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Author Topic: Broadleaf Plantain - a fix for inflamed owies  (Read 578 times)

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Patty S

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Broadleaf Plantain - a fix for inflamed owies
« on: March 12, 2009, 03:04:05 AM »

For as long as I can remember, whenever someone had an owie that started turning red & irritated, we were told to "put an Indian leaf on it".  It wasn't hard to find one in the yard, growing close enough to the ground to have escaped the mower.  It wasn't until I got interested in gardening that I learned its real name... its the Broadleaf Plantain... one of the last weeds you'd ever want showing up in your lawn! :pullhairout: 
          
Take note that most of the leaves are Band-Aid size... I don't believe that it was a "mistake" in their design, as they'll fit nicely under a Band-Aid & make the perfect poultice for hangnails, slivers & cuts that have started to inflame or fester.

I always suspected that the "Indian" part of the name was just an expression, so I wasn't too surprised to read that it really is an old Indian remedy!

According to the Champaign-Urbana Herb Society,
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Lanten (Broadleaf Plantain)
The primary use is to treat bee stings, rashes and skin irritations. It was used by many Indian tribes in poultices for wounds and snake bites. A decoction of the boiled seeds aids in childhood lung problems, mild stomachaches and painful ulcers. The seeds of lanten are combined with fruit juices or brandy to make a laxative tincture that is very soothing to the inner lining of the intestinal tract
.

The leaf seems to do the job without fussing around with crushing them or making any type of paste out of them... we've always simply picked one, washed it off & taped it down.  Most of the time, healing is markedly advanced within 12 to 24 hours.  If an abraision is severely red & inflamed, it might take longer & the leaf will dry out in a matter of hours as it does its job, so a fresh one might be needed.  Broadleaf Plantain even works like a charm for irritated zits & boils.

About the plant itself, wikimedia.org/wikipedia says,
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The Broadleaf Plantain or Greater Plantago (Plantago major) is a member of the plantago family, Plantaginaceae. In North America, this plant is primarily a weed, though it is edible and is used in herbal medicine. The plant is native to Europe, and is believed to be one of the first plants to naturalize in the colonies.

This plant does best in compacted soils, and hence is sometimes called "roadweed". It is commonly found on field boundaries as it is tolerant to pesticides and herbicides. It is wind-pollenated, and a cause of summer allergies when in flower.

Where found: Common lawn weed found throughout

Availability: Best in Early Spring, also usable in Summer and Fall, but tough and stringy.

Use: Crushed leaves can be applied directly to the skin to stop bleeding, bee stings and insect bites. Psyllium seeds are a bulk laxative. The young leaves are delicious raw in salads. In summer and fall the leaves can be eaten as boiled greens.

When we first moved to Oregon, we couldn't find it anywhere, & we even tried to pot some up & bring them home with us from Washington State, so we could have a plant handy, but they don't seem to like pots! :frustrated:  As it turns out, we lived here for nearly two years before discovering that Broadleaf Plantain is alive & well at both River Forks & Stewart Parks in Roseburg! (Our taxes at work!) :giggle:  Actually, I'd rather have them growing in the parks, than in our yard, cuz they're buggers to control... going to the park to grab a few leaves to keep on hand in the fridge isn't anywhere close to the problem that having them in the yard would be, cuz Weed N Feed doesn't even phase them! :ok:
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Peggy

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Re: Broadleaf Plantain - a fix for inflamed owies
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 09:00:46 AM »

My in laws ate these greens! I remember making trips to pick them. Along with miner's lettuce!  I never tried it, that was before my taste buds gerw up! :) Peg
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Patty S

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Re: Broadleaf Plantain - a fix for inflamed owies
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 09:45:52 AM »

What is "miners lettuce"? Got a pic?
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ChristianHerbalist

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Re: Broadleaf Plantain - a fix for inflamed owies
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 11:12:08 AM »

Broadleaf plantago is especially good for 'owies', but can also be used for respiratory infections. Narrowleaf plantago's "specialty", so to speak is respiratory.


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