Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Learn an Herb: Plantain
Plantain is one of those herbs that seems to be a cure for every ailment, a panacea if you will. This leaves of this plant can be eaten in salads (I have not yet tried) and are rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. This plant is an anti-toxin and has antibacterial and astringent properties. It has been used to treat asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, fever, blood sugar problems, and hypertension. The roots has been found to help all sorts of stomach issues (from diarrhea to IBS), hemorrhoids, asthma and allergies. The seeds have been used to treat parasitic worms. The plant can also be used as a dressing to treat wounds, ulcers, cuts, splinters and inflammation. A woman who leads many field trips for my classes calls it "nature's band-aid". If you get a cut in the woods, you can wrap a piece of plantain around it to help stop the bleeding and heal the wound. She said she has actually done trials and found that plantain-dressed cuts healed faster than cuts dressed with neosporin. Sweet!
Plantain has also been used to help people quite smoking (it curbs the desire for nicotine) and as an anti-venom for rattlesnake bites (hope I never need to test that one out!).
The entire plant is edible and leave can be cooked or enjoyed in a salad. To make a tea, use about 1 Tbl. of plantain (leaves, stems or roots) per 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. A salve can also be made to apply to wounds. I give instructions on making a calendula salve here, but you could easily do the same with plantain. Plantain can also be made into a poultice to apply directly to wounds. This herb is definitely safe to use topically while breastfeeding, but I can't find much information on taking it internally while breastfeeding or while pregnant. Pin It Now!