Plantain or Plantago major
Plantain or Plantago Major is often found growing wild in gardens, lawns, backyards, drives and along the roadsides . The leaves give away their
identity. They have a ruffled texture as if strung on veins of elastic. They are also slightly bowl-shaped.
The flowers are tiny and mostly eclipsed by the greenish-brown sepals and bracts. The flowering stalks rise high above the foliage. The plants produce many tiny, bitter-tasting seeds.
The leaves and seeds are edible. You can add the leaves in a salad if gathered while they are still very young and tender.
As they age they become tough and fibrous, but they can be cooked
in soups and stews.
The plantain herb has many medicinal qualities. It is anti inflammatory,
analgesic, antioxidant, immune modulating and a weak whole-body antibiotic.
Healing Wounds, Sores, Insect Bites
A poultice made from crushed plantain leaves is a good choice to
promote healing in minor wounds, sores and insect bites. It will ward
off infection and reduce inflammation.
If the wound is infected, combine plantain with an herb with more antibiotic action such as juniper, or goldenseal.
To make a poultice, crush or bruise fresh plantain leaves and apply
them directly to the affected skin. Cover the leaves with a gauze
wrapping to hold it in place. Change the poultice two to three times
A piece of cotton soaked in Plantain Tincture is also effective.
Cystitis, Diarrhea, Respiratory Tract Infections
The juice of common plantain is beneficial for calming inflammation of the mucous membranes, the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and urinary tract. Take 2 teaspoons of freshly pressed plantain juice, three times daily. For heavy mucus and allergies,use a Plantain Tincture.
Place bruised plantain leaves on sore teeth to relieve swelling, infection, and pain. Hold in place as needed, until the pain is gone. Dried leaves can also be used.
Sore Throats, Inflammation of the Gums
Add a tablespoon of pressed plantain juice to a half cup of water and use
this as a gargle at the first sign of a sore throat or inflammation in gum tissue.
Plantain seeds are excellent at relieving constipation because of the fiber
and mucilage released in the infusion. I recommend drinking 1 cup of
Plantain Seed Infusion at bedtime to relieve constipation. Be sure to
consume the liquid and seeds.
Plantain for Autoimmune Diseases
For autoimmune conditions and other chronic diseases, drink Plantain Tea twice daily. The benefits build up over time so must be drunk daily to see the full benefits.
Recipe for Plantain Tea
Place 1 teaspoon dried plantain leaves or 1 tablespoon of fresh plantain leaves into a cup of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain out leaves and drink.
Most herbalists use Vodka and it must be at least 80% proof (40% vol) You can buy a stronger alcohol (about 99% proof on Amazon and we have provided the links.
You’ll need fresh plantain leaves, 100 proof vodka or other drinking alcohol and jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Fill the jar with fresh plantain leaves that have been sliced into thin ribbons or chopped into small pieces. Pour vodka over the leaves and fill the jar, making sure all the leaves are covered. Cap the jar tightly and place it in a cool, but sunny location such as a windowsill. Let the tincture marinate for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking the jar daily. Add more alcohol, if
needed to keep the jar full.
After the the 6-8 weeks, you will need to strain. Pour the alcohol through a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter to remove all of the herbs. Then put into small dropper bottles as tinctures are measured by drops and taken from a bottle using a dropper. Store the tincture in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 7 years. Dosage: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Below I have recommended bottles from Amazon which are very reasonably priced and use myself.
Dosages: 1 dropperful is approx 35 drops = 1/4 teaspoon 2.5 dropperfuls = 1/2 teaspoon and 5 dropperfuls = 1 teaspoon.
There are no known safety factors in taking this herb tincture but pregnant women should take advice and not be given to small children.
Now make up an infused oil: wash and then cut up the plantain leaves. Fill a jar with the leaves (about 1/2 of the jar) add your preferred oil, screw on the cap and leave on a sunny windowsill for about a month or more if possible.
It’s from this oil we’ll make a salve, a lovely ointment that can be applied to skin safely. Recipe and instructions, follow the link:
Check out our Amazon page for many of the products you’ll need at very good prices.