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A single case of liver disease in an infant has led to concern around the levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids present in coltsfoot. Germany went so far as the bann the sale of coltsfood in response to the aforementioned case in 1992.1 Therefore, coltsfoot should not be taken during pregnancy or breast-feeding.2
Other Important Information
There is a plant called western coltsfoot (petastites frigidus) which contains higher amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and is therefore not recommended for use.
- Roulet M, Laurini R, Rivier L, Calame A. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease in newborn infant of a woman drinking herbal tea. J Pediatrics 1988;112:433–6.
- McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 117–8.