Herb: Catsfoot


Latin name: Antennaria dioica


Synonyms: Gnaphalium dioicum


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Catsfoot:

Catsfoot has been little used in herbal medicine though it was once used in mixtures for the treatment of bronchitis and bilious conditions. The whole plant is antitussive, astringent, cholagogue, discutient, diuretic and emollient. The plant is very rich in mucilage which makes it very valuable in the treatment of chest complaints. It is also used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder complaints, hepatitis and diarrhoea. Externally it is used as a gargle for treating tonsillitis and as a douche for vaginitis. The herb is gathered in May before it comes into flower and can be dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Perennial

Height:
12 cm
(4 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Mountain grassland, heaths, dry pastures and woodland edges, usually on calcareous soils.

Other uses of Catsfoot:

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

Propagation of the herb:

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 15C. 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. Division in spring or autumn. Fairly easy, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Cultivation of Catsfoot:

Mountain grassland, heaths, dry pastures and woodland edges, usually on calcareous soils.

Known hazards of Antennaria dioica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.