Plantain is an ancient herb used for health & beauty.

Plantain eases coughs & acts as an expectorant.

Mild but effective enough to be great for children in the form of a syrup.

Externally, it is used for cuts & grazes, malignant ulcers & inflammation of the skin.

It can also be used for coughs where there is stuck congestion in the lungs.
It loosens the phlegm, allowing it to be expectorated more easily.

It can also soothe a sore throat.

Plantain has ability to draw out poisons & infections from wounds.

It can be used in serious cases such a rattlesnake bites & blood poisoning, as well as minor cases of bee stings & spider bites.

It is used for all manner of liver problems, including poor digestion & assimiliation, hepatitis, jaundice, skin eruptions & eruptive personalities.

Plantain also has styptic & hemostatic properties, meaning that it can help stop bleeding. Place the mashed herbs directly on the wound until the blood flow slows or stops.

The plantain seeds, which grow at the top of a long slender stalk, are rich in mucilage & mildly laxative.

Roots & leaves help urinary tract, kidneys & bladder.

Heals gastrointestinal ulcers.

Use a standard infusion internally for asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, diarrhea, gastritis, hay fever, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids , cystitis, peptic ulcers & sinusitis.

Use a decoction to treat internal parasites.

The leaves can be chopped, mashed & placed directly over the problem area.
Or they can be made into a strong tea & a cloth soaked in the tea is placed directly over the area.

Plantain has such excellent drawing properties that it can be used to remove slivers that are too deep to pull out. 
Soak the area of the sliver in a very hot plantain tea for 20 - 30 minutes. 
You can increase the effectiveness of the tea by adding 1-2 tbsp of sea salt. 
Then apply mashed plantain leaves & wrap in place. 
Change the poultice 2-3 times during the day if possible & repeat this cycle until the sliver is close enough to the surface of the skin to pull out.

As a tea or tincture, plantain can also be used to stanch heavy menstrual bleeding. Though it can be used alone to stop bleeding, it’s more effective when blended with yarrow & nettle or shepherd’s purse for this purpose.

Use in external wash for sores, boils, inflammations & ringworm infestations.

Decoction used for thrush in children.

Seeds are edible & can be ground into flour, their mucilage lowers cholesterol. Like mugwort, place in shoes to cure weariness on long trips.

Plantain is often combined with the following herbs: calendula, chickweed, marshmallow, comfrey, peppermint, goldenseal, burdock, red clover, chamomile flowers.

Sometimes it is combined with Elder flower & rose hips.

In formulas for the lymph glands you might find it combined with additional herbs such as mullein leaves, echinacea root, yarrow flowers, garlic & lobelia herb.


Not suitable for anyone suffering from intestinal obstruction.


Young leaves are edible raw or cooked in an emergency, too fibrous for daily use, remove the leaf-stalk before use.
To harvest for food, gather the young spring leaves.
When the leaves are turned over you can distinctly see parallel running veins.
As the plant gets older, these strings become stronger.
To harvest for medicine, you can harvest anytime the leaves are vibrant.


3 handfuls of fresh leaves to 500 ml water.
Plantain infusion can also be used as a soothing wash for sunburn, windburn, rashes, or wounds.

15 g seeds to 500 ml water.
Take up to 250 ml a day.

Plantain tea is made by adding 1 tsp of dried plantain(seed, root & leaves) to 1 cup of almost boiling water, covering & leaving for 10 minutes to infuse.
3 cups of the sweetened tea should be sipped throughout the day.
For colds & flu drink through the day.

For Stomach Ache:

Take 500 g of plantain leaves,chopped
500 g honey
Mix & boil on low heat 20 minutes.
Take this mixture 1 tbsp 3x per day,20 min after meals

Healing salve:

In large non-metallic pan place 1lb of entire Plantain plant chopped & 1 cup lard, cover, cook
down on low heat till all is mushy & green.
Strain while hot, cool & use for burns, insect bites, rashes & all sores. 
Use as night cream for wrinkles.

