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Let 'em Grow: Plantain

By Sharon
August 3, 2012

This is one in a series of very short articles that might change your mind about some surprisingly good weeds. And even if your mind isn't changed, you'll still be well informed.

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Seattle WA. Zone 7
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Sherri
Aug 2, 2012 8:18 PM CST
I almost feel guilty pulling up a driveway full of narrow leaf plantain at the new house now.
I had only half heard a program on TV about a first nations woman in Vancouver waxing poetic about this plant. I have tried to look up the program, but really hadn't found the information. I'm so glad you wrote this, thank you.
It is just amazing what we treat as disposable and "bad". We have lost so much useful knowledge, or are in danger of loosing so much useful knowledge. I look forward to your next article.
Thanks again.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 2, 2012 8:40 PM CST
Hello Sherri,
That's why I write so often about the things I learned growing up; I really don't want to forget.
Thank you for reading and for your comment; of course I agree with you. And if you find the program maybe you can send a link.
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 2, 2012 8:49 PM CST
Very interesting Sharon. As usual, I learned something I never knew. Thank you.

Actually, I rather like the looks of Plaintain. As long as it isn't chocking out something I'm growing for another purpose --- it's going to be left alone to do it's own thing. Smiling
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 2, 2012 9:15 PM CST
It really can take over, Anni, but usually in a good way.
Good for you!
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Aug 2, 2012 10:37 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:
Actually, I rather like the looks of Plaintain. As long as it isn't chocking out something I'm growing for another purpose --- it's going to be left alone to do it's own thing. Smiling

I agree
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texasnatureonline.com



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twitcher
Aug 2, 2012 10:44 PM CST
Do you know if the tuberous roots are edible?
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
Leap. The net will appear.
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AlohaHoya
Aug 2, 2012 10:53 PM CST
In Hawaii it is Native Medicine: the leaf is chewed and then applied to a cut or scrape...acts like Neosporin! Also used to lessen inflamation! Great article Sharon!
It's all about choices.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 2, 2012 11:23 PM CST
The roots are edible, Twitcher, but I've only known about them made into a tea. I think all parts of the plant are filled with Vitamins A and D specifically, plus tons of minerals, calcium, etc. Too, if you roast those seeds, they release a nutty flavor in breads or on salads.

Carol, your natives know a lot of medicinal plants and I'm so glad it's still in use there.

It does work like Neosporin, heals just as quickly too. Aunt Bett used to chew it up, spit it out and slap it on her own scratches from briars or any other scrapes she might have. Bug bites, too. I'm sure the same was done to me a time or two way back then. You can also make a salve of it, same way other salves are made. It is an excellent plant for food or medicine!

Thanks, Carol for your comment.
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[Last edited by Sharon - Aug 3, 2012 9:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Aug 2, 2012 11:25 PM CST
Thank you Sharon for another very informative article, what a great plant, I had no idea!! Thumbs up
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 2, 2012 11:38 PM CST
I've been accused of having a head full of useless information and I was afraid this might be an example. Still it is fun to share things that can really make a difference! Smiling
Thanks Margaret!
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Aug 3, 2012 12:02 AM CST
Good article! I used to have some Plantago coronopus and Plantago lanceolata, but unfortunately, they didn't survive the worst of the drought. I used to eat the P. coronopus leaves sometimes, as it was the tastier kind of the two.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 3, 2012 1:55 AM CST
Actually I have more narrow-leaf than broadleaf here, but I prefer the taste of broadleaf for nibbling.
Thanks, Linda.
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Aug 3, 2012 3:42 AM CST
ooohhh you have to add the best mosquito bite cure ever!!!... take a lighter or match.. wilt the leaf.. squish it so the oils come out... on a new bite ... if you put that on there.. it's gone forever!!!.. the people at Well-Sweep Herb Farm taught me that!!!... just love that place!!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Aug 3, 2012 3:46 AM CST
oh they said if you don't have a lighter you can chew it.. but it is not a pleasant experience
central Illinois
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jmorth
Aug 3, 2012 6:04 AM CST
curioser and curioser
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 3, 2012 10:07 AM CST
Allison, that's what I was talking about up there when I answered Carol in the wee hours of the morning. I just glanced back and saw I wrote 'but bites' instead of bug bites. (Just now fixed that!! - I think I need an editor to follow along behind me.) I didn't know about the lighter thing, but I sure did know about chewing it. And yes it absolutely does work on mosquito bites.

It also works on shin scrapes. Overnight too. (Don't ask how I know this.)

Jmorth, take a look at this blog site: http://www.aloe-vera-and-handy-herbs.com/plantain.html

I just found it this morning and it's full of more information than I gave in the article. You might find it useful too.
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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Aug 3, 2012 1:19 PM CST
Dear Sharon, we have stinging nettles Urtica diocia although you have them as well in the US! They normally grow on disturbed ground, where a fire has been or is high in phosphate. They are great for butterflies but not much help for the unwary gardener, as they hurt! Normally wherever you find stinging nettles you will also find dock plants growing Rumex obtusifolius and if you get stung by a nettle and rub on a dock leaf, it stops the pain.
If there are no dock leaves you can use a plantain Plantago major which does work but slower than a dock. Nettles are eaten here in the nettle eating championship held in Dorset each year! Every competitor is given a number of plants and they have to strip them and eat them. However there is an art to this, for nettle hairs which are hypodermic only point upwards, so you start at the bottom ( in theory). I have never tried it though! Rolling on the floor laughing
They also make beer and cordial from nettles and it used to be used to die clothes as well, they are highly medicinal as well. The first record we have of them is in pagan times.
Although I prefer plantains as they do not sting!
Regards from England.
Neil.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 3, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Thanks for all that info, Neil.

I for sure will remember about eating nettles. I'll try to restrain myself!!
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Aug 3, 2012 2:30 PM CST
Nettles should only be used cooked or brewed. I usually brew with very hot water for tea or sometimes I add fresh nettle to something I'm cooking. Harmless and very nutritious!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Sandy Coffman
Jacksonville, Florida
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wren
Aug 3, 2012 2:44 PM CST
I have been looking for some for some butterflies that use it as a host plant, now I will look for some for me. Green Grin!
Thanks

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