Author Topic: Featured Herb : Just as commonly found as Dandelion is Plantain  (Read 1252 times)

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Offline Little Feather

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Featured Herb : Just as commonly found as Dandelion is Plantain
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 06:08:28 AM »

Just as commonly found as Dandelion is Plantain. There are two well-known types of Plantain, common and long-leaf. Both have similar qualities and both are entirely edible. Pictured is the common Plantain.

Plantain is abundantly found in lawns, fields, roadsides, and waste areas. Please be sure the plants you pick are free of pesticides and other chemicals.

Culinary uses: Young leaves are eaten raw, thrown in salads, or cooked, boil for 10 to 15 minutes and serve with butter. Stalks are dried for vegetable chewies. Seeds are eaten as sprouts.  Common plantain not only has medicinal value, but is a great staple for diets focused on the harvest and consumption of wild plants. It, in early spring, is a fresh-tasting addition to a spring salad, is a great addition to a dinner plate as a boiled vegetable, and provides a flour-like paste from its psyllium seed stalks.

The flowers can be eaten raw, and taste something like a cross between a potato and a hazelnut. Because of its high psyllium content, the flower and seed stalk is an effective laxative, but also acts as a great thickener for soups and stews. These seed pods can be sun dried and used throughout the year.
As the summer progresses, the broad, heavy leaves of the common plantain develop thick veins and become quite stringy. Even when boiled, they remain fairly tough. At this point, it is best to use the leaves in an infusion, or as a stock for soups. Because of its high beta carotene and calcium content, it is valued throughout its growing season. However, we have successfully dried and crushed the leaves, and used them in winter as a spice in soups and as a garnish on meat,

Medicinal uses: Used widely in folk medicine around the world. It is a confirmed antimicrobial; stimulates the healing process. Traditionally used for coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, and bloody urine. Science has confirmed bronchodilation action; used in Europe for bronchitis and bronchial spasms due to colds. Leaves applied to blisters, sores, ulcers, swelling, insect stings; also used for earaches, eye ailments; it is thought to reduce heat and pain of inflammation. The mucilage from the seed may lower cholesterol levels.

Cosmetic uses: Can be used as an underarm deodorant. Prepare the leaves by placing 3 leaves together, then crush with a rock or hammer until the juices flow. Remove the inside leaf and wipe juice on underarms.

Collection and Storage: Leaves are easily twisted from the ground by hand. The stalks are clipped and dried in a day or so. Leave stocks until the seeds are easily removed. Save stalks for a crispy stick food.

We will focus on the Plantain this week with more recipes and folklore. Please feel free to share any recipes and stories of your own.  (Become a Forum Member to post) 

Herm 'n HannaH

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culinary herb, plantain, edible wild plants, medicinal herbs, medicinal herbs, cosmetic herbs, Herm & HannaH's Herbs, Back40Forums
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 06:28:17 AM by Little Feather »