For generations, the naturally abundant Ribwort plantain (Plantain lanceolata) has been a go-to remedy in our local traditions. Found almost everywhere in our countryside, this wild herb, a relative of the greater plantain with its broader leaves, has been cherished for its curative properties.
Historically, it was seen as an immediate remedy in many rural communities. An old saying went, “It’s quicker to reach for plantain than to visit the doctor”. Of course, this herb doesn’t replace medical advice, but its healing attributes are too valuable to overlook.
Packed with flavonoids, iridoids, mucilage, tannins, and minerals, Plantain lanceolata is revered for its multitude of health benefits including its soothing, expectorant qualities, mucous membrane toning, antispasmodic, healing, and hemostatic properties.
Here are some ways you can harness its benefits:
Tincture: Consume 3-5 ml (60 drops – 1 teaspoon) thrice daily to address catarrh or digestive ailments like gastritis or IBS.
Juice: Extract juice from its dried leaves. Take 2 teaspoons three times a day, useful for issues like cystitis, diarrhea, and respiratory infections. This juice can also be applied externally to wounds.
Infusion: Sip a cup thrice daily to combat phlegm or gargle with it to soothe a sore throat.
Syrup: Blend 225 grams of sugar with 300 ml of infusion. A teaspoon can alleviate a sore throat and coughing.
Poultices: Crush fresh leaves to create a paste that can be applied to slow-healing wounds, chronic ulcers, or insect bites.
The next time you come across this natural wonder, consider tapping into its wealth of healing properties. Nature always surprises us with its gifts.