Plantain Growing Tips and Health Benefits
Plantain (Plantago major) is a weed that you may have thrown out many times from your garden. This is an abundantly growing plant found all over North America. It has oval, ribbed short-stemmed leaves, with spiky flowers.
The plant grows in clumps. A very persistent plant, it has been seen to grow in cracks in walls, on fences, and virtually anywhere it is uninterrupted.
Most people throw out weeds on the first instance of appearance, but you should know that plantain is a very beneficial herb that has been used for centuries in the treatment of medical complaints such as mouth sores, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and many others.
The leaves of plantain are rich in tannin and allatonin, chemicals which help heal wounds quickly. As a result, plantain leaves have anti-inflammatory properties. The plant is also rich in vitamins and minerals, and thus can be ingested with great benefit in salads.
Cultivation of Plantain
The important thing to remember with plantain is that it is a wild herb that can well take care of itself. It doesn’t require extra fuss or care. On the other hand, if allowed to grow free, it will soon take over your entire garden, so your main effort will be in keeping its population in control.
Plantain is best grown indoors, as placing it in garden beds is only asking for trouble. If you are determined, however, to have a large growth of plantain, you may keep a separate bed for them, but make sure it is sufficiently separated from the rest of your garden, or you will soon find your precious flower beds invaded by this weed.
Plantain seeds are probably not available in nurseries, although it doesn’t hurt to look.
If you find wild plantain growing outdoors, pluck it out and bring it home. Replant it in potting soil. It should soon spread seeds and reproduce quite past in your pot.
Tips on Growing Plantain
- Keep away any plantain from the rest of your garden. Once introduced to the fertile soils of your flower beds or vegetable patches, it may be quite hard to remove.
- If you do have plantain growing in your garden, remove them and add to your cooking as soon as possible. Delaying may cause seeds to be spread, and you are bound to have a much more difficult time later. A stitch in time saves nine!
- Keep explanations well ready for curious neighbors who might wonder why you are dedicating time and effort in growing what is apparently just a weed!
- Don’t worry about replanting in appropriate time – the hardy plant will reproduce with such vigor that you are guaranteed to have a fresh supply throughout the year.
Medicinal Uses of Plantain
While plantain may have the humbling description tag of being just a common garden weed, it is in fact a potent source of powerful health benefits. Do not be fooled by its weed status – plantain comes chock full of surprises, and a wide range of applications.
Pain reliever – Plantain can act as an effective pain reliever. Heat the leaves and apply to sore muscles or other areas to relieve pain.
Helps heal wounds quickly – Applying plantain tincture or a poultice to wounds can help them to heal quickly. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and astringent properties of chemicals found in the plantain leaves. A chemical found in plantain leaves, called Allatoin, helps cure wounds faster
Sore throat cure – Plantain tea can easily relieve a sore throat. For best results, ingest it lukewarm
A great source of vitamins and minerals – Plantain contains valuable and important vitamins and minerals, such as Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
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