ancient Greece and Rome, to help open the lungs in cases of asthma, and to relieve bronchial congestion. It's also useful for laryngitis and sore throat. Coltsfoot tea is considered the safest way to achieve these results, but I also like to use Coltsfoot infused honey as well.

Sin Conditions, Hemorrhoids, and Varicose Veins- A poultice of Coltsfoot is also known to work well for skin conditions such as sores, eczema, ulcers, and burns, as well as hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Edible Flowers and Stems- The flowers can be eaten raw, in salad, or fried in honey and are loaded with Vitamin C. The stalks resemble tiny asparagus stalks and have a similar flavor when cooked.

Contraindications and Warnings- Coltsfoot contains hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can lead to cancer or impairment of the liver. Most of these PAs may be destroyed in the process of making preparations, but just in case, use caution. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the use of this herb. People who have allergies to ragweed may have a reaction as it's in the same family. Other people who should avoid this herb include those who have heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure.

I only included a basic introduction to this amazing herb. I hope you have learned a new appreciation for how amazing Coltsfoot is. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.


Coltsfoot: A Modern Herbal:

Coltsfoot: Dr. Vikram Chauhan:

Coltsfoot: Edible Wild Food:

Coltsfoot: Smokeable Herbs:
Coltsfoot Benefits: Indigo Herbs:

Coltsfoot Flower: Ask Dr. Mao:

Coltsfoot-Health Benefits and Side Effects: Herbal Supplement Resource:

Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara): Annie's Remedy:

Coltsfoot-Tussilago Farfara-Kuan Dong Hua-Physical and Psychospiritual Properties: 4 Branches Chinese Medicine Center:

Herb to Know-Coltsfoot: Mother Earth Living:

Tussilago Farfara: Always Ayurveda:

Tussilago Farfara: Chinese Herbs Healing:


Greetings from the Bat Lady!

     Welcome to Bat Lady Herbals.  I have been fascinated by herbs and various herbal uses for quite a few years now.  Plants are amazing t...