Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Plantago

Species: Plantago Lanceolata

Common Name: Ribwort Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain, Ribgrass

Ribwort Plantain is a prennial herb 30 to 80 cm high, with a thick rhizome and fibrous roots. Leaves are lanceolate with 3-5 strong parallel veins along, 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, it can actually live anywhere from very dry meadows to places similar to a rain forest, roadsides, open woodlands and grasslands. 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.

CULINARY USE: Ribwort Plantain is a very nutritional leafy vegetable containing Calcium, vitamins A,C, and K. Its young leaves can be eaten raw, but larger leaves get tough and are better when cooked. Leaves have a slightly bitter flavour, they are better added to soups or salads rather then consumed by themselves. The leaves can also be used in a nutritious and medicinal tea rich of vitamins, minerals, mucilage, tannin and silic acid. The roots and seeds can also be eaten, usually cooked, same as the flower buds that work well for making a mushrooms kind of taste stock.

MEDICINAL USE: Like Common PlantainRibwort Plantain is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly staunches blood flow and, as an antimicrobial, encourages the repair of damaged tissue and promote faster healing. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, and as an external antihistamine against  animal stings or bites. The entire plant is astringent, demulcent, mildly expectorant and ophthalmic. Internally, the leaves are used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis and asthma. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion.


This is a 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



2 Responses to “PLANTAGO LANCEOLATA – RIBWORT PLANTAIN: Uses and Benefits

  • Thank you, I have been searching for information about this plants for a while and yours is
    the most detailed I’ve found out so far.

  • Very good information. these plants are so common!

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