MISCELLANEOUS USES OF PLANTS, FM 21-76

MISCELLANEOUS USES OF PLANTS

9-33. Plants can be your ally as long as you use them cautiously. Be sure that you know the plant and how to use it. Some additional uses of plants are as follows:

  • Make dyes from various plants to color clothing or to camouflage your skin. Usually, you will have to boil the plants to get the best results. Onionskins produce yellow, walnut hulls produce brown, and pokeberries provide purple dye.
  • Make fibers and cordage from plant fibers. Most commonly used are the stems from nettles and milkweeds, yucca plants, and the inner bark of trees like the linden.
  • Make tinder for starting fires from cattail fluff, cedar bark, lighter knot wood from pine trees, or hardened sap from resinous wood trees.
  • Make insulation by fluffing up female cattail heads or milkweed down.
  • Make insect repellents by placing sassafras leaves in your shelter or by burning or smudging cattail seed hair fibers.

9-34. Whether you use plants for food, medicine, or the construction of shelters or equipment, the key to their safe use is positive identification.

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