|Plantain and dandelion are in hot competition for being the most common weeds in the world, as well as the most useful. Plantain can colonize bare, sun-baked clay and turn it into a lush meadow. It breaks up the soil with its roots and covers it with its leaves to keep it from washing away. Like dandelion, there is a war against it in lawns and gardens everywhere, but if its virtues were to be fully appreciated, this would certainly not be the case.|
|Plantain has the semi-miraculous ability to extract huge quantities of nutrients from seemingly infertile soil. It is known to provide more nutrients to cattle than many intentionally cultivated pasture crops and grows without any effort on the part of the farmer. The leaves are edible by humans, as well, and are as enjoyable as any salad green when young and tender — and more nutritious than most.|
A poultice of crushed plantain leaves is used throughout the world to soothe bug bites and bee stings; far from being an urban myth, its anti-inflammatory properties have been thoroughly validated by science. And one other little known fact about plantain: a close relative of the common garden variety, known as psyllium, is grown on a commercial scale for use in the common drugstore remedy, Metamucil.
Plantain: A Jewel in the Weeds
- Posted September 15, 2014
A gourmet and medicinal green hiding in plain sight.