I love seeing little herb gardens of plantain growing in the cracks of people's driveways. These "weeds" are far too often plucked out (just like dandelions) but I have my hopes. Do you ever notice how Mother Nature plops down herbs in the most convenient spots. This mighty strong and stubborn herb isn't that tough by accident you know. Plantain, whether plucked, stomped, pulled or crushed, never seems to die; in fact, it's so resilient, it'll grow where nothing else will. To me- that's a trooper!
Plantain is defiantly one herb that I put at the top of my list as a great remedy for coughs, lung congestion, hoarseness and anything else where excessive mucus is a problem. This particular herb is a good substitute for slippery elm which is disappearing due to irresponsible wild crafting practices, commercial logging, and Dutch elm disease. You can make a simple tea or a syrup (I like to add fresh ginger to my plantain syrup as well) and use whenever a hacking cough starts. Buy fresh dried plantain here.
Plantago is also commonly used internally for diarrhea, cystitis, asthma, hay fever, hemorrhage, catarrh, and sinusitis. As well as externally for eye inflammations, shingles, and ulcers. I often use it to sooth the stings from nettles too.
As a wound healer, plantain is superior. In addition to coagulating blood, the tea or salve has been known to close up even the most stubborn sores. You can even wash skin eruptions and rashes in plain plantain tea as a natural aid. Fresh plantain has been shown to draw out insect poison before it can cause major discomfort.
If you lucky enough to find this "bothersome weed" in your yard (and I'm sure you might) you can also use the fresh leaves in salads; steam and eat the leaves like spinach - their really quite yummy. What ever you chose to do with your plantain, don't be surprised to know that it is one of the wisest weeds on the block! You can find plantain here in my Local Harvest Store
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, M.H.