Plantago Major, a Species of Plantago that has multi uses in Many Survival Situations. Plantago Major, also known as great plantain, greater pantain or Broadleaf plantain should not be confused with the banana-like fruit, but is instead a common weed. That said, Plantago Major has been found to have many medicinal benefits and is a popular choice in alternative nature remedies.
Plantago Major is native across the world, particularly in Europe and northern and central Asia. It is a British native plant and can be found in people’s back garden. The Native American people’s, always quick to discover herbal remedies, nicknamed the plant “White Man’s Footprint”, as it grew wherever the white settlers were.
Scientific studies have shown that the practice of applying or eating plantain is not just herbal folklore. Health experts have found the plant to have an effect on wound healing, cellular growth, reducing pain and discomfort and helping with weight loss and diet plans. There is evidence that plantain can help reduce hay fever and could be a natural cure for cold symptoms. A poultice made of plantain leaves can be applied to treat cuts and wounds and skin inflammations.
This wonder plant is not just excellent for living a healthy life, but can also be used for survival situations. The bioactive compounds in the plant promote both anti inflammatory and antibacterial activity. Digesting plantain leaves has been found to improve your concentration, while the aucubin helps the kidneys to excrete uric acid at an increased rate. The stems of the mature plant can be shredded and woven to make survival items such as fishing line, cords and sutures.
Luckily, alongside plantain’s many positive biological effects, it also tastes nice. The leaves are full of calcium, flavonoids and vitamins and it provides a bitter undertone in a salad. Before cooking, wash the leaves and then roll several up into a cigar shape before cutting into strips. To infuse oil or vinegar simply half fill a jar with the cut plantain leaves and the liquid. Stick in a warm room for 3 weeks, shaking the jar every couple of days. Oils and vinegars can then be used in cooking or as cosmetic or medicinal treatments.
A popular recipe is to fry sliced onions in olive oil until soft and then add a mixture of chopped plantain and kale. Cook until tender and season with a drizzle of vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper. This makes an excellent side dish for chicken or fish. To battle cold or flu symptoms, steep 2 tablespoons of chopped plantain leaves in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add honey to the tea before drinking if a sweeter taste is preferred.
Although greater plantain grows wild, it is best to only pick home-grown plantain, so as to avoid outside toxins. It is one of the easiest crops in the world to grow. Greater plantain is unfussy about climate and is not tender to frost. Plants can grow up to 45cm,it flowers from May to September, with the seeds ripening from July to October. The plant is self-fertile, having both male and female organs and is pollinated by the wind. Greater plantain prefers moist soil but doesn’t mind if it is light or heavy, acid or alkaline. Its only concession is that it likes a bit of sun. Plantain copes well in high altitudes and near the sea. Plantain’s hardy nature means that it is often used for soil rehabilitation, while its roots break up compacted surfaces, they also keep the soil together and prevent erosion.