Also commonly known as Plantain or called Broadleaf Plantain. Chemical constituents are aucubin (anti-microbial), allantoin (cell growth and tissue regeneration), and mucilate (pain reliever). Studies have shown a wide range of effects including wound healing, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, weak antibiotic and it is antiviral. It has astringent properties, can treat diarrhea, digestive issues, can kill viruses, fungi, parasites like giardia and crypto. It is also an antitoxin and can draw the venom from things such as stings and spider bites (not snake bites).
The application of Plantain is wide and varied. Its chemical diversity allows for it to be one of the greatest healing herbs which can be found in the wild. Personally I have used it for applications which it is not commonly known for such as treating strep throat without the use of man produced medicines and antibiotics. Plantain is a nice package as it has both antibacterial and antiviral properties allowing it to be applied more diversely. For what it may not be able to cure Plantain can impact the symptoms alleviating pain and better allow the body to regulate itself internally.
Plantain is also high is vitamins A, C, and K. It is a cooling plant and is a nice tea to drink as an infusion. Topically it can be used for cuts, bruises, bites, stings or any other skin issues and even disorders. The allantoin within the plant allows for tissue regeneration and its drawing properties will aid in the extraction of things such as stingers from the skin.
The plant is a herbaceous perennial with a rosette of leaves. The flowering stem will come up from the center of the rosette. Each leaf can grow to about 8 inches long with a width of a few inches wide. The species can determine length and width but most are oval shaped. One of the more prominent features on the leaf can be found on its underside. It has 5 to 9 very pronounced veins which can be easily seen and felt with clear distinction.
The herb can be eaten raw but it is best to eat the younger leaves as they are easier to process. There is no known harm which has been discovered, nor side affects which the plant can cause. The seeds are edible as well and the root can also be used. Medicinally it can be used internally in volume without fear of overdosing. The leaf is the most common part to use within making tea but the root has also been used.
Plantain can be found across the world. Most commonly it is found in disturbed areas of earth, roadsides, fields, and has been known to take root in the cracks between concrete in urban areas. It is so common that most people have this herb in their yards and work hard to kill this plant as it is seen as a weed. Typically where you find one you will find many. It propagates quickly and its seeds can stick to clothing or animals finding homes in the earth at distances and in places it could not reach in other ways.
Plantago Major is one of the most important plants for any trekker or woodsman to learn and know from personal experience. Once properly identified it is simple to process raw, or dry, store, and use without fear.