Two years ago, I was hiking a small trail with a friend in Minnesota. I was enjoying the rich texture of nature’s surface when suddenly I felt an excruciating pain surge up the sole of my feet. I quickly realized I had stepped on a bee. Immediately, my thoughts were filled with how dreadful the remaining days of this trip would be. Restless nights and days of pain and itching.
My friend suggested using plantain. You know that pesky weed plant you see growing in your garden and even in the cracks of your driveway!
“No way, there’s no way that will help.” But after a half hour of throbbing pain, I was willing to try anything. I picked up the leaf, chewed it up and put it on the bite. I was baffled in disbelief, after one minute the pain was gone. Whenever the pain would come back, I would repeat the process and within 24 hours the bee sting was completely healed.
“Plantain it’s super nutritious, easy to identify, has no poisonous look-alikes and it is used as medicine.”
Plantains, one of the most widespread “weeds” in the world, have been used for thousands of years as one of the most effective natural remedies and has even been used by some Native American cultures as a panacea. Its leaves contain an interesting mix of compounds that make for remarkable healing properties.
Allantoin: This chemical is an anti-inflammatory good for wound healing and auto-immune diseases.
Flavonoids: Studies have found a variety of medicinal uses of flavonoids, including anti-microbial (including anti-virus, bacteria, and fungus), and anti-diarrheal.
Phenolic Compounds: These are another group of chemical compounds which have antioxidant properties useful for a wide variety of conditions (such as prostatitis)
Types of Plantains
There are two species of Plantains that can easily be found anywhere.
Lance-leaved plantain also known as Plantago lanceolata: The plant is a rosette-forming perennial herb, with leafless, silky, hairy flower stems. The basal leaves are lanceolate spreading or erect, scarcely toothed with 3-5 strong parallel veins narrowed to short petiole. Grouping leaf stalk deeply furrowed, ending in an ovoid inflorescence of many small flowers each with a pointed bract.
Plantago major also known as Broadleaf plantain: is one of the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal crops in the world. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to wounds, stings, and sores in order to facilitate healing and prevent infection. The active chemical constituents are aucubin (an anti-microbial agent), allantoin (which stimulates cellular growth and tissue regeneration), and mucilage (which reduces pain and discomfort). Plantain has astringent properties, and a tea made from the leaves can be ingested to treat diarrhea and soothe raw internal membranes.
Health Benefits and Use
Wound healer: The first thing you need to know about plantain is that it’s an astringent which can be used for wounds and bug bites. The easiest way to make a plantain poultice is to chew up the leaf, put it on the wound, and cover it with a band-aid to hold it in place.
Your saliva actually contains many antibacterial properties and with the help of plantain leaf, it will draw out the poisons from your skin, and prevent infections and scars.
Aids Digestion: Plantain is the simplest cure for all your digestive troubles, be it antibiotics heartburn, food allergies, or just poor digestion. The plantain leaves can also reduce inflammation and repair gut lining damage.
Tips: Herb tea is nothing new but by infusing plantain in your tea it can help with wide range of digestive problems as well as diarrhea.
Helps with congestion and respiratory problems : Plantain is an excellent expectorant because it’s rich in silica. It can clear up congestion and mucus, alleviate cough, and treat colds and a number of other respiratory conditions.
Burns – Apply a poultice immediately and apply a bandage with leaves.
Cuts and open sores – Stop bleeding from fresh cuts by applying crushed plantain leaves. Wash with plantain tea or diluted tincture (1 tbsp to a glass of water) to prevent infections and promote healing
Cuts and open sores – Stop bleeding from fresh cuts by applying crushed plantain leaves. Wash with plantain tea or diluted tincture (1 tbsp to a glass of water) to prevent infections and promote healing.
Truth be told, there seem to be very few health conditions that plantain can’t treat. According to The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, written by Dr. Finley Ellingwood, MD, in 1919, plantain is effective against virtually all blood diseases, many glandular diseases, mercury poisoning, diarrheal conditions, female disorders, and injuries, bites and rashes on the skin.
“Plantain is almost a panacea for the human body, treating everything from all menstrual difficulties, all digestive issues, to nearly all skin complaints, and even arthritis,” adds Life Advancer about the amazing healing potential of plantain.
“Add to salads, chew to ease thirst, or enjoy in stir fries. This versatile wild vegetable will keep you in good health for years to come!”
To learn more, be sure to read Dr. Ellingworth’s plantain entry as it was published in his 1919 book:
The Lost Ways is not merely a survival book because most of the knowledge you’ll find in it will begin improving things in your life starting today. What I’m talking about is the type of self-sufficiency that our great-grandfathers used to have. I’m talking about things that they did around their homes and the healthy lives that they lived.
At the same time, you get to take part in doing something GREAT—saving our forefathers’ lost skills!
Now, I consider I’ve done my part: the hardest and costliest part if I may say so. All you need to do is to make sure you hand this knowledge over when it’s time to and take full advantage of it until then.Click on the video to learn more:
Please Note: Plantain is generally considered a safe herb but as with anything, consult your doctor before using if you have any kind of medical condition. It should not be used in place of medical attention when needed.