Botanical Name: Plantago species | Family: Plantaginaceae
Common name(s): Plantain (there are over 200 varieties)
The psyllium seed produced commercially is from a cultivated variety of plantain native to India. However, the common plantain has seeds with similar qualities, although they are smaller. You don’t need to grow the common plantain. It grows everywhere!
Harvest anytime! (But when leaves are young if you want to eat them, because they get tough and stringy as they age.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: Steep 2 teaspoonful of dried leaves in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Take 3x / day.
Tincture: 1/2 tsp (2-3ml) 3x /day
Oil: gently bruise plantain leaves and cover with vegetable oil and let sit in the sun for a couple of weeks. Strain out the leaves. Use directly on the skin or in salves.
External: apply a poultice of the leaves to draw infections or foreign objects from the body, create a salve for all kinds of skin infections / irritations, prepare an ointment for cuts and hemorrhoids.
Constituents: Flavonoids, mucilage, fatty acids, protein, starch, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, allantoin, bitters
Actions: astringent, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, mild laxative
Uses: Coughs, mild bronchitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, cystitis where there is bleeding, skin infections
- Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Prarieland Herbs
I’ve used plantain in a poultice for treating poison ivy. In my experience it was very drying on my skin. But it was used in combination with aloe and jewel weed, so it may have just been the combination that made it so strong.