Mainers Have This Ancient Herbal Medicine In Their Dooryards
Did you know something commonly found in our front yards here in Maine is something that was at one time used for healing, nourishment, and to help with certain bowel issues?
Not a weed, a medicine
This is the common plantain, broad-leaved plantain or Plantago major, and is found LITERALLY everywhere. It's a perennial that actively grows in the spring and summer. They look pretty ordinary but apparently are an ancient medicine of sorts.
I grew up in Maine knowing it as part of the lawn and nothing more. Well, maybe a weed. But, now I know we've been surrounded by a little plant that has held it's weight in history as a healing and nourishment! Who knew.
How the plantain has been used
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (legit), this plant has been used since ancient times to help with all kinds of ailments including constipation, coughs and wounds.
Herbalists have used the leaves and seeds of this common lawn plant for bronchitis and coughs, burns, insect bites, ulcers and also used for faster wound healing.
They are also, if you want to try it, nutritious: high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. The leaves are known to be used in Asian dishes.
Medicine in your yard
Look out for this cool little plant in your backyard as the grass gets greener and maybe you could take this knowledge with you next time you go camping or want to add a little something to dinner that can be harvested right from your front yard.