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The Coolest Little Weed... Plantain

AKA: Plantago major, P. lanceolata from the L. Family Plantaginaceae, white man’s footstep, ribwort, fleawort, Wegerich, King of the Road.

Propagation/Description: This is a common plant that grows in hard packed ground, disturbed soil in ditches, your back yard, fields, everywhere. There are 2 main species of plantain. Broad Leaf, and Narrow Leaf. Both are interchangeable regarding their medicinal properties. You can identify them by the prominent parallel leaf veins. If you gently pull the leaf apart, you will see the strings that run through the leaf veins.

Folklore/History: Early colonists brought this plant to the north American continent as it was a favored healing herb. It is now as common here as it was in central Asia and Europe, it’s origin. The Native Americans called it “white man’s foot” and adopted many of the uses of the plant. They also used the plant to draw out the poison of rattlesnake bite, to soothe rheumatic pain, as a poultice to treat battle wounds, and as an eyewash which are all still in use today. Some believe it also was one of the nine sacred herbs by the ancient Saxon people and has been celebrated in Anglo-Saxon poetry as the "mother of herbs." It’s resilience and determination to return eternally, no matter how often it was cut or removed, were a sure sign of its supernatural powers. Thus, Plantain roots were used as a talisman to protect the traveller and its leaves put into shoes was supposed to keep the feet happy and untiring.

Medicinal: It is cooling (slows down the metabolism, decreases energy production and cools inflammation and irritation) by counteracting “hot” conditions such as feeling hot, red irritated skin, itchy rashes and non-severe burns. It pulls the “heat” out of a rash, for example, allowing the tissue to heal more effectively. It is moistening (increases moisture retention of tissues, lubricating and softens dry, brittle or hardened tissues) and is demulcent (an agent that is soothing and softening where applied), diuretic (an agent that removes excess water from the body through urination), expectorant (an agent that loosens and induces the removal of mucous from the lungs), slightly astringent (an agent that causes tissue to contract), vulnerary (an agent used to heal wounds), antimicrobial (an agent that inhibits or kills micro-organisms), anti-inflammatory (an agent that neutralizes or prevents inflammation), nutritive (provides nourishment). Almost all of these attributes help a poultice made from this common “yard weed” to sooth and heal bites and stings from various insects, spiders and scorpions. It also helps many other types of wounds as well. It is useful with minor cuts and scrapes, blisters, splinters, boils puncture wounds, gastrointestinal inflammation, excessive histamine responses, dry, hacking coughs and many more conditions. It even works on hemorrhoids and post-partum tears when combined with Calendula as a poultice, salve or sitz bath!

Spiritual: Plantain is known for protection from evil spirits and snake bites, removing weariness, healing headaches and is used for house & business blessings. Place a pinch of dried leaves in the flame of a candle or throw them into an East wind for healing. Hang plantain leaves in the car for protection from evil and jealousy.

Summary: This amazing versatile and persistent plant gives so many things to us. It is common all over the world and is renowned for it’s benefits. It is one of the most used, loved and effective herbs. It is always where you are and waiting for us to utilize when needed. While the world looks for healing in so many ways, mother earth, Gaia, has provided and blessed us in so many ways. Get outside this week and explore! There are so many amazing plants like this one to enjoy!


How To Make A Herbal Apothecary At Home, by Howard Stanford

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, The Healing Power of Plant Medicine, by Dr. Nicole Apelian, Ph.D & Claude Davis

Hedgewitch’s Field Guide, by Siolo Thompson

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham

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1 kommentar

Rosalind Peppers
Rosalind Peppers
05 juli 2023

I need some I know your name is in Mabel God bless you ♥️

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