Cattail

Cattail (Pu Huang)

Cattail (Pu Huang)

Latin Name: Typha angustifolia, T. latifolia

Cattails are a medicine and a food. The pollen is most frequently used as a wonderful herb to stop internal and external bleeding. Used for centuries by the Chinese and Native Americans cattails have been used as stuffing for pillows, to stop postpartum bleeding and as a vegetable in stews and salads. The pollen is high in protein. The plants help regulate the cardiovascular system, by preventing clotting and lowering blood lipids.

Below is an overview of Cattail, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Cattail.

Discover Radical Health Through Energetic & Natural Healing!

Support your unique goals using the natural and energetic worlds around you. Sign up, FREE, and get our 8-step guide on how to choose the right herb for you and some of our most popular Healing Herb Fact Sheets! Find out more >

FREE 8-Step Guide On Choosing The Right Herbs For You!

Safely and effectively choose the right herb(s) to treat your condition or unique set of needs...

Western

Western Name: Cattail

Also Known As: Reedmace, Bulrush, Punks, Corn Dog Grass

Organs/Systems: Uterous, Wounds, Cardiovascular System

Key Western Actions: Cardiotonic, Anti-inflammatory, Diuretic, Analgesic, Anti-asthamtic, Hemostatic, Astringing, Emenagogue, Antiseptic, Coagulant

Medicinal Uses: Cuts, bruises, postpartum bleeding, menstrual disorders, asthma, wheezing, painful urination.

Eastern

Pin Yin: Pu Huang (Cattail Pollen)

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Liver, Heart, Spleen

Key TCM Actions: Stops Bleeding, Removes Stasis, Aids Birthing, Promotes Lactation, Promotes Urination

Medicinal Uses: Bloody noses, traumatic bleeding, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, postpartum bleeding, uterine bleeding, vomiting blood and blood in the urine, prevents miscarriage and retained placenta, difficult painful urination, vaginal discharge, promotes lactation. Mixed with honey to heal wounds.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

T. angustifolia is slightly smaller in size than T. latifolia, both plants have similar structures and properties.

It grows in wet marshes and wetlands.

Cattail (Pu Huang) Parts Most Frequently Used: Pollen, Jelley from Leaves, Roots, Young Sprouts

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Slightly Acrid, Neutral

Caution: Very low toxicity. Due to the plant’s strong hemostatic properties, use with caution during pregnancy.

History/Folklore: Cattail provided Native Americans with food, medicine, and even clothing. The early American settlers similarly, made good use of cattails.  The leaves have been used to weave shoes, mats, and baskets.  Cattail wool from the hairs of the female inflorescence has been used to stuff pillows and to fill shoes in the winter.  The roots have been ground into flour and the white colored shoots at the base of the leaf clusters can be boiled or steamed or sliced and eaten raw in salads.

Cattail pollen is collected in summer, and dried in the sun, ground and sifted into powder. The plants bloom May to July. The young root stalks can be pulled off in early spring and eaten in stir fries and other vegetable dishes.  The young flower heads can be prepared and eaten like corn-on-the-cob.  The pollen is scraped off, dried and used as flour and the roots can be peeled and boiled, or dried and ground as flour.  However, the flour made form the pollen is considered the best.  Be careful to know the condition of the water that you are sourcing your cattail food and medicine from as the plants are amazing at ingesting toxicities out of the local environment.

The jelly that grows between the young leaves has antiseptic properties that make it good to use for wounds, boils and skin infections.  It is also used as a soup thickener.

The leaves can be boiled to use as an external ski wash and the mashed roots can be crushed and used as toothpaste.  The root Powder in a cup of hot water will help stop diarrhea and dysentery.

In China, there is a famous soup called “milk soup of cattail” (Nai Tang Pu Cai).  Its popularity dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Because of its milky white color, crisp texture and refreshing light flavor, it is a dish often served at important meals and festivals. Cattails are a symbol of peace and have traditionally been given as peace offerings between friends and lovers if they have been quarreling.  They are also considered a symbol of prosperity.

The Native American Pueblo Indians associate cattails with water and rain and they are used in there ceremonial rain dances. The Mexican kickapoos associate cattails with water serpents and therefore make special offerings to the snake people before gathering the plants for medicines or food. The Navajo believe cattails protect against lightening and many tribes of the Southwest use the plants pollen as traditional face paint.

Often used in Chinese formulas to help treat IBS and Crohn’s disease.

Cattails grown in poisoned arsenic water had reduced the poisonous level by 89%.

Cattail is a raw material for manufacturing paper and rayon.

Key Constituents:

Protein, Flavonoids, Sterols, Polysaccharides, Amino acids, Trace elements (Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Iodine, Selenium), Volatile oil.
Did you know?

Protein Rich

Cattail pollen is rich in protein.
Facts

Edible Vegetable

Cattail is an edible crispy wild vegetable, especially the soft white part of the cauloid and the young part at the tip of the cattail roots.

Fun fact!

Used in Decoctions

If used in decoction the pollen is usually taken separately, though it can also be placed in a cheese cloth if it is to be cooked with other herbs.

FREE 8-Step Guide On Choosing The Right Herbs For You!

Safely and effectively choose the right herb(s) to treat your condition or unique set of needs.

GET STARTED

WRI's Healing Herb Fact Sheets, FREE Trial!

Sign up for immediate access to some of our most popular Fact Sheets and find out for yourself why 85,000+ people have already signed up!

JOIN FREE TRIAL

Herbs That Heal

Medicinal & Culinary Herbs That Heal - New Book Coming Soon!

Sign up to be notified when my new book is released! Explore 184 Healing Herbs for Body, Mind, and Spirit.

GET NOTIFIED

Discover Radical Health Through Energetic & Natural Healing!

Support your unique goals using the natural and energetic worlds around you.

Find out for yourself why 85,000+ people have already signed up! Get our 8-step guide on how to choose the right herb for you and some of our most popular Healing Herb Fact Sheets! They're our gift to you.

Get Your FREE Guide!

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!