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Thursday, April 22, 2010


by Moggy
PLANTAIN (Plantago major) has a long history in herbal medicine. Externally, it is effective on any kind of skin disorder or insect stings when the leaves are bruised and rubbed on the skin. It can be made into an oil or ointment and stored for external use when the season doesnt permit gathering the herb. Put this on your to-do list for next Spring.

A most useful plant, Plantain will ease a long list of skin complaints such as cuts, swelling, rashes, wounds, sprains, bruises, ulcerations, eczema, poison ivy, mosquito bites, hemorrhoids, diaper rash, boils and blisters. It is an effective agent that draws out the poison from bee stings, snake bites, and spider bites, it draws out splinters or thorns, and reduces the risk of scarring with severe cuts and scrapes. In certain sensitive individuals minor dermatitis may result from external use.

Internally Plantain can be drunk as a tea made from the leaves as an aid in detoxifying the body, thus works well as a remedy for colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, hypertension, rheumatism, bladder issues, fevers, gastritis, ulcers, irritable bowel, sinusitis, kidney stones, diarrhea and many more ailments.

Poultice: the crushed leaf can be applied directly to a wound, bite, or skin irritation. For abscesses around the teeth, inflamed tooth roots, or remaining infection after a root canal. It has been known to save teeth that were otherwise doomed to be lost. For wounds, stings, bites etc., you can even chew the leaf first and apply the chewed leaf directly to affected area which makes it a good plant to know if you plan on a camping or hiking trip. As an infusion in milk, plantain can be used on hemorrhoids. Plantain can be dried and used as a tea for winter, or used fresh during the summer.

Medicinal herb tea: For colds and flu use 1 tablespoon dry or fresh whole Plantain (seed, root, leaves) to 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 minutes, strain, sweeten. Drink throughout the day.

Healing salve: In a large non-metallic pan place 1 lb. of entire Plantain plant chopped, and 1 cup lard. Cover, cook down on low heat until all is mushy and green. Strain while hot, cool and use for burns, insect bites, rashes, and all sores. May be used as a night cream to combat wrinkles.

Nutritionally, Plantain contains a goodly amount of vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, and K. For healthy eating harvest young leaves in the Spring, boil in salt water or tear and add to salad greens. The seeds are also edible and can be dried on the stalks and then added into soups and stews to enhance flavor and increase nutrition and fiber.


1 cup dry green lentils
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup chopped young plantain leaves
1 clove sliced garlic
1/4 cup wild rice
6 cups broth
1 tablespoon butter*

Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute until tender. Add the lentils and Plantain leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for about 2 hours. Add the rice and cook for another 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

* Olive oil may be substituted

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