You have probably seen a hut countless times in your life. They stand like sentinels around ponds and marshes around the world. People have been using them for food, medicine, household goods and appliances for countless generations, and now you can too!
Many people ignore cattails, but they are incredibly useful. In this article, I will be talking about some ways to use these amazing plants.
What are Cattails Anyway?
Cattails are reedy marsh plants that grow worldwide. They are all of the genus type and belong to Typsia Family.
Species you will find in North America usually include mangoes (Typha latifolia), Blue Cottails ()Typa Gluca), Narrowness (Typa angustifolia), and the southern cattail (Typa domingensis). T. Latifolia The species is the most abundant and most common worldwide. Back home in the UK, we call these “bullrushes” or “places of great reed”.
Although some plants have similar-looking leaves, there is no look with that characteristic brown seed head, which makes it easier to cattail.
1. Food and Medicine
Cattails are dramatically known as nature’s supermarkets. Every part of this plant is edible, from its juicy roots to its delicious pollen.
The roots are called “corms”, and you can eat them raw or cooked. They taste like a mixture between corn and potatoes, and are absolutely delicious. Cook young shoots like asparagus, and young buds like corn coke. Once the stalk begins to swell, pollen gathers. You can add it to pancakes and other baked goods, add it to the smoothie, or sprinkle it as a roasted vegan spice.
In terms of medicinal use, you can mash or slice the cream (roots) into the poultice. On top, these are great for reducing pain and swelling in cuts, bruises, burns and scratches. Their mild analgesic properties can also reduce pain, swelling and itching from insect bites and stings. 
2. Fire Starter
You know that amazing “whoosh!” This is when you successfully fire in your first attempt? Okay, dried cattail heads are spot on for that. Here’s a tip: Gather those dry, spent heads in autumn and wrap them in the bark of Gir birch. Never strip the bark of a living tree, but feel free to collect it from independent specimens.
Once you have birch wrapped cattail head “sausages”, place them in your Kindle box. Then, when you want to start a fire, place it in the center of your Kindle pile. Prepare this witness.
The property properties of those dried heads also make them full (albeit quick-burning) torches. Leave them on the stalk and make them desolate if you need light in a dark place for just one minute.
First People have been using cattail fluff as a stuffing for pillows, baby blankets, etc. for thousands of years. Take a cue from them and use this full like that! For example, when making insulated jackets use goose down or in lieu of synthetic polyfill.
You can also use it to make items in children’s toys, or small quilt items such as potholders. My partner even uses it to fill small hexie puffs weave for her beekeeper’s quilt. They’re really alcoholic!
Matt does not get the love and respect he deserves. Most of us now and then come to the placemat on the table, but you can use these things for many purposes. Keep them near the door to keep shoes and boots. I like them as floor coverings in outdoor shelters, and when I go hiking, I usually take them together. Just roll up like a yoga mat, and when you have to sit on a forging or picnic, you have a neat thing.
6. Chair Seats
Woven cattail leaves make surprisingly strong chair seats. Additionally, green, plant stems can be woven like rattan to make feces and otters.
Those long, thin leaves actually make strong umbilical cord as well. You will need to cut them into fine strips to make them smooth, but this is an easy task. In fact, if there are small humans around, convince them to do it for you. Then make a three- or four-edged fillet to make a strong twine.
Indigenous people have been weaving cattail baskets from time to time. Long green leaves are perfect for weaving, and they will make strong baskets of all shapes and sizes. You can also use them for container gardens and raised beds! They will last as long as your growing season, and you can fertilize what is left of them in the fall.
I am very big in making my instruments as possible. When it comes to building equipment, shelter, etc., being able to use items from the land where I am living makes me feel like I am a part of it, not just a visitor.
As you can imagine, I’m glad to know that I can use cattail reeds as arrow shafts! They pair really well with homemade arrows and are both straight and strong: two great features for a successful arrow.
10. Fish Basket Trap
This goes with the woven baskets described earlier. You can use a combination of stalks and leaves to make a fish net.
11. Lean-to Shelter
It is important to know how to build an emergency shelter, just in case you ever need it. Sure, it is a great idea to check the weather before camping. But inclement weather or unexpected tremors can occur at any time. If a big gust of wind blows your tent, the way to build lean and thin can keep you from rain and sunlight.
Cattails are perfect for this type of structure. You can use their long, strong stalks to support the walls. Then weave your long leaves between them.
Additionally, you can weave large mats from the leaves and use them as a roof for all types of shelters. Build a double layer, and you’ll basically have a weatherproof roof for any structure.
You can convert various catalytic parts into clothes and accessories. Di, you probably don’t want to wear underwear among them, but they are remarkably good for some other heavy-duty items.
Remember how we mentioned that cattail leaves can be woven into mats and baskets? well guess what? You can make yourself some crappy looking hats using the same weaving techniques! Check out this tutorial by Urban Tutorials on how to weave cassettes in Fedora.
How could anyone look at this hat and not have their own wants. Of course, you can make a cattail hat in any size of your choice, preferring to wear the big floppy hats that women prefer to wear to their peons.
Have you ever worn a traditional snowshoe? If so, you’ve probably noticed that they are woven in a way that distributes weight across the surface of the ice. Okay, the long, thin leaves of these plants are basically perfect for making snowshoes. Whether you are searching for traditional crafts or you are in an emergency, knowing how these can be extremely beneficial for you.
Remember the mats and baskets we talked about earlier? Okay, if you bend a mat (or weave) into a thin “U” shape, you have a perfect place to carry it around you. You will need to take the sides off or weave, but it will look the same as a laptop bag after you are done. Then, attach a cord or strap to it, and you can carry the necessary equipment with you.
Cataille dolls have been popular in Lapland and Finland (and probably most other places) for thousands of years. Many different Native American and Canadian Aborigines also used cattails to make small toy figures to play with their children.
You can also make toy ducks out of them (and possibly many other animal figures). Although I haven’t tried it myself, I think you can make balls for smack as well.
As you can see, you can use these amazing plants in countless different ways. I only touched on some of them here! I’m guessing there are dozens, if not hundreds of other uses for them that I haven’t heard of yet. It just loves me and respects these plants.
- LS Black Elk et al: Culturally important plants of Lakota; Sitting Bull College Publishing, 1998
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