Edible uses


Young leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4][5][6]. They are rather bitter and tedious to prepare because the fibrous strands need to be removed before use[7]. It is best not to use the leaf-stalk since this is even more fibrous than the leaf[6]. Many people blanch the leaves in boiling water before using them in salads in order to make them more tender[6]. A Chinese form has more palatable leaves - it contains about 2.7% protein, 0.4% fat, 2.2% ash[8].

Seed - raw or cooked[5][9]. Very tedious to harvest[9]. The seed can be ground into a meal and mixed with flour[6]. It is very rich in vitamin B1[8]. The whole seeds can be boiled and used like sago[10]. The dried leaves make an acceptable tea[6].

Root[6]. No further details.


Unknown part


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Plantago major.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Common plantain is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue[11].

The leaves are astringent, demulcent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic and refrigerant[12][13][7][14][15][16][9][17]. Internally, they are used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma and hay fever[17][11]. They are used externally in treating skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings etc[12]. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, swellings etc[18][19]. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Marrubium vulgare[20]. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms[18]. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes[17]. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds[17].

A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion[13].

Additional information for Plantain