The plantains used as medicinal herbs
are low-growing plants that you can find growing almost anywhere. Traditionally, plantain herb has been used to treat a variety of conditions ranging from coughs and congestion to nausea, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea. Some herbalists think the herb may level out cholesterol numbers and help control blood sugar. A poultice of plantain leaves or a spritz of plantain tea contains antibacterial properties that make it an effective treatment for skin irritations, including bites, cuts, scrapes, sunburn and poison ivy. Although plantain is considered to be safe, the herb should never be used to treat illness without guidance from a medical provider. The entire plantain plant, including the roots, is edible. The tender leaves can be lightly boiled like spinach, or used fresh in salads. Plantain herbs
growing requires very little effort, as the plant grows across the country in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 9.
grows in full sun or partial shade and nearly any soil, including sandy or rocky soil. Plant seeds directly in the garden in spring, or start them indoors a few weeks of time. A week of chilling time in the refrigerator (stratification) helps ensure germination. Harvest plantain any time by snipping the leaves or digging the roots with a spade or garden fork. Always wash the leaves thoroughly and be careful about harvesting plantain growing along roadsides or in unfamiliar ideas, as these plants may be sprayed with herbicides.
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