Sunday, 14 October 2012

What is it? #4 revealed

photo: Wendy Denton
So, did you guess correctly? It's called Ribwort Plantain or Plantago lanceolata and is very common. It is often thought of as a weed but it also has valuable medicinal qualities.For example, the leaves can be made into a tea for a cough medicine and used as a dressing for wounds and swellings.The root is said to be a remedy for the bite of a rattlesnake and the seeds used in the treatment of parasitic worms.Even a distilled water made from the plant is said to be a good eye treatment. 

Many years ago people would have had a much better knowledge of local plants and their uses. Sadly, that knowledge is becoming lost as people spend less and less time outdoors. However, please do not attempt to use any plant as a medicine knowing what you are doing, some plants are extremely poisonous and could cause harm. One thing I can tell you though is that plantain is supposed to be even better than a dock leaf for healing a sting from a nettle.

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