- Industrial and Crafts Applications
Narrowleaf rush is used for making materials that can be used for floor and wall covering, for basketry and shoe making. It can be either waved or braided, and its knot structure allows for an acupuncture massage of the body. Its leaves produce resin that is water-resistant and used as a bio-covering for barrels and fabric.
- Historical or Cultural Uses
Historically, rush was used as the base material for creating floor and wall covering, bedding, baskets, and bags, and for shoe soles. Due to its properties, fast dispersal and growing, it has been an easily accessible and rather durable material, serving as a good hydro and thermal isolator. Depending on the type, it had a nutritive value as well, due to the high content of starch in its root, and its harvest season being during the autumn and sometimes winter months. Its growth has been encouraged around natural and artificial fishponds as it served as a bio-mediator, or water purifier. It has a wide use in traditional medicine, from remedying wounds and ulcers to being used as a diuretic and stomach-bug remedy. Extracts made from its roots are used in the treatment of whooping cough.
- Environmental Impact
Narrowleaf rush plant is easily dispersed and fast growing, and it can quickly lead to overpopulating the areas of shallow waters. However, as it is a bio-mediator, it purifies the waters and allows for other inhabitants such as fish and amphibians to thrive. When used as a material, it leaves no negative environmental impact, as the plant is cut and not pulled from the roots, therefore allowing its regrowth, and the traditional crafts using it produce eco-friendly and biodegradable objects.
- Innovative or Emerging Applications
The biomass of rush plant can be used as a feedstock for the production of bioplastic, nanocellulose, and other microbial materials. It is used for the extraction of coumarin – natural, aromatic secondary plant substance used in green and natural cosmetics production.