Plantain, (genus Plantago)



Plantain is a common weed that originated in Europe but has naturalized throughout the U.S. Common plantain (Plantago major) has rounded leaves, while Lance leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) has elongated lance-shaped leaves. Plantain has a vast history of medicinal use and has long been considered an important herb. Emerging in early spring, it may be harvested and used until freezing weather kills it.

Traditional Use:

Plantain was used traditionally both externally and internally. Used as a “spit poultice” (chewed thouroughly) it’s used to treat snake bites, insect bites, cuts and rashes. Naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, plantain makes an excellent component in healing salve.

Plantain has historically been used internally to treat a number of conditions:

  • kidney disease
  • kidney stones
  • gall stones
  • urinary tract infections
  • influenza
  • bronchitis
  • jaundice
  • ulcers
  • liver disorders