Seeing the Abundance Around You – the Abundance of Plantain - Entry for Natural Medicine Challenge

in naturalmedicine •  2 months ago

In the Boreal forest where I live the herb Plantain abounds.

Plantain (Plantago major/lanceolata)


Around our homestead it had made a lovely ground cover in the clearings. I found it made a lovely replacement for the hostas too (that I failed miserably at growing - too dry of conditions) when put into the rich soil.

Over the years this plant kept coming to my attention as it was recommended for things like drawing out slivers, stingers and even removing the sting from nettles, which also grows abundantly around our place. I was so happy to have something that immediately removes the sting (for nettles) so I could go about my weeding and also the harvesting and know that I could just grab some plantain, macerate it and spread the macerated leave over the area that touched the stinging nettle and it was soothed. You see I love stinging nettle for a food and medicine so I let it grow and now I don’t have to worry about accidentally touching it.

After years of buying psyllium (useful for keeping you regular and as a mucilage) I discovered that the ripe seeds and husks of the plantain are very similar to psyllium.
The mature seeds can be ground into a flour too, with more protein in it than in wheat flour and used for baking
@riverflows shared a terrific recipe for using it in bread at:

Plantain seed heads

Plantain seed head.JPG

The green seeds can be ingested using them as a parasiticide.

One more cool thing for any pet bird owners is the mature seed heads can be hung up as a self-feeder for your bird.

I love to investigate the way the native Cree of our area used the plants and found they would chew and swallow the fresh leaves for internal bleeding and they also placed them on burns, scalds and insect bites. From the dried leaves they made an antiseptic powder.
The root was chewed for toothaches or they would hold the root in their mouth and the saliva that formed would help with sore throats.

This leads me into research I did with plantain and the doctrine of signatures (The doctrine of signatures captures my interest although I don’t follow the principle that whatever body part a plant resembles that plant will have medicine in it for that body part)

The plantain has the signature of the tongue with it’s shape and the sinew and veins that run through it.


Can you see the resemblance?

With that it has been used in different diseases of the tongue and inflammation of the mouth, gums and throat.

But it's many uses don’t stop there!


Fresh plant salves can be made and used for skin problems like acne, impetigo and eczema.
There has been clinical studies that indicate the fresh leaves are useful against staph infection. Which is good news!
It can be used to treat pink eye by placing a warm poultice directly on the closed eye then later use an infusion of the plant as an eye wash.
Good news for smokers – Fresh infusions used as mouthwash is great for breaking nicotine addiction. It creates an extremely bad taste when combined with a nicotine product and is used as an effective aversion therapy!
Those same infusions or ones made with dried leaves help relieve bladder infections and is good for bedwetting in children.

Juice from the plantain can be a very powerful medicine.

Combine it with juice from nettles gives you one of nature’s best gifts for clearing mucous from the ears.
Combine it with rose oil and rub it on swollen hand and feet joints that are affected by gout.

It’s many uses seems to go on and on and is used in many different ways in different parts of the world.

I’m coming to value this robust little plant that has graced our property more and more and hope this article helps you to appreciate it too.

This is my entry for @NaturalMedicine 's "Plant Medicine Challenge" This is the last day to enter. Check out the guidelines here.

Plantain images are my originals.
Image of tongue is from

Thanks for stopping by!

If you enjoyed this post,
Please don’t hesitate to follow me - @porters


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I love this plant, always have and I am very happy that it grows almost everywhere in my place. We often use it on our field trips whenever we want to fix something on our skin like a bug bite or a tiny scratch but I did once make a cough syrup out of it too.


Ah that's intersting making a cough syrup - how did you make that?

I thought plantain was a variety of banana🤣🤣🤣 Am interested about the nicotine addiction effect. I don't smoke but it would be a great suggestion to smokers after their heart attacks. Will put on my list to do further research. Thanks!


That's why I said plantain herb in my opening sentence so folks wouldn't confuse it with the more familiar plantain banana.
I don't smoke either but found that interesting - that it helps build an aversion to nicotine (smoking)


My mistake, am sure i've read it but my mind was closed to anything other than banana😄😄
Would love to say that there is a cure to nicotine addiction and see peeps' reactions😆😆

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Terrific how magical that we have so many plants and herbs around that proves very useful...we just need to exploring them

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Yes! I'm all into helping wake people to the abundance around them.

Loved this post! I didn't know all that about the seeds. That was the best part.

It grows wild in my yard, but the leaves are tongue size. So I took wild seeds and put them in the New Herb garden and they grew to the size of my foot!

plants are fascinating .. nature takes care of us.
I did not know about this plant. wow
thanks, @porters
i have seen plantain bananas .. this is something different

This doesnt grow in tropical Asia (at least Ive never seen it) but Im simply amazed at the myriad of uses. Nice entry @porters 🌿💚

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Thanks! There is a narrow leaf variety that riverflows says grows in Australia. You may have that variety there.

Sorry I took so long to respond - been so busy catching up with Steem stuff and NM stuff and HSCO stuff!

Great post - it's an amazing plant, isn't it? I learn so much from doing this challenge and reading people's posts. Now whenver I think of my tongue I will think of plantain! Lol. Interesting about how it makes nicotine tastes bad - !!!

Do you eat it as a vegetable? I see you have the greater plantain - so jealous! Wish we had that one. Ours is smaller, thinner and tougher.

It's @riverflows, by the way - I accidentally didn't log out of the NM account! Ooops!


It really is an amazing plant! I'm beginning to appreciate it more and more.
I haven't been using the leaves for eating just yet.
I just have the knowledge so i can include it in my arsenal for fresh greens for when we're in a SHTF senerio!

Woohoo! You're making me super excited to be planting plantain!

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We have those alot here and normally I give it to the rabbits and I look at them different now great share

I think we may have this plant in our country. May have stumbled upon it a couple of times, I just didn't know what it was. It is amazing to know that it is a medicinal plant with so much uses.


Yes! I'm beginning to appreciate it more and more!
There is another more narrow leaf variety also I just didn't have a picture of it.

@porters thanks, I learnt something new today! 🍁

How is possible a plant can do so much things! Is amazing . This one specifically is incredible, to be even possible to stop or help to stop internal bleeding. Keep doing this, I love it!

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I will be the next @Naturalmedicine challenge is up - this time on valerian, salvia divinorum and thyme!
Find out more about it at:

Loved this post! I didn't know all that about the seeds. That was the best part.

It grows wild in my yard, but the leaves are tongue size. So I took wild seeds and put them in the New Herb garden and they grew to the size of my foot!


Ya, I was amazed at how well they grew in the garden soil then I didn't feel so bad about not being able to grow hostas for to me they were a perfect substitute more suited to my conditions!

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I love plantain and there is so much of it on the land around me, it is such a powerful healer x