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Plantago major

Family: N.O. Plantaginaceae

Synonyms - broad-leaved plantain, common plantain, white man's foot, snakeweed, ripple grass, waybread, slan-lus, waybroad, cuckoo's bread, englishman's foot, buckhorn plantain, dog's ribs, hock cockle, rub grass, dooryard plantain, round-leaved plantain, weybroed (Anglo-Saxon), Che Qian Zi (China), Breitwegerich (German), Tanchagem-maior (Portuguese), Llantén común (Spanish), Llantén major (Spanish)


anti-viral, anti-toxic ,anti-histamin, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-carcinogenic, a 7diuretic an expectorant, a hypotensive and an organoleptic. This glycoside has been studied numerous times.


Plantain contains high levels of beta carotene (A). It also has ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and vitamin K. Plantain 8also contains silica which makes plantain high in calcium. This herb is high in mucilage especially the seeds.

Also active in plantains are monoterpene alkaloids, triterpenes, phenois, sugars and the flavonoids lutelin, scutellarin, baicalein, nepetin, hispidulin, plantagoside, and acteoside plantamajoside. Plantain also contains other plant acids such as chlorogenic, citric, ferulic, neochlorogenic, fumaric, hydroxycinnamic, salicylic, ursolic, and benzoic acids. Catalpol stimulates the production of adrenal cortical hormones. This increased the production of adrenal gland androgens, has an anti-inflammatory ability, seems to help in wound healing and increases the production of sex hormones.

Simple Home Remedies – Known as Snakeweed because of its abilities to draw poison from a wound. Plantain is so helpful when suffering from a bee sting, insect bite, stinging nettle sting or even a splinter. Just pick a fresh leaf chew it up and hey presto you have a “spit poultice”. Apply fresh spit poultices (with a sticky plaster if you have one) to the affected area as required every few hours.

Most Herbalists admire Plantain as an effective cellular regenerator, which makes it incredibly good at healing wounds. Plantain poultices, tinctures, creams and oils are essential for families and animals. It is wise to make sure you have plenty of homemade plantain cream or infused oil or tincture at the ready for any necessary situation. Having said that a fresh source of plantain is never far away!!

An infused oil of plantain is easy to make . Choose a dry, sunny day and harvest the plantain in the afternoon (once the dew has dried). Wipe the leaves clean of any moisture and debris with a tissue then pack tightly into a dry clean jar. Cover with olive oil (first pressed, cold pressed is best) to the top. Make sure the jar is out of direct sunlight and let it sit at room temperature for six weeks. Every day for the first week, top up the oil so that it completely covers the leaves. After six weeks, strain out the plant material. You now have your own beautiful emerald green, medicinal plantain oil! Once you have made a good infused oil it can easily be added to creams and salves.

You can also blend plantain into your breakfast smoothies; its bitter action is great for digestion, detoxing and liver cleansing. Yum Yum!!

Plantain is not only fantastic for people problems, but is also a valuable Animal Remedy. Drizzle the oil onto cuts, wounds, rashes, stings and other skin conditions. The Plantain will draw out any contaminants before effectively healing the damaged tissue. Try blending the Plantain with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil or Grapefruit seed extract for their added antifungal properties; this mix is excellent for treating the many fungal complaints suffered by horses.

As always be sure you correctly identify your herb and be careful not to harvest from areas that may be contaminated by sprays or pollutants.

This is just a brief overview to wonders of Plantain. Just a taste to stimulate your curiosity there is so much information available on this incredible herb.

Plantain is the third most common weed in New Zealand, which is great for us, as it is a very effective healer, it is everywhere and it is free!