Plantain is one of the most accessible herbs there is – it's another medicinal that's considered a “weed” by many! It's so useful, though. Not only is it edible and nutritious (treat it like spinach or use older leaves to make a tea), it's also has topical healing properties.
According to Mountain Rose Herbs,
Medicinally, plantain leaf is approved by the German Commission E for respiratory catarrhs and mild inflammation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. It is traditionally used for upper respiratory support, and is topically used for minor cuts, bruises, and stings. The leaves of plantain are quite edible, and are often cooked as greens or used raw in salads. Older leaves have a stronger flavor and may be considered objectionable. These older, stringy leaves may still be used in herbal teas, and are particularly suitable for survival situations where the tough fibers may be converted to rope or fishing line. Plantain is very high in vitamins A and C and is also a rich source of calcium.
You can take fresh, clean leaves and place them over a wound before you bandage it. You can make quick-n-dirty “poultice” by chewing leaves and putting them on a small wound, sting, or bite.
You can also make a healing salve from plantain – it's great to have it handy and ready to go for first aid uses and throughout the year when plantain doesn't grow. I shared my recipe on Scratch Mommy today: