Plantain

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by Chuck, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Click here for info on the Plantain from Botanical.com
     
  2. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    i am interested in plantain weed seeds, plantago major and ribwort as well as several other species.
    i would liek to build a plantago collection with material from many diffferent sources.
    anyone got seeds?
     

  3. Hears The Water

    Hears The Water Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Chuck, thanks for posting that link. I noticed though, that it only shows one kind of plantain. Down here in SW Missouri, we have two. Both work the same as far as I am concerned. The English Plantain has long, lance-like leaves. They grow very much like the other (common or American) plantain, low to the ground and in a circular patch. The seed stalks are the things that make us all realize that we need to cut our lawns, they grow much taller than the plant. Here is a link to the best pix I could find. There where not to many that where clear enough to show the leaves and the flower heads. http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=6246+3041+2832+0034

    Once you know what plantian looks like, you will see it everywhere. It is as far as I am concerned, indespensable! My family uses it for itchy bug bites, stings and pulling out splinters. I have also used it on a cat once that had a bot fly larvae and it pulled it out! But that is another (very very gross) story! Any time we have a welt from an unknown bug bite we run out to the yard and pick some clean plantain, wash it, tear or pulverize it with a knife and then use it as a poultice. The most dramatic use on a human was my husband's spider bite. John had a spider bite on his back. It was red and welted up. It itched and burned. I made up a plantian poultice and we coverd it up with a piece of duct tape, so none of the herb would fall out. That night it was less red and smaller. The next day we applied another poultice and by the second night we could just barely see where the bite had been. John also said that the itching and burning stopped as soon as we applied the first poultice. There are several commercial salves on the market that use Plantain in them. Black Salve which is very well known for pulling toxins out of the body has plantain in it. The funny thing is that most people will look at you like you have four heads if you suggest puttling a weed on a bug bite, but I still try anyway. I convinced my own dad that I knew a thing or two about wild plants when his neumerous chigger bites quit itching when I applied plantain. This herb is the one I tell all my friends about. I keep saying I am going to harvest and dry it for poultices, but I just never seem to get around to it! I guess I am lazy, I can usually go outside and just pick it fresh. *grin* Anyone else use this herb? Any other applications your family use it for? Thanks again Chuck! Great subject!

    inc, I don't have any wild plants going to seed yet, but if you are still needing some in the Spring, let me know. I am sure I will have a bumper crop as allways!

    God bless you and yours
    Debbie
     
  4. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    alll plantains are foreign that you describe. the 'common' plantain, is either plantago major (common) or plantago violacea,the 'pale plantain'
    these two look identical to me except pale plantain has a violet base to each leaf. havent paid attention they are abot the same.
    i use it for fodder sinc e i have little else. i use ribwort to eat very very very young leaves. they have a very bitter mushroom taste.
    its not something i use a lot. just wher i could use a mushroom taste and wherer the bitter will not 'show' so much.
    can you tell i dont have grocery money????
    anyway- its safe even raw in at least small amounts.
    i think that come time i might be interested in mature seeds of the largest specimens you have, those should be vigorous enough to grow out in one season, i have ribworts now, grew out to flowering size in one season, will bloom come summer.
    if you are near the sea, am looking for seaside or saltmarsh plantain.i hear its up in alaska
     
  5. Timedess

    Timedess Guest

    i love plantain too! i've even used it as a 'running poultice' (my name for it- meaning 'on the go') in a diaper for diaper rash. i also keep saying i'll pick and dry a bunch to use in salves- i think it would be great in a diaper salve! funny the natural foods store doesn't carry it, lol. we haven't tried eating it yet, though. it's always too big by the time i think about it. :)
     
  6. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    I have some plantain seeds. I dug one up last summer and transplanted it to my yard. It went to seed and I saved them :D
     
  7. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    what kind of plantain?
    did you know the indians used to callit 'white man's footsteps' because it followed european settlements across the land? back then the pants style was for turned up cuffs on the legs. it holds a lot of chaff as you know.
    i have plantago major, violacea, lanceolata, and media. media has a persistent bract on the heads.
    my fave flower as a child was teh 'fireworks' flowers of teh ribwort, lanceolata, as the anthers stand out like so many sparks. very unflowerlike
     
  8. healing herbals

    healing herbals Pam in OK

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    The most dramatic use on a human was my husband's spider bite. John had a spider bite on his back


    Debbie,
    I have used it for spider bite, also. Just cut it up, and tied it on. I tried transplanting some to a herb bed last spring, and they did not make it. I assume it wasn't a moist enough bed, or the dog dug it up :waa:
    But all my herbs now go in the front yard.
     
  9. maplegrove

    maplegrove Member

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    I use plantain on cuts that won't stop bleeding right away (I have personally given myself some really bad kitchen knife cuts), and the results were amazing! Not exactly a substitute for stitches of course, but it really helps clotting fast! That is in addition to its good use for insect bites. I have also found plantain tea to help lower intestinal trouble, as it is an astringent.
     
  10. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you cut up the stem or the leaves or what? This sounds like good information to know.
     
  11. Blackthorne

    Blackthorne Member

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    Some more info on plantain:

    Plantain is also commonly know as "the bandaide plant" for all the reasons everyone here named. One of the best uses I have found is, the near imediate elimination of welting & itching when you have a brush with nettles. (which we all seem to have if we work outside at all) Is also a great help in stopping poison ivey itch. When I brush a stinger, I just look around for plantain (it and nettles grow side by side), chew a leaf and pat it right onto the affected spot. Instant relief! Your spit will keep it on your skin until it dries.

    Plantain also makes a terrific salve for everything from cuts & scratches to diaper rash, and is easy to make. My sister uses it on her boys, all 3 of whom suffer from excema thru the winter.

    Recipe:
    take a good handful of coarsley chopped fresh leaves and drop them into the top of a double boiler, add 8oz of regular olive oil and simmer in double boiler for at least 3 hours. Strain thru fine mesh or cheese cloth into a sauce pan. Add about 1oz beeswax per ounce of oil and simmer until melted. Pour into small jars (baby food jars work great) and allow to cool completely before capping.

    The resulting salve will keep at room temp for up to 6 months. Longer if you refrigerate what you won't use right away. Also, you can slightly alter the amount of wax to suit your preference for consistency.

    The dried plantain seeds are great by themselves, in salads, oatmeal, or anything else you want to throw some into. In fact, the entire plant is just terrific! :worship: About the only thing that heals cuts faster than plantain is comfrey. But THAT is a whole other can of soup!
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    My old dad used plantain leaf on any cut or wound underneath the gauze bandage. The healing of a wound like a finger cut was amazing to me. I'm glad to have read this thread to reaffirm and find the uses for plantain. It's truly one of nature's gifts.