English Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata) is a great herb for many reasons. It has been used historically in the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland to help digestive health.
English Plantain reduces bloating and constipation by helping to stimulate bowel movements. It also helps relieve gas pains caused by eating foods that do not agree with your stomach or intestines. English plantain can be eaten raw or cooked, which makes it very versatile!
English Plantain is known as English weed, ribwort plantain, Rat’s Tails, ripple grass, lamb’s tongue, snakeweed, Englishman’s foot, rippleseed plantain, and buckhorn.
English Plantain plant is native to many parts of the world. It grows in roadsides, lawns, and gardens.
English Plantain grows on all continents except Antarctica. It prefers open areas with full sun or partial shade but grows under the dense tree canopy.
English Plantain grows in well-drained soils. It can withstand short periods of drought but does not grow well in constantly wet conditions.
Appearance: Stemless, rosette leaves with small white flower heads (ray flowers) and tiny black seeds in the center. Leaves are widest near the tip and taper toward the base, where they attach to a long stalk-like petiole that is sheathed at its junction with the basal leaves.
English plantain leaves are lanceolate, which means they’re long and narrow, with the width being much smaller than their length. It has a rough texture to them because of hairs covering the leaf surface. The edges are smooth, while there is only one vein at the base of each leaf stem (petiole). English plantains have a very distinctive odor, where the name “Bog Onion” comes from.
How to Grow: The plant can grow in well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade (in hotter climates). Ensure good air circulation around the plant as it is susceptible to mildew. Space each rosette apart at least 20 cm (12 inches) for optimum conditions. It can be grown from seed but is slow to establish.
English Plantain leaves and stems are used for medicinal purposes. They can be made into tea or juice to help with diarrhea, intestinal gas, upset stomachs, heartburn, urinary infections including kidney stones, and bedwetting in children.
Traditional Uses and Benefits of English Plantain
English Plantain is an edible herb that has been used traditionally for respiratory infections. It is taken as a tea or tincture for the common cold to reduce mucous production and help expel phlegm.
The English Plantain has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help heal wounds quickly without leaving scars.
English plantain is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat constipation. You can make tea out of the leaves or take it in supplement form. It’s packed with mucilage and fiber, both great for treating digestive issues like constipation.
English plantain has been known to help relieve acne through topical application of crushed leaves directly onto blemishes and pimples. The astringent of the English plantain helps to reduce inflammation and irritation on the skin.
The leaves have been traditionally used to treat insect bites and stings. This is because they contain a chemical known as allantoin, which can reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. When applied topically on insects’ bites or stings, it can help relieve discomfort from itchiness.
Prepare an eyewash by mixing the juice of fresh leaves with crushed ice in a clean cloth or cotton ball. Place over eyes to provide relief from itchy, irritated eyes caused by allergies and hay fever.
The leaves are used for treating burns. The leaf extract has anti-inflammatory properties that help quick recovery from the injury and reduce the chances of scarring.
English Plantain has been traditionally used for relief from coughs and colds, particularly in a poultice applied directly to the skin. It is best known as an effective remedy for bronchitis and respiratory infections such as pneumonia. It works especially well when combined with Marshmallow Root (Althaea Officinalis) and Licorice Root.
One study found that extracts of English Plantain were effective in treating eczema. Another study found it to be helpful for psoriasis treatment as well due to the anti-inflammatory effects.
The herbal tea made from the leaves has been traditionally taken as a drink to relieve digestion problems such as constipation, diarrhea, or dysentery.
English Plantain can be used to make tea from the leaves and applied directly onto mouth ulcers. The leaves contain chemicals that help fight against bacteria, which is why it’s effective at treating infection.
English Plantain is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and antioxidants. It has been shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, which makes it beneficial for those suffering from obesity or diabetes.
Dosage and Precautions
-Standard usage is one to two teaspoons of the tincture three times per day.
-A person could also use five drops of this tincture in a cup or glass of water, up to six cups per day. It may be mixed with other liquids as desired but should not be chewed or eaten whole.
-Alternatively, one to four capsules may be eaten per day or recommended by a qualified herbalist.
-English Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata) may also be used in a bath or foot soak two to four times per week.
English Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata) is considered safe in recommended doses. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have kidney disease, consult your medical practitioner before using it for therapeutic purposes. Also, note that there may be drug interactions with other herbs and over-the-counter medications, so check with a healthcare professional before using.
I hope you find these common herbs helpful!
1. Plantago lanceolata – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_lanceolata
2. Plantain | PeaceHealth. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-2148003
3. Narrow leaf plantain facts and health benefits. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/narrow-leaf-plantain/
4. Great Plantain: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose …. https://www.rxlist.com/great_plantain/supplements.htm
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