Plantain: The Pharmacy in the Sidewalks
Every spring, summer, and fall you can find this little plant right there in the cracks of the sidewalk, mixed in with the dandelions and somehow always staying alive no matter how many times it gets stepped on.
Those are the Plantains, both the Broadleaf and the Lance, though their habit of growing wild in the American colonies earned them the name of “White Man’s Footprint”. It is these two leafy herbs with their spear like stalks rising up above them that you may want to take a moment to spare from your annual weed spray or trimmer this year and instead add them to your pantry or First Aid kit, and here’s why:
1. Can I eat it?
Yes! In fact you can eat this plant! Though if you wish to dice yourself up a salad using the leaves it’s recommended that you harvest them while they are young as the leaves get tough and fibrous the older they get. But either way they are a great source of calcium and vitamin A. Plus, as a bonus for all those out there suffering with digestive issues, either from prolonged use of anti-inflammatory, analgesic, or antibiotics our leafy friend as the right stuff to help soothe and heal the irritation. Finally, if you wish to take the time to gather them the seeds located on the stalks of the plant can be used as a flour substitute for those with a Gluten allergy.
2. This bug bite REALLY itches!
Did someone forget their mosquito repellent and become the bug’s personal smorgasbord? Take a leaf, grind it up, and place the poultice on top of the bite and let the astringent nature of the herb suck out the toxin for immediate relief. But it doesn’t stop there as its properties extend to rashes and skin disorders, acne and infection from slivers and glass splinters. Simply apply the ointment and cover it with a clean and soft cloth, preferably cotton, and leave for four to twelve hours for results.
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