jane from the wonderful blog hard work homestead has been featuring wild edibles with impressive nutritional profiles like violets, prolific plantain and dandelion greens.
turns out ribwort plantain is the weed that grows all over my yard! the leaves are easily identified by their ribbed veins; the flowers are also fairly simple to spot.
plantain's anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties make it the ideal healer internally and externally. topically, the leaves "will stop excessive bleeding and heal insect bites, stings, rashes, inflammation, infections, boils, diaper rash, ulcers and sores of all kinds." (source)
some call plantain leaves fairy band-aids!
following another tutorial on plantain oil, i left the jar in the sun for a day. i'll leave it covered on my counter for a few more weeks then strain the mixture into small jars.
internally, plantain may be used to remedy "diarrhea, bowel and kidney problems, stomach ulcers, excessive menstruation, urinary tract infections, bladder infections and even bedwetting. It is also used for treating chronic bronchitis, coughs, and other upper respiratory problems. Germany's Commission E, equivalent to the American Food and Drug Administration, has approved the remedy for use in treating these conditions. Drink three to four cups of plantain tea daily for the best results." (source)
for tea, plantain leaves, flowers, roots and seeds can be used fresh or dried. most of my harvested plantain and dandelion greens dried in the dehydrator in about 24 hours. drying them in a brown bag or the sun may also work.
plantain tea has a pleasant mild flavor - no sweetener needed.
plantain leaves, like dandelion greens, can also be cooked! this french lentil bean, brown rice and butternut squash dish contained plantain and dandelion as well as garden kale and radish greens.
so far the home garden is growing beautifully. we're harvesting lots of lettuce, kale, and a few sugar snap peas and strawberries each day. i'll post photos soon!