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Catsfoot (Antennaria dioica)

Gnaphalium dioicum.

This local herb is an amazing blood and liver cleanser, add to dandelion root and / or burdock root for a detoxing tea that stimulates bile and supports gall bladder and digestive processes. It’s anti-tussive properties can be combined with mullein to make a cough remedy tea that soothes sore throats with emollient factors.

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Antennaria dioica

A good ground cover plant for sunny positions. Rather slow to spread, however, and it requires weeding for at least the first year[197]. Plants form a carpet and root as they spread[208].

Parts used: arial fuzzy catfoot that can be mistaken for flowers before flowering. (after it flowers you will clearly see the difference – the flower stamens and petals extend from these fuzzy paws)
Forage in early spring before it flowers, Dries easily for year round use as tea.

  • Medicinal Use

    Historically used in mixtures for the treatment of bronchitis and bilious conditions[268].

    The whole plant is antitussive, astringent, cholagogue, discutient, diuretic and emollient[4, 7, 9, 21]. The plant is very rich in mucilage which makes it very valuable in the treatment of chest complaints[7]. It is also used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder complaints, hepatitis and diarrheas [238]. Externally it is used as a gargle for treating tonsillitis and as a douche for vaginitis[238]. The herb is gathered in May before it comes into flower and can be dried for later use[7].

    Improves the appetite as it stimulates bile flow, gastric juices and pancreatic secretions. Good treatment for nausea, bloated feelings and constipation related to IBS.

  • Edible Use

    Used as tea for medical uses listed above. Will turn hot water a light green and may be re-brewed until color runs clear, usually once or twice more. 2-3 “fuzzy” heads with stems attached are used per 8oz cup. 6-9 if boiling a tea kettle worth.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in cold frame and only just cover the seed. Do not allow the soil to dry out. The seed germinates in 1 -2 months at 15¡c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring of the following year[K]. Division in spring or autumn. Fairly easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Prefers a light well-drained soil in full sun, succeeding in poor soils[1, 133, 200]. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. This species is very susceptible to slug damage, the young growth in spring is particularly at risk[K]. Tolerates light treading[200]. The flowers are sometimes cut and used as ‘everlasting flowers’ since they dry well and keep their colour[7]. Plants are usually dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Some male plants have a few hermaphrodite flowers, though these are usually sterile. Apomictic flowers are also produced[17], these produce seed without sexual fertilization, each seedling being a clone of the parent plant.
Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and W. Asia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.