Plantain major is commonly called broad-leaf plantain. It has oval or egg shaped leaves. The other type of plantain, Plantago lanceolata, has long narrow leaves and is commonly called narrow-leaf plantain. Both the broad-leaved and narrow-leaved plantains have prominent parallel leaf veins. If you gently pull the leaf apart, you will see the strings that run through the leaf veins. The yellow-green flowers grow in dense spikes that rise above the leaves of the plant. The flowers are wind pollinated and the plant reproduces mostly by seed. They can be interchangeably used. Poultices of Plantain leaves have historically been used for drawing toxins out of skin abrasions and venomous bites. Internally, Plantain was sued for the same drawing-out function for infections. When using internally, it is best as a cold infusion.
History and Folklore:
Many American Indian tribes used the abundant plant as the chief remedy for the bite of the rattlesnake, and called it “snakeweed” after this use. Our Saxon ancestors esteemed plantain highly and in the old Lacnunga (a collection of remedies) Plantain is mentioned as one of nine sacred herbs.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Plantain is an incredibly aggressive/invasive plant so you don’t have to worry about over-harvesting. Gather the leaves anytime between spring and fall. Harvest the seeds after they have turned brown or black.
Do not use while pregnant or nursing.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Astringent, Demulcent Diuretic, Expectorant, Nutritive, Osmotic, Vulnerary
Broadleaf Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain, White Man’s Footstep, Ribwort, Fleawort, Lanten
Ingredients: Plantain (Plantago spp.)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.