Herb Library

Back to Herb Menu     Back to Index

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Plantago major)
Also see: Plantain, Banana

CONTAINS: Allantoin, Vitamins A, C and K, calcium, sulphur, potassium salts, aucubin. Rich in factor T (arrests bleeding).

PROPAGATION: Common lawn and yard weed which is propagated by seed.
HARVEST: Entire plant.
FLOWER: Insignificant and appearing in July.


Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (leaves contain the antibiotic aucubin), and antihemorrhagic.
Has been used for respiratory problems involving mucous congestion.
Has been used to soothe a drastic cough reflex.
Has also been used for asthma, bronchial infection, rasping cough, tickling cough, nervous cough, hoarseness, lung infections, hayfever relief, lung problems, dry cough, bronchial congestion, excess mucous production, whooping cough, tuberculosis.
Has been used for bladder problems, urinary bleeding, cystitis and helps the kidneys.
Has been used to neutralize stomach acids, for ulcers, diarrhea, constipation (seeds), vomiting of blood, chronic infections of the gastrointestinal tract, gastritis, and colitis.
Wound and bruise healer used to stop bleeding, for skin ulcers (poultice), and badly healing wounds.
Has been applied to wounds, cuts, sores, insect bites, abrasions, infections, ulcerations and chronic skin problems. Leaves can be used like a bandaid. The mashed leaves are applied directly for bee or wasp sting.
A poultice of the leaves has been used to draw out foreign objects.
The decoction has been used externally for ringworms.
Hs been used internally as vermifuge.
Has been used to cool skin from burns and scalds.
Fresh leaves have been placed on feet after hiking to relieve pain and fatigue.
Has been used for excessive menses
Tea has been used externally to sooth shingles, inflamed eyes and as a skin lotion.
Seeds have been used to purge bowel (add 1 tsp seeds in 4 oz. of cold water and let swell 2 hours; drink before last meal of the day for constipation.
For hemorrhoids seeds have been boiled in milk and taken at bedtime.
For mouth infections in children, 1 oz of the seeds has been boiled in 1½ pints water and sweetened with honey to make a syrup.
For toothache the fresh root has been chewed (or pulverized), then dried, then powdered and placed in a hollow tooth.
Crushed leaves have been used for insect bite, nettle rash, poison ivy and snakebite (historically).
Has been used as eardrops to treat severe internal catarrhal infection (otitis media).
Has been used for fever.

Seeds can be harvested, winnowed, soaked and cooked like rice or ground into meal to make pancakes and flatbreads.


Steep 1 tsp fresh or dried leaves in 1/2 C. water; take 1 to 1½ cups per day, a mouthful at a time.
1 oz of leaves in 1 pint boiling water; take 1 c. three to 4 times a day for more serious ailments.

Boil 1 oz. dried leaves in 1/2 quart water.

2 C. of ground, dried seeds combined with 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp sugar, 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp oil, and 1 C. milk; cook on griddle.

No Image Available

Stalks made into a paste and used for ulcers, sores and poor digestion.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH