Spring herb Ribwort Plantain

Yesterday, to my surprise, I found a few green leaves of Ribwort Plantain. There is still plenty of snow in my garden so I was even more happy to find the first green herbs. This is my favourite plant for cough, hoarseness, throat ache. I pluck a leaf and chew it slowly. I feel the mucus from the plant and this mucus  alongside with aucubin are the healing substances for the throat and not only. It could also help the irritated stomach or intestines. One could soak the leaf in cold water, leave it for an hour or over the night and drink the liquid. One should never pour boiling or hot water onto it, as the heat destroys mucilage.

I prefer it fresh. Very fresh, then it is mild. One does not feel the tannins. 

For longer use, one can preserve its medical qualities by making ‘plantain honey’ - chopping leaves, mixing half/half with honey and keeping tightly closed in the fridge for at least a month. Even children take this medicine.

The fresh one I use for salad, herbal butter and in my green spring soup. Oh I am looking forwards to more fresh herbs!


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    @jolanta.wittib Great early spring green. One of the earliest for harvest here.

    I knew that plantain was expectorant and anti-tussive but I have never used it that way. This will encourage me to make some honey this year. The aucubin content you mention is also good for eliminating uric acid to help with gout.

    Its a great herb to help pull toxins, so very good for tooth infections. Pack some lightly chewed plantain into the area of the infection. It will help to reduce the pain of infection as well as pain from a broken tooth.

    Just a wonderful herb to have so readily available in so many areas. Plantago major is the species most common in my area, although P. lanceolata is making its way north.