PLANTAIN: Properties of a Common yet Precious Plant

Family: Plantaginaceae

Species: Plantago Major

Common Name: Greater Plantain, Broadleaf Plantain, Common Plantain

Plantain  is a perennial broadleaf plant that grows the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal crops around the world. Plantain has oval shaped leaves revealing string-like veins, with thick stems that meet at the base and grow in a rosette. Flowers rise well above the foliage and contain a small pod housing dark seeds held by the narrow spikes.

Each plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds. We can find this miraculous plant growing nearly everywhere, from meadows to pastures, lawns and roadsides. It does particularly well in compacted soils, adapting easily to extreme conditions, such maritime exposure. This edible wild plant is the most effective medicinal herb you could ever dream of having! 

CULINARY USES OF PLANTAIN

The entire plant is edible, slightly bitter and highly nutritious, rich in calcium and other minerals as well as in vitamins A, C, and K. Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked as greens.

hey have a fibrous filament similar to celery, that is better remove by quickly boil the leaves before adding them to your mix salad. Seeds can be eaten raw, cooked and grounded into a meal. They are numerous and easy to collect, I personally grow microgreens from them as much as I have a chance of pick some during my walks in the woods.

MEDICINAL NUMEROUS PROPERTIES OF PLANTAIN

Plantain contains many bioactive compounds, it’s a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly arrest blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. For this reason a poultice of the fresh leaves is traditionally applied on the skin to treat minor burns, insect and viper bites, open wounds and stings. You basically just need to chew some leaves and apply the poultice directly on the issue.

The root of plantain was also traditionally used to treat wounds, as well as to treat fever and respiratory infections. The plant extract has a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant and antibiotic. Due to its astringent properties, plantain leaf tea is very effective to treat diarrhea. Given his highly nutritious proprieties, the tea simultaneously replenishes the nutrients lost as a result of diarrhea.

Although this powerful plant is widely available around us, it’s important to pick our favorite wild herbs away from polluted roads, where they could be full of dirt and toxins.

 


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