Plantain is a green plant that is low-growing, it has oval, flat, ribbed and short stemmed leaves. Its leaves can actually grow up to approximately 4″ wide and 6″ long. Plantain can send up a leafless flower stock in fall/summer – sometimes the stalks can grow up to 10″ inches tall. They grow everywhere in the world: in Asia, America, Africa, Australia, Europe and New Zealand as well.
People used this herb in ancient times as a natural remedy. It contains a lot of calcium and beta carotene. It provides vitamin K and ascorbic acid as well.
Some of its medicinal properties are: antimicrobial, astringent, anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, demulcent, diuretic and styptic. You can eat the leaf fresh and raw or add it in different salads. Because plantain has anti-inflammatory properties it can be amazing for decreasing the pain and itch related to different skin problems.
The leaves are amazing for minor sores, insect bites, boils and rashes caused by poison-ivy. You can use it for bronchitis and coughs, as a tincture, tea or syrup.
The seed and leaves are medicinal and used as an antidote, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, cardiac, antitussive, diuretic, demulcent, haemostatic, expectorant, vermufuge, laxative, poultice, ophthalmic and refrigerant.
Plantain Leaf and Respiratory Problems
In Bulgaria there were 2 clinical trials. They documented that plantain is very effective for chronic bronchitis. The plant acts as a demulcent, such as glycerin and pectin that are very common ingredients in throat drops and cough syrups. Demulcents can relieve small irritation and discomfort by creating a soothing film over the mucous membrane that was affected.
Support bone and eye health and immune system
Plantain leaves contain a lot of vitamin C and we all know that vitamin C is crucial for optimal immune system. The leaves contain a lot of vitamin A as well that is amazing for eye health and it also prevents macular degeneration, that can cause blindness.
The plantain can help for different health problems. The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy by Dr. Finley Ellingwood, MD, in 1919, says that plantain is very effective against diarrheal conditions, rashes and bites on the skin, all blood diseases, injuries, different glandular diseases, female disorders and mercury poisoning.
According to Life Advancer “Plantain is like a panacea for our body and it can treat everything, from digestive problems to all menstrual difficulties, to almost all skin problems and even arthritis”.
You can add it to salads, enjoy it in stir fries or chew it to ease thirst. It is a versatile wild vegetable that will maintain your health or many years.
Plantain Herbal Tea
• 1 tbsp. fresh or dry whole Plantain (root, seed and leaves)
• 1 cup of boiling water
*If you want sweet taste add 1 sp Manuka honey
Add the fresh or dry plantain in the boiling water and leave it to steep for 10 min. Afterwards strain it. If you want sweet tea add honey. Drink the tea and enjoy.