Monday, June 16, 2014

Wild Edibles #4 Broadleaf Plantain

Disclaimer: Some wild plants are not only edible but delicious. Other wild plants will kill you if you eat them. Be absolutely certain what a plant is before you eat it. Plant varieties differ from region to region. When in doubt, consult a local expert.

If I could know about only one wild edible and medicinal plant this one would probably be the one you would choose to know. It has many uses and is great for so many things.

I have known about Broadleaf Plantain for a very long time. My dad introduced me to the plant when I was a young child, but not for eating purposes. I had been stung by a wasp, my dad pulled a leaf, crushed it and placed it on the sting. The pain went away and there was no swelling. Later I got a cut that was bothering me. I tried this plant and guess what? It worked on the cut as well. 

It wasn't til much later that I realized you could eat this plant as well, and let me tell you Broadleaf Plantain is a powerhouse of a food and a medicine. This plant is native to Europe and most of North and Central Asia. It has been widely dispersed throughout the entire world. 

Broadleaf Plantain would be considered a small plant typically not reaching over 8 or 9 inches in height. It has wide leaves that grow from a central root. The leaves are a medium green. The veins of the leave run in a fan like pattern from the base. A stem rises up out of the center which holds the seeds in an almost wheat like fashion. I have never seen anything else that looks close.

Photo bomb by Mittens
As Food
When it comes to eating Broadleaf Plantain it is a nutritional powerhouse. Supplying vitamins A, C, and K not to mention several minerals, iron being one of the primary. Every part of this plant is edible. The leaves taste best when young and tender. As the leaves age they tend to get a little bitter, but not too bad. Best time to harvest is early spring or when new shoots appear after mowing. Dried leaves can be used to make an herbal tea. Even the seeds are edible.This little plant is so widely heralded by foragers that there are even a fairly wide range of recipes for broadleaf plantain. 

As Medicine

Remember at the beginning when I said that I knew this plant for years as the sting plant? Oh it is so much more! This plant has anti-microbial properties "stops nasties from growing and causing infection". Plantain stimulates tissue growth;"things will heal much faster". Also,Plantain reduces pain and discomfort; "actually has a little pain re-leaving properties". You can crush, chew, or make a poultice out of the leaves to unleash all of the above mentioned properties. Tea made from the dried leaves actually helps relieve diarrhea. Talk about a multipurpose plant! 

Here is the kicker. Broadleaf plantain is most likely in your yard right now. Nearly all of the weed and feed products try to kill this beneficial little plant. Show plantain some love and let it grow. If you do it will be there when you need it. Below is the YouTube video on the same plant. 

You can subscribe to The Rural Economist by email by simply filling out the form at the top right of the page. Your information will never be sold or given to anyone else. You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. Or you can even follow The Rural Economist on Pintrest. You can also subscribe to The Rural Economist Youtube Channel.

Other Posts in this Series: #1 Wood Sorrel#2 Wild Strawberry and WoodberryWild Edibles #3 Dove's Foot Geranium

I wish you
Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes


  1. I'm 40 years old female I tested genital herpes (HSV1-2) positive in 2016. I was having bad outbreaks. EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I have try different kinds of drugs and treatment by the medical doctors all to know was avail. Six months ago I was desperately online searching for a helpful remedies for genital herpes (HSV1-2) cure, which I come across some helpful remedies on how Dr OYAGU have help so many people in curing genital herpes (HSV1-2) with the help of herbal treatment because I too believe there is someone somewhere in the world who can cure herpes completely. At of the past 2 months, however, I've been following his herpes protocol Via or +2348101755322 and it stopped all outbreaks completely! To my greatest surprise I was cured completely by following the protocol of his herbal medicine . Don't be discouraged by the medical doctors. There is a cure for HSV with the help of herbs and roots by a herbalist Dr call Dr OYAGU he is so kind and truthful with his herbal treatment, kindly contact him for more information Via or WhatsApp DR on +2348101755322 or visit his website you will be lucky as I am today

  2. I Want To Appreciate Dr OYAGU for his great deeds, I Was Diagnosed With type 2 Herpes Virus Last year, And I Was Looking For Solution To Be Cured Luckily I Saw Testimonies On How Dr OYAGU Cure Herpes Virus I Decided To Contact Dr OYAGU I Contacted Him He Prepared A Herbal Medicine Portion And Sent It To Me, I Started The Herbal Medicine For My Health. He Gave Me Step By Step Instructions On How To Apply It, When I Applied It As Instructed, I Was Cured Of This Deadly Herpes Within 2 weeks, I Am Now Herpes Negative. My Brother And Sister I No That There Are So Many People That Have The Same Herpes Virus Please contact Dr OYAGU To Help You Too, And Help Me To Thank Dr OYAGU For Cure Me, I’m Cured By Dr. OYAGU Herbal Medicine, His Contact or visit his website Cell Whatsapp Number +2348101755322 thank you