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12 x 12 relief carved bulrush ceramic tile set done in charcoal and mocha cream.
All over the world wherever conditions are right the Typha (bulrush) can be found. It reproduces through seed and root, both of which are able to survive periods of drought and flood. It is amongst the most efficient water filtering plants, helping to clear toxins (including arsenic) from the areas it grows. Besides being low maintenance, environmentally cleansing and uniquely ornate, typha has a variety of uses and is quite edible. There is evidence of it having been commonly eaten by people in Europe during the late paleolithic era, some 30,000 years ago. For thousands of years the native inhabitants of the places it grows used the bulrush for many things. It is a year round crop, in winter the rhizomes can be harvested to make a very nutritious high calorie flour. The rootstock when mashed to a paste is effective for treating rashes, boils, wounds and burns, or boiled and used as a diuretic. In spring the base of the leaves are tender, eaten raw or cooked. Come early summer green flower heads can be boiled and eaten in much the same fashion as corn on the cob. The pollen can be collected in mid summer for a flour supplement or thickener. Bulrush heads dipped in wax or fat can be used as candles with the stem as the wick. After it has gone to seed, the down produced by the typha is good for tinder, stuffing for clothes and bedding as well as liner for diapers, acting as a natural baby powder. And the starch of the plants can be used instead of cereals as an efficient way to make ethanol. So Cheers to the bulrush!