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Plantain

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Plantain

Wild Plantain

©2008, A. Jeanroy, Licensed to About.com

Overview:

Plantain is a wide spread weed, found in virtually every lawn in America. It's low profile, and non aggressive habit, often leave it protected from the homeowner.

Latin Name:

Plantago Major

Common Name:

Plantain is a low growing herb, with a multitude of uses. It is most often used for stings and bites. Many know it as the Bandaid plant, for its quick relief and ease of use.

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Found everywhere in the US

Exposure:

Full sun

Harvest:

Gently pull leaves at any stage. Most often used fresh, leaves can be dried or infused in oil.

Uses:

Plantain is a common weed, with many uses. It is often overlooked in the lawn, due to its low growth habit. For a quick remedy, children often know that a leaf can be chewed into a mash and the entire juicy lump placed onto a bee sting. The pain relief will be immediate.

The leaf of plantain can be lightly bruised, placed onto a wound and bandaged there. The next morning, the astringent quality of the leaf's juices will have drawn any impurities from a dirty wound.

Plantain's seeds can also be used as a bulk laxative although gathering enough, might prove too tedious.

Use plantain in any skin soothing salves, especially a baby rash recipe. If you are camping with a baby who is suffering from a diaper rash, try bruising some leaves and placing them in the diaper, right on the irritated area.

Internally, plantain tea is used for diarrhea. The tea is also useful against a yeast infection. Drinking plantain tea can help with a cough as an expectorant.

All in all, plantain hides many very useful remedies in it's unassuming appearance.

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