Plantain is mostly known as a superb skin healer, but it also takes care of your respiratory and digestive health, as well as keeping you heart healthy and packing a big nutritional punch!
Not to be confused with the banana-like fruit of the same name, the plantain leaf is a common sight in parks and cities. You have definitely seen this amazing little herb before, but did you know that it is one of the favorite herbs to treat skin issues?
Although it is mostly famous for it's skin healing benefits, plantain has a lot to offer:
Plantain is most famous for its skin healing qualities. It has been used by herbalists for centuries for speeding up the healing of wounds, inflamed skin or dermatitis, and insect bites. It is approved by the German Commission E as topical use for skin inflammations.
If the mosquitoes have bitten you or you’ve been stung by a bee or hornet, apply a poultice of plantain leaves to the area to relieve the stinging sensation and pain or clean the skin with a cotton ball dipped in plantain tea.
An infusion or strong tea of plantain leaf sprayed on a sunburn will cool the burn and relieve the pain. This will also help soothe rashes and reactions from Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac. To make an even stronger remedy, steep plantain leaf in apple cider vinegar for a few weeks and then strain. The infused vinegar will sooth itching, burning and pain on the skin very quickly.
Plantain seems to create a natural aversion to cigarettes, thereby making it easier to leave them behind. It can be used in various forms: tea, tincture or spray. For a tea, simply drink it before you reach for a cigarette. Many people find that this eliminates the craving or that they don’t want to smoke a whole cigarette.
Not only does plantain reduce cravings for cigarettes, but it is also used by natural health practitioners to reduce congestion, asthma, laryngitis, lung irritation and inflammation. Plantain has demonstrated its abilities to heal upper-respiratory conditions as well as chronic bronchitis.
Plantain helps to reduce mucus secretion in the airways, which makes it helpful in treating colds, catarrh, sinusitis, lung and bronchial allergic conditions such as hay fever and asthma. As the herb also has antiseptic properties it can be used as a remedy for a sore throat, tonsillitis and coughs.
This amazing herb is beneficial for the general health of blood flow and heart. It helps with blood poisoning, regulation of cholesterol and diabetes, and has a stimulating effect on the blood flow, as well as helping the lymph system work properly and heals all problems related to lymph nodes.
Plantain is also often prescribed for relieving menstrual related issues likeuterus warts and uterus ulcers, but it's also beneficial for very heavy, irregular or prolonged periods, or a shorter cycle than 21 days.
Due to the diuretic effect of plantain, it is also advised for urinary retention, blood in urine, and bladder and kidney pain.
Because the herb contains the powerful nerve healing substance known as aucubin, it heals damaged or injured nerves. For this purpose, it can be used both internally and topically.
Due to its allantoin and apigenin content, plantain tincture is a potent natural anti-inflammatory. It is also advised for toothache, earache, bad breath, oral lesions, mouth sores, nose bleeds, loose teeth, gingivitis, and tonsillitis by gargling the tea infusion.
Plantain is packed with nutrients, including beta carotene, calcium, vitamins C and K, and many compounds essential for our health.
Beta carotene boosts eyesight and helps fight cancer, calcium builds strong bones and is essential to a healthy nervous system, vitamin C helps to fight cancer and reduces the effects of stress, and vitamin K is necessary for blood and blood-vessel health.
The substance baicalein is naturally found in plantain and it helps repair the mitochondria (the cells’ energy centers). Healthy mitochondria are integral to a healthy body and high levels of energy.
Liver health is very important for the balanced functioning of our body, as it processes and eliminates all of the toxins that we accumulate in our everyday lives. If it gets clogged, the toxins soon start to build up in all of our organs, making the perfect environment for the development of illnesses. Plantain is the perfect helper to keep your liver happy and healthy.
The natural compound known as oleanolic acid has both antiviral and liver-protecting qualities, which may be helpful in the prevention or treatment of hepatitis.
Research found that an extract of plantain strongly suppressed the growth of human cancer cells, suggesting that this herb could play an important role in addressing cancer naturally and in combination with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The scientists also believe that plantain may help prevent the damage to DNA normally caused by cancer cells.
Plantain has been used to relieve toothaches, ulcers, digestive complaints, gout and kidney infections.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Pour a cup of boiled water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of plantain tea. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day.
Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Poultice/Compress - Take 1-2 tablespoons (or as much as it is needed to cover the affected area) of plantain herb, add a few drops of hot water and mix into a paste. Apply the paste on the desired area, cover it with a gauze and let stay for at least one hour, or overnight. This recipe doubles as a face mask.Infused oil/vinegar: Take a glass jar, add some plantain leaf and enough apple cider vinegar to cover the herb two times. Let it rest for about two weeks and apply it to your skin whenever you need it - as a relief from sunburn or bites and stings, or as a daily face toner! You can also make a mix with lavender, marigold, chamomile, marshmallow or dandelion to get some extra benefits for your skin!
The taste: Plantain tea doesn't have a strong taste, it is mostly earthy, mild, slightly bitter and sweet.
Precaution: Plantain tea has no know side-effects. It is safe for children.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
Not to be confused with the banana-like fruit of the same name, the plantain leaf (Plantago major) is a green, weedy plant native to North America, Europe and Asia.
Cultures around the world have used the plantain leaf to help relieve health ailments for millennia. The plant is one of nine sacred herbs mentioned in the ancient Lacnunga ('Remedies'), a collection of Anglo-Saxon medical texts. During the 1500s and 1600s, it was used by Europeans for everything from dog bites and boils to fevers and the flu.
Plantain is a common backyard herb with broad leafs. Most people think of it as a weed, though it is an incredibly useful herb. Around the Balkans it is considered one of the most useful herbs available. According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “Legend has it that Alexander the Great discovered it and brought it with him back to Europe in 327 BCE. It has been referred to as the Whiteman’s Foot by Native Americans, as wherever they went, it seemed to spring up. and in some places, it is seen as a noxious, invasive weed. It is, however, a useful little plant. It has been used by many cultures the world over.
It was considered an early Christian symbol of the path followed by the devout and many cultures today refer to it as an aphrodisiac. The leaves are quite edible, and often used raw in salads and cooked as greens.
Plantain is wind-pollinated, facilitating its growth where there are no bees and few other plantain plants. P. major produces 13,000 to 15,000 seeds per plant, and the seeds have been reported to remain viable in soil for up to 60 years.
Common Names: Plantain also is known as Spanish psyllium, French psyllium, blond plantago, Indian plantago, psyllium seed, flea seed, and black psyllium.