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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



PUSSYTOES
a.k.a Cat's Ear, Catsfoot, Life Everlasting, Cudweed, Herbe Impious, Mountain everlasting
(Antennaria dioica syn Gnaphalium dioica)
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Also see: Lesser Pussytoes, Pearly Life Everlasting, Plantain-leaved Pussytoes

A small perennial member of the Compositae family. Native to Europe, Asia, America to the Arctic regions and Great Britain where it is found in abundance. The name is derived from the look alike "antennae" of a butterfly. Flowers are male or female and appear in early summer. Male flowers are white while female tend to be a pinkish hue. The odor is stronger in the female flowers and the taste is astringent. There is a cultivated variety called A.d. "Rosea".

PART USED: Flowering herb.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Astringent, discutient, (causing the dispersal of a tumor or any pathological accumulation), diuretic and aromatic. Also cholagogue (stimulates bile flow).
Has been used to stimulate flow of gastric juices and pancreatic secretions. Stimulates liver and gall bladder, and RAISES BLOOD PRESSURE.
Has been used for chronic problems of the biliary passages, for liver and gall bladder complaints, for hepatitis and for diarrhea.
Has been used for quincy, mumps, and formerly for snakebite.
Has been used externally as a gargle for tonsillitis and as a douche for vaginitis.
Has been used as a mouthwash (1 oz. flowering herb, 1 oz. raspberry leaves and 1 oz. tincture of of myrrh).
Infusion has been used as a gargle and fomentation: 1 tsp fresh or dried flowering herb with 1/2 C. boiling water, steeped 10 minutes (1/2 to 1 C. taken daily)....OR...1 oz. herb to 1 pint boiling water, steeped 10 minutes and taken in wineglassful doses.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
INFUSION = 1/2 to 1 C. daily
FLUID EXTRACT = 1/2 to 1 drachm



PUSSY TOES, LESSER
a.k.a Lesser Cat's foot
(Antennaria neglecta)
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Was used in the same manner as Antennaria plantaginifolia. Also utilized in the same manner following childbirth.



PUSSY TOES, PLANTAIN LEAVED
a.k.a Indian Tobacco, Ladies Tobacco, Life Everlasting, Love's Test, Poor Robin, Rattlesnake Plantain, Scinjachu, Spring Cudweed, Squirrel ear, White Plantain
(Antennaria plantaginifolia)
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Also see: Pussytoes, Lesser Pussytoes

Native to dry woods and fields of Eastern US.

USES

MEDICINAL:

Pectoral and expectorant.
Has been used for coughs, fevers, bruises, inflammations, debility, and formerly for rattlesnake bites.
Boiling the plant in milk was a folk remedy for diarrhea and dysentary.
The tea was drunk for lung ailments.
The leaves were poulticed on bruises, sprains, boils and swellings.
Meskwaki tribe members took the tea of the leaves daily for 2 weeks after childbirth.
German Canadians used a tea of the leaves for dysentary.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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