Cat’s foot dioecious

Name: Cat’s foot dioecious


Asteraceae – Asteraceae (Compositae).

Parts Used: Inflorescences and all aboveground parts of the plant.

Pharmacy name: cat’s paw flowers – Antennariae dioicae flos (formerly: Flores Antennariae dioicae), cat’s paw grass – Antennariae dioicae herba (formerly: Herba Antennariae dioicae).

Botanical description. Woolly pubescent stems and leaves protect this perennial creeping plant from drying out. A leafy peduncle comes out of the rosette of basal leaves, reaching a height of 20 cm. At the top of it are crowded inflorescences-baskets with male tubular flowers and white leaves of the involucre, also tubular-thread-like female flowers and pink leaves of the involucre. Blooms from June to October. Pastures on depleted soil and sandy dry places are the favorite habitats of the cat’s paw.

Collection and preparation. Collect flowering grass or only inflorescences and dry them in the air.

Active ingredients: tannin, flavonoids and a little essential oil. In addition, resin and bitterness deserve mention.

Healing action and application. I have not been able to see anything more than an additive to tea blends in this plant. Nevertheless, it is considered effective in disorders of the gallbladder and liver, as a fixative for diarrhea and as an emollient for irritating coughs.

Note. There is another medicinal plant, which is often called the cat’s paw – traditional medicine does not always clearly distinguish between them. We are talking about sandy cumin (Helichrysium arenarium [L.] Moench). Its pharmacy name is Flores Stoechados, or Flores Helichrysi, because it uses mainly shiny, bright yellow inflorescences. In many varieties of teas, perhaps even in those that are unlikely to be affected by sandy cumin flowers, they are put for “cosmetics”. He is also credited with a biliary action; in addition, substances with antibacterial action were found in it. (In Russian medicine, cumin is used much more widely than a cat’s paw.)

Application in folk medicine. Both of these species, known in folk medicine under the same name, are used for the same purpose, namely, as a remedy for diarrhea and ailments of the liver and gall bladder, for coughs, metabolic disorders, as a diuretic, and as an additive to many teas. There is no reason to expect side effects.

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