Natural Herb Of The Week: Plantain

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Welcome back to my Herb Of The Week blog series! This week, I am focusing on the herb Plantain.

Plantain is a species of flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae. The two most common types of plantain are broadleaf plantain and narrowleaf plantain (aka ribwort plantain). Wild plantain grows low to the ground, broad leaf Plantain having oval egg shaped leaves, whereas narrowleaf Plantain, as the name implies, has thin, spear-like leaves.

Both varieties have parallel veins running up the leaves, all coming from a central point of the stem. Plantain leaves grow in a basal rosette, all leaves growing from the base of the plant, the leaves loosely forming a rose shape.

Plantain can be found pretty much everywhere, but is most prevalent in grasslands, riverbanks, farmland, and thrives in areas of disturbed soil or lawns.

Plantain reduces inflammation, supports wound healing, blocks microbial growth, and relieves pain. The leaves are anti-inflammatory, containing flavonoids, terpenoids, glycosides, and tannins.

It helps stop bleeding, supports tissue regeneration, is naturally antiseptic, helps with asthma, colds, sore throats, allergies, sinus, chest congestion, and some digestive issues, bug bites, poison ivy, and contains compounds that help to inhibit mast cell degranulation and histamine release, alleviating allergy symptoms like redness, irritation, and itching.

Plantain leaf is commonly used as first aid in the field, the plantain is chewed or ground up and applied directly to the skin for stings, bites, and minor burns or cuts. Plantain tea and compress can be used to treat sunburns, applied to itchy skin and rashes, and dabbed on acne and eczema.

The seeds contain psyllium, and some types of plantain are used to make the psyllium husk or powder that you find in the store.

I use this herb in combination with horsetail (click here to read my blog on horsetail) to make an amazing healing poultice you can use on raw skin, wounds, and more. I use plantain all the time in teas, compress, and to sooth toothaches.

Tune in next week to learn about Mullein!

DISCLAIMER: Statements made on this blog regarding natural herbs have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration, as the FDA does not evaluate or test herbs. None of the information in this blog is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The suggested uses of botanicals are presented solely for their educational value.

Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider before taking or using any herbs.