Parts used: the whole herb
Latin: Plantago major, P. lanceolata
Fresh plantain leaves are chewed or ground to poultice bites, wounds, skin problems, hemorrhoids, and are steeped to make a douche for leucorrhea. The ground or chewed leaves are styptic for wounds. Caution: in general it is best to soak fresh wild plants in water to which a few tablespoons of vinegar or sea salt have been added for twenty minutes to remove parasites before chewing or ingesting. Chew the fresh leaves and pack them around infected teeth and gums to pull out pus and suppuration. Plantain can be added to healing salves and poultices. For tonsillitis, apply a plantain poultice to the neck. Plantain is soothing to insect stings. The upper side of the leaf is laid on a sore, the lower side of the leaf is said to draw out infection. For a wound with embedded glass, dirt, sand, etc., try placing a plantain poultice with a little cayenne pepper in it on the would for an hour. For diarrhea, vomiting, profuse menstruation, or any other acute discharges, simmer the leaves in water into which a piece of red-hot quartz has been dropped. In a burn salve use a mixture of plantain leaf, black currant leaf (Ribes nigrum), elder buds (Sambucus nigra), angelica (Angelica archangelica) root, and parsley (Carum petroselinum).
For a healing salve combine plantain, celandine (Chelidonium majus), elder buds and young leaves (Sambucus nigra), and houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum). The tea benefits diarrhea, piles, coughs, mucus congestion, gastro-intestinal problems, worms, bladder problems, and stomach ulcers. Chew the roots to temporarily relieve toothache (be sure to steep the root in salted or vinegar water for twenty minutes before chewing). You can eat the very young leaves in salads (avoid the older leaves as they may cause constipation).
Plantain Tea: Steep one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water for twenty minutes and take one cup, four times a day.
Seeds: For thrush, simmer one ounce of the seeds per pint of water until one pint remains. Add honey and feed in tablespoon doses, four times a day.
Juice: Five teaspoons a day of the fresh juice is taken in milk or soup for lung conditions, bowel and digestive problems, worms, bladder complaints, stomach ulcers.