This is plantain. You probably have it growing in your garden. It’s a very common weed, even growing between concrete in the city. It is also a safe and useful herb, as long as you don’t pick it from the side of the road. Plants growing near heavy traffic may be contaminated, or it may have been sprayed.
When you’ve found some clean plantain, you can use it to heal cuts and scrapes or heal a cough. The easiest way to use it is pick a leaf and scrunch it in your hand until it becomes juicy. Then dab that juice onto insect bites, cuts or scratches. You can also eat about one leaf a day to help soothe and relieve a cough, but it doesn’t taste very nice. A tea sweetened with licorice or honey is more palatable. Pills are easier to swallow also.
Next week I’ll show you how to make a healing balm and herbal pills from plantain. Stay tuned.