PLANTAIN, Plantago major or lanceolata

A friend of mine took his favorite dog on a hunt one day. The dog got bitten on the shoulder by a big diamondback rattlesnake. When he got the dog back home, we put some plantain juice on the bite. The dog kept licking the juice off. We put some plantain juice in a bowl and the dog lapped it up. Then we smashed up some plantain leaf and put it on the dog’s shoulder for a couple of days. The dog laid around the first day. The second day, she was up and down, but the third day she seemed normal, thanks to plantain.

The Native Americans call plantain “white man’s foot print” because it is everywhere. The plantain you find in the lawn is usually Plantago major. It is a broad-leafed plant that stays low to the ground, and has a little crooked seed stem that grows up out of the middle of the plant. Plantago lanceolata is usually found in backyards and waste places. It ha a long narrow leaf with the veins that run parallel from stem to tip. Some plants will grow a foot tall and the seed stem grows straight up from the middle of the plant sometimes reaching a height of two feet.

My daughter put on an old pair of shoes that was in the garage and she got bitten between the toes by a bog black widow spider. She was going to a dance and didn’t want to take the time to do something about the bite. She started feeling ill and came home within the hour. Her foot was all swollen and red spots were starting up her leg. She had a fever and was quite sick. We put a plantain poultice on the bite, then gave her a lot vitamin C and calcium along with plantain tea. Next morning, she felt fine and all you could see was a little red spot between her toes. Have you ever had a sting or a bite that kept itching no matter what you did? Well, all you have to do is find some plantain in your lawn, or yard, and bruise the leaf, then rub it on the bite or sting. It will leave a little green spot on your skin, but will usually take away the itch or hurt at least twenty-four hours.

Plantain is an infection fighter for the immune system. It fights blood poisoning, kidney and bladder infection, poisonous bites and stings. Plantain is one of the main herbs in Grandma’s herbal Anti formula as it is an herbal antibiotic. A friend told me that she felt so bad she didn’t want to live anymore. She ate a lot of plantain and threw up a lot of morbid matter. She got well and is happy to be alive and to feel so great.

The history of plantain goes back. The Greek physician Dioscorides, in the first century, recommended plantain for many uses such as for the healing wounds, fighting infection and as a cure for the body sores. Pliny, another early herbalist, states that plantain would cure the madness of a dog. Even Shakespeare recommended plantain for a broken skin. I knew a carpenter who cut himself with a chisel. He didn’t take care of the wound and it became infected, then a red streak ran up his arm and formed a lump under his arm pit. He was worried because he knew another carpenter who had lost his arm the same way. He was told about the plantain and how good it was for the blood poisoning. He got some plantain, washed and mashed it, then made a poultice and put it on the wound. He also made some plantain tea and drank it. In a few days the man was well.

Plantain is one of those herbs recommended for many ailments: Poisonous bites and stings, boils and carbuncles, tumors, kidney and bladder infection, inflammation, eczema, thrush, blood poison, yeast infection, malignant bleeding ulcers, hemorrhoids, bed-wetting, mastitis, poison ivy and many more. Plantain, anyone?

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