Botanical Name: plantago major
- A wonder weed! It is able to help cure so many ailments. A must in any herbal medicine cabinet.
- Brought over from Europe because of its culinary and medicinal uses.
- Nickname is "White Man's Foot" or "Englishman's Foot" because it seemed to grow wherever a European walked in America.
- There are over 200 varieties of plantain worldwide.
Location found: Plantain grows almost anywhere; if there is some dirt in a small crack, plantain will grow there. Spreads through seeds.
Identification: has large oval to round leaves with the veins running the length of the leaf in a straight pattern. Grow low to the ground.
Edible Parts: root, stem, leaves, flower
- Harvest the young leaves, older leaves get very tough
- Do not pick near roads, walkways or other areas where there is potential of the area having been sprayed with chemicals.
- Use in salads or can steam it like spinach
- Immature flower stems can be eaten raw or cooked
- A panacea to cure many ills
- As a diuretic, is useful for bladder and kidney problems
- As a tea or tincture, can aid in indigestion, heartburn and ulcers
- It is great for mosquito bites (and other insect bites), skin rashes, itching or pain related to the skin because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Create a poltice by taking a leaf, chew it slightly to release the oils and chemicals and then place on the bite.
- Will help alleviate the itch symptoms from poison oak, sumac and poison ivy
- The antifungal properties can be used through a decoction on things like ringworm.
- Because it is a styptic, will stop minor bleeding when applied to the wound
- For ear infections, a tea or infusion can be poured into the ear (if ear drum has not burst) to help ease the pain and heal more quickly
- As a deobstuent, can help remove slivers, venom or other foreign particles.
- Helps with weight loss. Take before eating as it contains musilage, which is an appetite suppressant.
- Is safe and effective as an astringent and antibacterial soother for the throat and laryngitis.
- Helps depress the secretion of mucus in the lungs.
- Use for asthma, hay fever and lung infections.
- It is also said if taken as an infusion internally, it can help the body deal with the effects of chemotheropy and improve blood sugar.