Ribwort Plantain Health Benefits

Aug 23, 2016

According to Anglo-Saxon folklore, the plantain was one of the nine sacred herbs that readily grew in a variety of locations. With its assortment of medicinal applications, however, ribwort plantain is no longer considered folklore but is counted as an effective herbal remedy. The herb contains a selection of vitamins and minerals that situate it well as a successful treatment and remedy for a wide range of conditions.

What is Ribwort Plantain?

While it may appear as a relative of the banana-like fruit, ribwort plantain shares little more with this fruit than a name. Ribwort plantain is an herb native to Eurasia. The herb presently grows in the temperate climates throughout the world and is one of over 200 different species. Other names for the herb include ribwort, snakeweed, and Englishman’s foot.

All parts of the herb can be used in medicinal treatments; however, the leaves are most often used. Plantain can be used in internal and external treatment options and is commonly made into a salve, lotion, compress, and tea.

Health Benefits of Ribwort

Ribwort plantain has a wide range of medicinal applications. Research suggests that the leaf is an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. It also has astringent properties. All of these properties combined make plantain one of the most effective herbal remedies for topical treatment of various skin conditions. It is also particularly effective for speeding cell growth and healing wounds, as it contains the chemical allantoin.

Its innate properties make ribwort an effective treatment for an assortment of health conditions. As an astringent, the herb is able to assist in the healing of wounded tissue, hemorrhoids, skin ulcers, and other lesions or sores.

Ribwort is also an effective treatment for a variety of other conditions. Respiratory infection, bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema respond well to treatment with plantain, as it has a demulcent effect. This property also makes it effective for treating urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, diarrhea, and a host of other conditions.

With no known side effects, ribwort plantain is a particularly safe and effective herbal treatment with the potential to ease a wide variety of conditions.

Multiple Cures  

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Posted by Patricia (Downsville) on 08/22/2016 42 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Plantain leaves for gums and loose tooth and wound healing.

I don't see anything on plantain on the site though. I have been experimenting with plantain for wounds. Masticate (chew) the leaf and put it on the wound and put on a bandaid and leave it overnight. It helped two friends. I picked it on a lawn and gave it to them with instructions. The next day they showed me that it worked. The wounds were healing fast.

Plantain is an anti inflamatory so I tried it on my annoying bottom gums and lose tooth on top. I chewed the leaves and placed them on my gums on top and bottom and held there for an hour or half hour or more. Can leave it in over night.

Cut a couple of small plantain leaves from your (un treated with pesticides) lawn. Chew the leaf till it is masticated a bit. The swelling went down on the bottom and the amazing thing is the top tooth is not loose any more. Don't remember if I had to do it for a couple of days. I also don't know if I will have to redo it if the tooth loosens again.It has been at least a week and the tooth is not moving at all. I guess it is okay to report that freshly chewed (chewing is to get the plant juices flowing) plantain works on gums and teeth. The bottom tooth is broken off and I am looking for something to re calcify it.

I grow my own in a garden patch and in planters. I have not seen them in lawns so large. The planters don't allow such big leave as the garden patch. I am hoping to attach a photo of the plant and larger leaves. Don't know if it will upload. The attaching is not user friendly.


Sores, Cuts, Wounds  

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Posted by Mamainak (London, Uk) on 10/17/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I'd love to add a remedy my grandmother used on me, using Ribwort Plantain plant (leaves). As a child I used to suffer from ulcers on my bottom, they were big, red and full of liquid, I had problems sitting on a chair. Our GP couldn't give any good advice except to squeeze them out which hurt a lot. My grandmother picked some leaves of this plant that grew in front of our building. She'd pick fresh leaves every day, wash them, dry them and then bat them a bit to release the juices from it. Then she's place the leaf over the ulcer and fix it with a tape and underwear. After several days, they got much smaller and didn't hurt as much. I can't remember for sure, but I think they were gone within 7-10 days.

