Home » Wild Edibles »
Species: Plantago Lanceolata
Common Name: Ribwort Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain, Ribgrass
Ribwort Plantain is a perennial herb with a thick rhizome and fibrous roots. Leaves are lanceolate with 3-5 strong parallel veins along. The inflorescence is a short spike, densely flowered with white flowers that bring plenty of small seeds.
Very closely related to Plantago Major, it’s very tolerant and can adapt to extreme condition, This plant can actually live anywhere from very dry meadows to places similar to a rain forest, roadsides, open woodlands and grasslands.
Along with being widely diffused, it’s considered invasive in some country. The deep taproot enables this species to withstand periods of drought. Plants will overwinter below ground and, if frosted, they can re-grow from underground.
Ribwort Plantain is a very nutritional leafy vegetable containing Calcium, vitamins A,C, and K. Its young leaves are eaten raw, but larger leaves get tough and are much better cooked. Leaves have a slightly bitter flavor, that makes them more suitable to add them in soups or salad, rather then consumed by themselves. Roots and seeds are also edible, usually cooked, same as the flower buds that work well for making a mushrooms kind of taste stock.
Same as his relative Common Plantain, Ribwort Plantain is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly staunches blood flow and, as an antimicrobial, encourages the repair of damaged tissue to promote faster healing.
The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds or skin inflammations, and as an external antihistamine against animal stings or bites.
The entire plant is astringent, demulcent and ophthalmic. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion. The leaves find also use as a nutritious tea rich of vitamins, minerals, mucilage and tannins.
Yet an other great wild medicinal plant and edible vegetable. For survivalists and woodsman this is a plant you must know because it can help heal wounds, prevent infection and the seeds can serve as a starchy food source.