Many consider plantain a common weed and will do whatever it takes to get rid of it. It’s known to pop up as a persistent weed in gardens, on lawns and even in driveway cracks. This common backyard weed is actually a healing plant and a hardy edible green, used both in Eastern and Western botanical medicine. For hundreds of years, plantain has been used as one of nature’s most powerful medicines, and for very good reason. Those bushy green leaves and small, stalk-like buds bear unique nutritive potential that could help you overcome difficult menstrual cycles, clear up skin acne and even treat painful arthritis.
There are two common types of plantain that grow in everyone’s yard. They are the broad leaf plantain and the thinner leaf English plantain. These plantains are small green weeds, not at all related to the tropical banana-like fruit plantain.
If you suffer from constant digestive problems, plantain might be a simple cure. Many have reported that the leaves and seeds of the plant aid in reducing inflammation and help repair damage to the gut lining. The seeds of plantain are also useful in maintaining a clean digestive tract, acting similarly to psyllium husk in absorbing toxins and creating firmer stools. When steeped, plantain leaves can be turned into an extract for use as a gut healer. In Chinese herbal medicine Plantain seeds are used to treat bladder infections as well as clearing cough.
Since it is rich in the mineral silica, plantain also makes an excellent expectorant. This means that it helps clear up congestion and mucus, effectively treating coughs, colds and various other respiratory ailments.
One of its uses is as an astringent for wounds and bug bites.
Simply chewing plantain leaf or crushing and grinding it makes an effective poultice to draw out poisons from the skin and prevent infections and scarring. Better yet, Making an oil out of the leaves allows one to benefit from the soothing properties of the plant year round. It is an excellent oil to soothe itchy skin conditions, especially from rashes or bites. It can also be safely used on animals who have itchy red skin.
The same astringent properties that make plantain an effective wound-healer also make it an effective remedy for hemorrhoids. When processed and turned into a lotion or ointment, plantain can be applied to hemorrhoids and and skin ulcerations to stop the flow of blood.
Truth be told, there seems to be very few health conditions that plantain can’t treat. According to The American Materia Medica, plantain is effective against virtually all blood diseases, many glandular diseases, mercury poisoning, diarrheal conditions, arthritis, female disorders, and injuries, bites and rashes on the skin.
Plantain tea has a positive effect on reducing the discomforts of hay fever. It is also good for coughs and colds. This tea is especially beneficial for week lungs. Plantain tea is an excellent remedy for cleansing and removing toxins from your blood. Plantain also, has a positive effect on chronic inflammation of the colon.
Fresh leaves should be used to make the tea. To make plantain herbal tea; take two – three leaves. Rinse the leaves. Put them in a cup. Add boiling water and let it steep for about ten minutes. Remove the leaves and enjoy your tea. To help ease the discomforts of a headache soak a piece of cloth in plantain tea. Place the cloth on your forehead and relax.
You can add fresh plantain leaves, which are a source of Vitamins A, C and K, to salads or enjoy in stir fries. If you wish to eat the leaves raw in salads make sure you pick the very young leaves.
The plantain has a bitter taste. The older leaves will be tough to chew because the veins grow to be very harsh. Older leaves are best used chopped and cooked in stews. The seeds, which contain vitamin B1, can be ground into flour, or just thrown in whole into breads, oatmeal and porridges, which is how many Native Americans used the plant. If you live in a cold climate you can freeze the leaves for easy access during the winter months. You can also use dried leaves if that is more convenient.
This versatile wild plant will keep you in good health for years to come!
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The Refreshing Point
Plantain: Versatile Wild Plant is Nature’s Healer with a Wide Range of Applications-Plantain Recipes