There are over 250 species of plantain on the planet. Plantago major is by far the most distributed and recognized strain of the plant in the world, mostly due to its dietary and topical healing properties. Whether you know it or not, plantain is used for a wide range of medicinal treatments, including constipation, colds, skin diseases, and even bug bites!
Why You Might Find it Helpful
Plantain leaves have important bioactive compounds, such as catalpol, aucubin, and acteoside, that make it a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant source. Due to these properties, plantain can be useful to treat and detoxify wounds, which is why it can sometimes be called “nature’s band-aid.”
Plantain also contains soothing mucilages that form a protective layer on wounds that may reduce pain, as well as itching. Due to plantain’s ability to draw out toxins from the skin, it can be used to help ease painful cuts, and extract splinters and glass. Plantain can also be used to soothe painful bruises and hemorrhoids.
What It Looks Like
Plantain has a rosette of roundish leaves with large veins on short, flattened stems. The seed stalk is leafless and is often found growing in lawns and gardens. Though the leaves are by far the most popular to harvest for their healing properties, the flowering ends of the plant’s stalks can be used in teas to relieve sore throats.
Things to Know
We use plantain for external use and not internal use.