Posted by Gabriele (Limestone, Maine) on 10/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

For many years I have been using a weed which can be found anywhere in your back yard, or in fields -to heal sores, cuts, and small wounds. It's called ribwort plaintain, snakeweed or soldiers weed. I used it in Germany, my home country. Years ago, when I moved to the states, an old Indian pointed it out to me as the number one healing plant. 2 weeks ago I adopted a dog who had been spending 3 month in a clinic to heal him of his life threatening injuries. His owner had left him 7 days hanging in a barb wire fence, and then decided to shoot him. A neighbor rescued him, but by that time he already had gangrene. Anyway, Casper, the white shepherd, came via airplane from WI to ME. I was shocked when I saw the wound on his belly. The size of 2 hands, still totally raw, but with 3 skincrafts the size of a quarter in it. From day one, I picked ribwort leafs and made a compress every night for Casper. Very hard to do because it is on his belly, and I have to use ace bandages to keep it in place. My vet who really is not much into natural remedies, is now convinced that this plant is what's healing the wound very fast. Within 2 weeks it closed from the 2-hand-size to 1/3rd the size! She said yesterday to me: I wish we could put these leafes into his brain to cure him of being terrified of people. There is quite a bit on info on the internet; check it out- it will help you or your pet. Of course I use only leafs from my back yard which I know have not been sprayed with any poison.

EC: We emailed Gabriele, asking if ribwort plaintain is safe for horses (Elissa's horse had a barbed wire wound if you recall.)...

Replied by Gabriele
Limestone, Maine

Hello, ribwort plaintain is safe for any living creature. You would not believe how fast it heals. It's also called soldiers weed- from what I have read in the civil war soldiers used it to treat their wounds. Also attached are two photos of my dogs' wound. Picture 001 is from 1 week ago, the 2nd one is from 2 days ago. All the pink skin is new, and grew within these past 2 weeks. When I adopted Casper 2 weeks ago it was solidly red, and raw, with 3 small skin crafts, the pink ones on the upper edge. My vet see's Casper once a week, the rest of the time I wash the wound and put the cream on it myself. Anyway, when she saw Casper this week, she said: Oh my God! scared me, and I asked, what's wrong Terry? She answered: "It's a good 'oh my god' -- I can't believe how fast it's healing."

About Elissa's horse -- with theses leaves I am positive he would heal. Let me know please.

EC: Click here to see Gabriele's photos. Warning -- very disturbing, poor dog!

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
517 posts

To all who don't recognize ribwort plantain, I believe the plant she is talking about is more commonly called broad-leaf plantain here. Also we used to call it rabbit lettuce when I was a child. This plant also goes well in a mixture of greens, such as dandelion leaves, curly dock and yellow dock, as a pot herb, but would probably retain more healing properties if pureed in a blender and taken raw.

Replied by Susie
Syracuse, NY
5 out of 5 stars

Plantain is also excellent for bee stings, just crush the leaf up by rolling it between your fingers (traditionally it was suggested to crush it by chewing it a little mixing it with saliva to apply as compress) so that it's damp and wet, you'll definitely notice when you've bruised it enough, then rub over the bee sting or mosquito bite. Very effective and works quickly.

When I was visiting Lancaster, Penn a man there told me the Amish harvest plantain by the bushels to make compresses and other applications to be used for tendonitis, arthritis; I had a sprained knee at the time and I did rub the plantain leaf on my left knee as many times a day as I thought to, probably 3, 4 or 5 times ....within a couple weeks I was completely out of my knee brace. People will think you're nuts as I have had many people snicker at me as I'm constantly picking plantain and rubbing it on either a bug bite or tennis elbow area.

Replied by Natrum
Flemington, New Jersey /usa
5 out of 5 stars

We have two kinds of plantain locally, one the broader, rounder leafed kind, and the longer narrower leafed, "lancinate", I believe the form is called. Both are used similarly. The leader of our community garden was stung by a bee and I chewed up a broad leaf, to break the cell walls and get at the juice and applied it to his bite. He probably thought I was batty, but it relieved his pain.

Recently I had some gum pain, and did not wish to see a dentist, as I had been told eventually I would need a root canal. Well, after what I have learned about root canals, that is not likely! So I chewed up some lancinate plantain, and kept it in my cheek next to the gums overnight for a few days. It always felt better in the morning, and eventually, no pain at all.

Replied by Cjabrams
Kelseyville, Ca

I have recently discovered ribwort's benefits. I was amazed to get such quick healing on ulcers on my gums. I have been reading about the many people whom enjoy eating it as any other "greens". My question is why it causes an unusual numbing effect on the throat and tongue that lasts all day. I sauteed fresh young leaves then scrambled with eggs.

Replied by Daureen
Rhode Island

Hello, Ribwort Plaintain, although related to broad leaf plaintain are not the same plant. Ribwort has much narrower leaves than the broad leaf. They both have similar healing properties.