The combination of antiseptic and emollient actions make plantain one of the best choices for wound healing. Applied topically it is known to relieve pain and irritation of insect bites, helping to draw out the venom and the stinger. A special action of plantain is its ‘drawing’ power. It helps to pull out toxins, infections, and physical objects such as splinters, from the body.
Prefers well drained soil and partial to full sun. Will tolerate almost all conditions.
The soothing mucilage and anti-inflammatory properties, plus the gentle expectorant action, make Plantain ideal for coughs and irritated bronchial conditions. It is also a good herb to add to tonify the bladder, or assist with UTIs.
Plantain is soothing and cooling making it a great herb for reducing inflammation. It neutralizes stom- ach acid and tonifies the GI tract; it is useful for the treatment of stomach ulcers.
The young, tender leaves of the Common Plantain plant are edible, and can be used as a salad green of cooked and eaten like spinach. The taste is that of very bitter salad greens with a lingering aftertaste not unlike spinach. Plantain herb plants had historical medicinal use as a wound healer and snakebite remedy, and today the Plantain herbs have been found to have scientific merit. The Common Plantain plant is also enjoyed by butterfly larvae and if allowed to seed, birds eat the dried seeds.
Common Plantain (Plantago Major Rosularis) – The flowers of Common Plantain are shaped like small green cabbage heads. Plants grow 12 inches tall when in full bloom and are easily grown from herb seeds. The foliage is low growing and green. The name ‘Rosularis’ means rose-like referring to the look of the flower heads which are shaped like double roses. Common Plantain will self-seed readily by dropping its seeds and forming new Plantain herbs the following spring. Other names for this herb are Greater Plantain and Rat Tail Plantain.
How To Grow Common Plantains: In a prepared seedbed, sow the Plantain seeds directly outside in the early spring. Lightly cover the herb seeds with soil and keep moist.
Plantago major grows low to the ground in a rosette cluster of oval-shaped, veiny leaves. It blooms a single spike of tiny compact, cream-colored flowers from spring through fall. The plant itself grows to a height of no more than five inches at maturity.
Plantain prefers partial shade and can grow in a variety of soils, from rocky to sandy. Part of the Plantaginaceae family, it can be identified by its broad leaves that are used in herbal preparations and in cooking. Younger fresh leaves are preferable for food use, but teas can be made from fresh or dried material.
Plantain seeds are best grown directly outside by sowing in early to mid-spring after the last frost has passed. Seeds should be scattered directly over prepared soil. Germination normally takes seven to fourteen days. Leaves can be harvested for use 30 days after the first plants sprout from the soil.