Weeds are the bane of every homeowner’s existence, but a certain plant called plantain is anything but a nuisance. Also called Plantago major, plantain is a versatile plant that every prepper needs to know about. (h/t to BioPrepper.com.)
Plantain, which is different from the green bananas that are also called plantains, can be found almost anywhere. Plantain has oval-shaped leaves with vertical veins and flower spikes.
- Allantoin — An anti-inflammatory chemical, allantoin can heal wounds and is good for auto-immune diseases.
- Flavonoids — According to studies, flavonoids have anti-microbial and anti-diarrheal properties.
- Phenolic compounds — These group of chemical compounds feature anti-oxidant properties that can be used for different conditions like prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).
These compounds in plantain make it a useful plant with many medicinal purposes, especially when you don’t have access to modern medicine. (Related: Plantain, a common driveway weed, is one of nature’s most powerful medicines.)
You can use plantain to make an effective ointment for diaper rash or other sores. This recipe utilizes the “cell re-growth and anti-inflammatory properties” of plantain. This ointment can be used on babies with nappy rash, or you can use it if you’ve had a run-in with poison ivy.
- Take some plantain leaves, chop them finely, then let them dry.
- Place the leaves in a jar or any container with a lid.
- Pour oil into the jar until it’s at least ¾ full.
- Shake and let the mixture sit for several weeks.
- Strain the oil through some cloth and transfer the infused oil into another container.
The ointment can be used as is, but you can mix some molten beeswax or another organic wax. Just let it cool down before you use it.
Plantain can also be used to ease toothaches. Chew on plantain leaves to relieve pain, and if you can’t chew, mash the plantain leaves with a mortar and pestle then apply the mash on the affected tooth. Let it sit for 30 minutes. The mash will soothe the pain and it will also prevent infection thanks to the plant’s microbial properties.
Additionally, plantain leaves can be used to make a poultice for “cuts, sores and insect bites” like the bite of the brown recluse spider. The recipe below utilizes the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of plantain:
- Take some plantain leaves.
- Mash the leaves but if you can, chew them. Human saliva helps release the active ingredients needed for the poultice. However, don’t swallow the juice because it will be used for the poultice.
- Take the mash, warm it in your hand, and dab it on the affected area.
Plantain leaves can also be used to make some tea for an infusion to ease many digestive problems like diarrhea.
- Take a large handful of plantain leaves and chop them roughly. Put the chopped leaves in a pot that you can use to boil water.
- Boil two to three cups of water in a separate pot. Once it’s boiling, pour it on the leaves in the first pot.
- Let the mixture brew, but taste the tea until you get the right flavor.
- Strain the liquid using some cloth, but keep the leaves for the poultice recipe above.
- Drink the liquid. Add some citrus (e.g. lime or lemon) to offset the astringent flavor of plantain.
Plantain tea can also be used to address dandruff and other scalp problems. Apply plantain tea or an oil infusion to the scalp and wash off the mixture after 60 minutes.
Aside from its medicinal uses, plantain is also an edible and nutritious plant. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin A, B6, and C. These vitamins can boost your immune system and make it easier to fight infections.
Like spinach, plantain can be eaten raw. However, raw plantain is rather stringy and tough. Blanch it lightly so it doesn’t lose minerals and vitamins. Here’s a simple recipe for a plantain rabbit bake:
- Prepare the rabbit for baking.
- Cover the rabbit breast, leg, etc. with fresh plantain leaves.
- Bake in an oven until the rabbit is thoroughly cooked.
- Serve with other herbs like “wild lettuce, wild garlic, wild asparagus, wild onions, burdock, and chicory.”
You can read more articles about herbs and other natural cures at Healing.news.