Survival Plants 2: The Most Important Survival Plant in the World

Okay some of you might think that the title of this blog is an exaggeration, but I'm being serious. This plant might be the single most useful and important plant for survival purposes on the planet. It's certainly one of, if not the most useful, in the northern hemisphere. Here's a picture:

This plant, Cattail also known as Bulrush or punk can be used to meet almost all of your survival needs. It has an edible portion year round: shoot, root/tuber, pollen, and male pollen cone. You can make incredibly warm shelters with piles of cattails and can also use them to make mats, a survival "sleeping bag", hats, visors, rain capes, thatching, even boats! The stalk can be used for a hand-drill fire. The seed pod (the part that looks like a hotdog) can be used as a tinder bundle or a torch.

The plant also is highly medicinal with a antiseptic, antimicrobial gelly at its base and the pollen is really good at stopping bleeding both topically and internally.

So, food, shelter, fire, and medicine all in one. The only other plant that I know of that gives cattail a run for its money is bamboo!!!


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Jon Young  is a deep nature-people-self connection researcher, mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, author, workshop leader, consultant, sought after public speaker and storyteller. Jon has been mentored in deep nature connection by his own grandmothers, Tom Brown, Jr. and a host of elders and experts. As a leader in the field of nature-based community building over 30 years, Jon’s research into the impact and significance of nature on mentoring, human intelligence, spiritually, well-being and development has influenced tens of thousands of people worldwide.  Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). Jon has appeared in numerous documentaries including The Animal Communicator (2012). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his innovative work, which has inspired positive developments in the field, and fostered the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level. Jon is a father of six children, and lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his partner, Sarah


Sarah is a energywork practitioner, bodyworker, wildlife tracker, and interspecies communicator. She has studied wildlife tracking through Shikari Tracker Mentoring with Jon Young and Josh Lane, Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, and Cybertracker Conservation. She is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and studied Interspecies Communication with Anna Breytenbach and Wynter Worsthorne. 


For over 19 years, Sarah has been practicing various healing modalities including Chakra-work, Craniosacral Therapy, Meridian Therapy, Qi Gong, Emotional Clearing, and Five Elements Herbalism. She currently offers Earth-based energywork sessions, and lives in the sandhill mountains near Santa Cruz, CA with her partner Jon.