Saturday, May 28, 2011

wild edibles: plantain and dandelion greens

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!

in this video, tam shows how she used plantain paste to heal her 2nd-degree burn.

rick posted this link which shows how to make a soothing ointment for skin irritations like bug bites and rashes. with mosquito season around the corner, i know this stuff will come in handy!

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!


  1. I got a mosquito bite last night and I am out to get a blade of plantain now to put on it :)

  2. Ever since I found out what plantain was I am seeing it everywhere! I haven't tried it on a mostquito bite yet. The leaf did seem bitter when I tried it, good to know the tea isn't.

  3. jane, the oil has already proved effective on my bug bites. thanks for schooling us on plantain.=)

    bitt, it's everywhere around here too. yeah, i found some of the leaves to be bitter, but not the young ones. the tea is really good. i'm drinking it now.=)

  4. wow, thanks Kelli. This info is what I have been praying for. I have been asking that all the info I need to help heal my family would be presented to me and each day I am learning something new! The plantain is what the family members with inflammatory GI issues need. I wonder where I could get some?? I have not seen those weeds in SW Florida.
    Peace and Raw Health,

  5. elizabeth, they sell plantain tea online. if you want to email me your address i could send you dried leaves! i've got plenty!

  6. Excellent ideas and beautiful pictures, Kelli! I started using the plantain that grows like a weed, in my green smoothies, and I was curious to see other people using this extraordinary green herb! Very delicious + nutritious!

  7. Congratulations, Kelli! Great ideas & beautiful pictures! I am now using plantain leaves in my smoothies!

  8. Thank you for this good info for plantain. I will try to find this plant in my area


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