You have probably seen this weed in your yard, stepped on it or tried to eradicate it without knowing that it is actually one of the most useful medicines in the world.
We are talking about plantain. There are 2 major types of it in BC, Canada: Lance and Broadleaf and more than 200 varieties that have the same results.
It grows well in poor, rocky soil (such as driveways) and it is usually seen alongside dandelion. It can also grow in gravel pits and building sites. It first came to North America in the 1600s and the Native
Americans called it “White Man’s Foot” because it usually appeared on the places where the Europeans tread and disrupted the soil.
This weed has been used to treat hikers plagued by mosquitoes. It actually draws the toxins and contaminants out of the body. It can be chewed or crushed or and put as a poultice directly on bug bites, bee stings, acne, glass splinters, slivers or rashes. Then the area should be bandaged and left to act for 4-12 hours.
You can also use plantain to make a balm for emergency kits, or an infusion that you can use as a skin wash or general wash.
Plantain is also known for its healing effect on the gastrointestinal system, especially for people who have had antibiotics, anti-inflammatory or pain medications, food allergic reactions, or celiac illness.
The seeds and the leaves can be used. You can use the leaves to make tea, you can add them to soups consume them dried with a sauce just like kale chips. On the other hand, you can ground or soak the seeds for bulk mucilage or absorbable fiber, which may also help you lose weight if you consume it before your meals.
This plant is also a mild expectorant rich in silica that you can use to treat lung problems, colds and coughs.
As you can notice, the range of benefits is huge – it goes from all menstrual difficulties, digestive problems to almost all skin problems and arthritis. It is not important if you chew it, add it to salads or enjoy it in stir French fries, this weed will improve your health for the years to come.