Broad leaf plantain

I am seeking information about broad leaf plantain, an edible (weed). I want to know if it's safe to eat the green seed spikes either in a salad or a smoothie?

Do you strip them off the spike or just chop? How should I wash and with what to prevent contamination from animal excrement?




  • sarah121
    sarah121 Posts: 129 ✭✭✭

    @howell.susand The seeds of Ribwort plaintain can be eaten like flaxseed or chia. I would dry the mature flowerhead for a week or so and then make sure you separate the fibrous husk from the seed by pouring the dried seeds from one bucket to another in a light breeze (winnowing.) Harvesting the seeds can be quite time consuming but it worth it in the end. I have never eaten the green seed spikes. I imagine they are quite fibrous. The leaves of Plantago major are also very good for use with mosquito bites, nettle and horsefly stings. Just crush the leaves in your hands until the juice runs from the leaves and apply to the problem area.

  • Miya
    Miya Posts: 8 ✭✭✭

    @howell.susand Plantain is my current favorite wild herb. I mostly use it for salves and poultices although the leaves and seeds are edible. I would wash them in a bowl of water by swishing them around. I agree with Alchemilla and just harvest the seeds from the spikes after they turn brown although I have read you can eat the pods like you would asparagus. The seeds can be used like you would other seeds sprinkled on salads, in breads, crackers or in your smoothie. Do be cautious as they laxative qualities and maybe interfere with blood thinning medication. I would be interested in knowing how you decided to use them.

  • circleoflifeunlimited
    circleoflifeunlimited Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Yes, both broad leaf and narrow leaf plantain are amazing allies. One of it's superpowers is it's drawing action. (This is just one.) Chew a fresh leaf and tape it on a splinter or a wound. Leave it on for a day and notice the amazing healing that has occurred. I also eat it in salads and put it in smoothies. Have heard that it has the same drawing action internally, drawing out toxins that are eliminated in your poop! This is an herb to research thoroughly. And it is found literally everywhere!

  • Trece
    Trece Posts: 7 ✭✭✭

    I have used the chewed leaves of the broad leaf plantain as a poultice for yellow jacket stings. It helped with both the swelling and the pain. I reapplied a fresh poultice every few hours for the first day and was amazed at the relief.

  • KarenBeesley
    KarenBeesley Posts: 14 ✭✭✭

    I believe the broadleaf is european and called "white man's footprint".

    i go out with a quart mason jar. cut the thickly growing narrow leaves and stuff them into jar, cover with olive oil (tho could use almond or your fav), let sit for 6 wks or so, turning occasionally. wonderful for easing skin, lips, ear ailments of humans and animals.

    sore calloused, split feet? poor boiling water over handful of crushed up leaves, let water cool to tepid and do a foot soak for 20 minutes. then place some whole steeped leaves on the sole, cover with socks for the night. I have treated many folks with soothing plantain teas and salves. combine with other healing plants like calendula flowers, chickweed, comfrey....................


  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    I have eaten it along with Narrow Leaf Plantain in salads, beans, and sauteed with other wild greens.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    The seeds are what psyllium is made from and that is a bowel cleanser. They eat the seeds around here in Ecuador.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love this plant. Edible and medicinal. If you cut your finger out in ehr woods you can bandage it with the leaf until you get somewhere to have it looked at. Some chew ther leaf and will apply it to a bee sting to help the sting.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,446 admin

    I chew a fresh leave for throat ache, I put a rolled leave into my ear for earache (not too deep). I add fresh leaves to salad. I collect seeds and add them to salads, yogurt, cottage cheese. I do not bother much about washing the seeds if I collect in my own garden, or in the forest, or off the main walking path. I think we need some bacteria to boost our immune system.

    And I put crushed leaves on all the tiny wounds, scratches, blisters, insect bites...

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Plantain is one of my must-have herbs. I read somewhere that you can steam the tender young seed stalks like asparagus, but now I can't find where I read it.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

    I have never eaten it personally. I make spit poultices with it for bug bites but the taste is so disgusting to me I don't think I personally could eat it.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The older leaves are a bit hard to take. If I'm going to put them in a salad, I pick new leaves that are about an inch long. But then everyone has tastes they like and don't like.

  • Wendy
    Wendy Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    @howell.susand A resounding YES! Although I find plantain a bit earthy, it can be eaten in salads or used in smoothies. For either of these, the smaller/younger leaves are less stringy and a milder. I add a few, don't overwhelm the mix and its delicious.

    I used dried plantain in my "magic green mix". I powdered it with other dried greens (lettuce, spinach, grape leaf, raspberry leaf, etc.) and use that in my winter smoothies for a nutritional blast. The powder also works great in soups and stir fries.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Wendy i love powdered Plantain. I just started using it last year. I will have to try your mixes.

    I have never tried the seeds but want to give that a try too