Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Plantago major

NL: Weegbree - F: Plantago

Plantago major
Plantains can be found growing all over the world, particularly along paths, but also in grass fields. This is another magical herb to think of in first aid emergencies: abundantly available and with great anti-bleeding, wound healing, skin regenerating properties. Internally, they are used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhea, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma and hay fever.

The leaves are used externally, freshly squeezed or heated, in poultices to treat skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings, swellings, etc.

The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms.

Plantago lanceolata

Even though they are not the most palatable plant in the world, having a bitter taste, they are also edible. Its strong leaves can be eaten raw, blanched or cooked. First remove the fibrous strands before use. The seeds are also eaten raw or cooked. The dried seed can be ground and mixed with flour. The whole seeds can be boiled and used like sago to thicken sauces, soups and desserts. Plantago seeds have 17.4% (highly digestible) protein, 6.7% fat, 24.6% total dietary fiber. The oil from plantago seeds had a high percentage of linoleic acid (40.6%) and oleic acid (39.1%) and a minor proportion of linolenic acid (6.9%).

Both most commonly found types of plantain, the one with long leaves (P. lanceolata) and the one with one with rounded leaves (P. major) have strong medicinal properties and can therefore be used in similar way.

Here are two videos on identifying and using plantain:

Broadleaf Plantain - by LuminEarth
Ribwort Plantain - Plantago lanceolata

The link below takes you to a very nice video on how to recognize and use plantain:

The Plantain - Nature's miracle healer

Here is a great article from a herbalist who is apparently just as passionate about plantains as myself:

One of the most useful medicines on the planet - by Jess Smith
P. lanceolata's gorgeous flower

And here you'll find detailed info on plantains:

Plantago lanceolata - Survival Plants Memory Course
Plantago major - Survival Plants Memory Course

I found this a very useful cooking tip for plantain:

Cooking broadleaf plantain - Wild Food Lab

On harvesting plantain seeds:

Harvest Greater Plantain Seeds - Mungo says bah!

* Last but not least, an extensive article in Dutch / En een uitgebreid artikel in het Nederlands:

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