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The medicinal uses of cattails include poultices made from the split and bruised roots that can be applied to cuts,wounds, burns, stings, and bruises. The ash of the burned cattail leaves can be used as an antiseptic or styptic for wounds
The utility of this cattail is limited only by your imagination. The dried stalks can be used for hand drills and arrow shafts.
The root contains about 80% carbohydrate (30 - 46% starch) and 6 - 8% protein.
Caution: Young cattail shoots resemble non-poisonous calamus(Acorus calamus), and poisonous daffodil (Amaryllidaceae) and iris (Iris species) shoots, which have similar leaves. If a stand is still topped by last year's cottony seed heads, you know you have the right plant. In spring, the cattail shoot has an odorless, tender, white, inner core that tastes sweet, mild, and pleasant—a far cry from the bitter poisonous plants, or the spicy, fragrant calamus. None of the look-alikes grows more than a few feet tall, so by mid-spring, the much larger cattail becomes unmistakable, even for beginners.
The tiny, bright red larval chigger can scarcely be seen as it scurries along the skin surface seeking an attachment site. When it finds a suitable location, such as a skin pore or hair follicle, it attaches its mouthparts to the spot. On people, the chigger prefers places where clothing fits closely over the skin or where the flesh in thin or wrinkled. Contrary to common belief, it does not penetrate and burrow into the skin or suck blood. Instead, it injects a digestive fluid that disintegrates skin cells so they can be used as food. A feeding “tube” formed by the chigger secretion and skin cells of the host permits the chigger to extract food until it is engorged. After leaving the host, it undergoes further development on the ground.