Young plantain leaves are good sauteed with garlic & other greens in olive oil. 
You can stir fry young leaves with mushrooms, chickweed, onions & garlic then add nuts.

Adding the young chopped greens to soup about 30 minutes before serving makes a great addition to the meal.

Young plantain leaves can be steamed along with other greens, then a bit of olive oil & lemon juice poured on them. Top with dried herbs/spices of your choice.

As a syrup, plantain is very good for easing throats.
Simmer equal parts of honey & plantain leaf juice for 20 minutes.
Store in a glass container.

To make a fresh plantain tincture place 100 g of finely chopped fresh leaves in 230 ml of vodka or brandy.
Let sit for 2 weeks, shaking daily.
Strain & squeeze the plant matter using cheesecloth.

Plantain oil can also be made with fresh herb.
Collect the leaves after any dew has dried.
Let them wilt for a day in the shade.
Finely chop the herb & loosely pack in a jar.
Cover with extra virgin olive oil.
Put a lid on the jar & put it in a brown paper bag.
Set the bag in the sun for 2-6 weeks. Strain.

Plantain Juice:
180 g fresh plantain leaves
250 ml pure liquid honey
1 glass bottle
Crush the leaves in a food processor, drain & squeeze in cheesecloth.
Combine 250 ml of the juice with the honey & simmer for 10 minutes at low heat, stirring regularly.
Let cool & pour into the bottle.
Take 1 tsp at a time like a syrup to treat a cough,sore throat, anemia, fatigue & eczema 3 times daily.

Children’s Mouth Infections:

Boil 30 g of seed in 700 ml of water & sweeten with honey to make a syrup.

For Urinary Tract Infections:
Use equal parts of plantain & horsetail in tea.
The plantain acts as an astringent & demulcent while the horsetail helps the connective tissues.
This tea tones & heals the urinary tract.

Plantain Drink:

2–3 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice
A handful of plantain leaves (&/or other nutritive herbs, such as red clover flower, raspberry leaf, self-heal flower & leaf & mint leaf)
1 banana, peeled
Combine all the ingredients in a blender & blend thoroughly.
Adjust flavor to taste.
Drink a cup of this tonic each day.


Facial Toner:

½ cup rose water
2 tsp rose petals
2 tsp dried calendula flowers
1 tsp dried comfrey leaf
1 tsp dried plantain leaf
Put the herbs in a 500 ml jar, pour the liquids over & shake well.
Put a lid on & let it seep for 2 weeks in a warm, dark area.
Be sure to shake the jar each day.
Strain it through cheesecloth & bottle it.
To use apply with a cotton cloth, cotton ball or your fingers after washing your face.
Use plantain juice to treat problem skin & acne, topically & internally.
Freshly squeezed juice can be taken 3 times daily at a dose of 1 - 2 tbsp.


Plantain protects against snakes, thieves & fever.

For healing & purification, place fresh or dried plantain leaves or roots in a mesh bag hung under the faucet for bathwater.

Pinches of dried herb can be tossed into a fireplace or over the flame of a candle, or thrown into an easterly wind for healing wishes.

Use the dried leaves & roots in a healing bath.
A piece of the root in the pocket protects the bearer from snakebites.
Plantain is the protector & companion of the journeyman. Worn as an amulet it protects against the hidden dangers of travel - such as snake bites & insect stings.

In Ireland it is associated with St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland - interestingly, St. Patrick is also associated with averting snakes.

Native Americans carried powdered roots of plantain as protection against snakebites or to ward off snakes.

Some old European lore states that plantain is effective for the bites of mad dogs, epilepsy &

Plantain is brewed as a tea for divination & vivid dreams & it is considered a protection herb when placed in a charm around the neck of a child.

Burning Plantain leaves or roots enhances the magical powers of other herbs.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever we had a sliver, my mom would tape on a plantain leaf (only she used the Dutch word). It was gone the next day!

    You have a lovely blog, Jaana.