Used for centuries as a panacea, a medicinal
cure-all, The leaves, seeds, and roots have been used as an antibacterial,
antidote, antitoxin, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive,
cardiac, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, laxative,
ophthalmic, poultice, refrigerant, and vermifuge. One Native
American name for the plant translates to "life medicine".
Plantain was even mentioned in Shakespeare's play Romeo and
There are two
ingredients in this "wonder drug" One is Allantoin,
while the other is the glycoside Aucubin. Allantoin is a natural
cell proliferant which helps our bodies regenerate damaged tissue. Aucubin
has been reported in the Journal Of Toxicology as a powerful
anti-toxin. Aucubin is a defensive compound commonly found in many
plants. It is thought to reduce the growth rate of many generalist
I have long
hypothesized it is this ability to decrease cellular growth rate
which is behind the performance of Plantago spp. as an excellent antitoxin, and antibacterial
agent. Recent clinical studies have shown that Aucubin removes the
ability of bacteria and viruses to replicate their DNA. These
organisms have a short life span. Their virulence is a direct
result of their ability to quickly split into new organism,
thereby perpetuating the infection.
the reasons for Plantain's medicinal effects, I have experienced first hand the magical healing
properties of this wonderful plant. I feel it is the first and
perhaps the most important medicinal plant a person can and should
Common plantain, great plantain,
english plantain, narrow leaf plantain
Plantago major: A perennial herbaceous plant growing in a
Plantago lanceolata: A perennial herbaceous
plant that prefers to grow amongst a variety of other plants,
usually in fields and meadows
Can reach 12-18 inches in height.
Plantago major: Broad, ovate, with
prominent raised veins that run parallel to one another
along the length of the underside of the leaf. The base of
the leaf stem may be purple in color.
Plantago lanceolata: As the name
implies, the leaves are lance shaped, or grass-like, and
prefer to grow amongst a variety of other plants, usually in
fields and meadows
Leafstalks emanate from a fibrous root
Plantago major: The plant puts forth a
densely clustered, green flowered stalk, which later bears
Plantago lanceolata: The summer flower
stalk of this variety rises a couple of feet from the ground
and is capped by a tiny, green cattail-like "cob", from
which little tiny flowers sparsely bloom in a halo.
While there are no poisonous look alikes,
if you slowly break the stem of the plantain leaf and pull apart slowly,
you will notice the veins remain attached. This is a simple test to verify
you have the correct plant.
Compacted disturbed soils.
lawns, pastures, meadows, cracks in
sidewalks, waste places and disturbed habitats throughout the
Leaves, seeds, roots.
Wild Food Uses:
Add leaves to salads, or use as a cooked
The following text is
meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or
treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other
qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of
any illness or injury.
Used for centuries as a panacea (a medicinal
contains Allantoin, a natural cell proliferant, which has been
shown to speed up the natural replacement of cells. This explains
the almost miraculous healing benefits I have experienced with
this plant. I mix plantain and comfrey in a healing ointment that
is positively amazing. Follow this
for photographic evidence of the amazing healing benefits of this
I have had wonderful effect using the leaves to treat
insect bites and stings, as well as treating blisters, cuts, scrapes,
and dry itchy skin. I have also used it to soothe the rashes
associated with poison ivy and poison oak. My son came home from his mother's house covered in
mosquito bites. He was itching himself crazy. I applied some
plantain ointment I had made, and he stopped itching almost
instantly. The next day, there was no swelling or inflammation,
and most of the bites were completely gone. My son had to undergo
allergy testing. As picture #1 shows, his skin reacted almost
immediately. Once the doctor evaluated his reaction, I immediately
applied an ointment of Plantain and Jewelweed. As you can see by
picture #2, the reaction was gone a short time later.
This picture was taken just after
allergens were applied
This picture was taken a little while
after applying the Plantain and Jewelweed ointment.
Here is a
link to the recipe for
my Plantain and Jewelweed Ointment
There is even
anecdotal evidence of a woman chewing plantain leaves into a
paste, and applying it to a brown recluse sting. Here is a
brown recluse story. Caution, the pictures are quite graphic.
To treat a bite or sting, simply chew a few
leaves into a paste, and apply it directly to the sting. It may be
necessary to hold it in place with a bandage, piece of gauze, or
tape. When the paste dries simply reapply. For use during the off
season, you may want to make an oil, or ointment to keep around
the house in case of bites or stings. Here is a
link to the preparation of a
highly effective Plantain Ointment that I use to treat insect
bites and stings, as well as cuts and scrapes that were obtained
under less than sterile conditions. I carry a small tin of
Plantain and Jewelweed Ointment with me at all times. It is an
excellent treatment for just about any bite, sting, cut, abrasion,
or any itchy skin irritation.
Tonic - Sexual Male,
Common plantain, broad leaf
The above picture
shows how I have carefully pulled the stem apart, revealing the
5 still attached parallel veins.
This is the best way
to ensure you have the correct plant. Also note the purple color
at the base of the leafstem.
English Plantain, narrow leaf
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