8th February 2013

Ribwort Plantain  Plantago lanceolata is a perennial herb commonly found on roadside verges, edges or footpaths and fields and grassy areas.Although the leaves aren’t as tasty as its close relative Greater Plantain P. major, which have a distinct mushroom flavour, they can be used either raw in salads when young or cooked when they are old.  The older leaves will develop the tough, fibrous parallel veins which it is best to pull away first as they remain tough even after cooking.

Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata


Later in the year the flower heads do in fact have a mushroom flavour and can be used fresh or dried and infused in sauces, they were used by one chef in last year’s TV program Great British Menu.

Both species of Plantain have a host of medicinal uses and are pretty much interchangeable although some references seem to suggest that Ribwort may be better as the fleshier leaves give a greater yield of the active components. It contains analgesic compound, anti-inflammatory compounds, antihistamine properties, and it is a great purifier.  Use it for insect bites, cuts, hayfever, sore gums, coughs to name just a few.


Kev Palmer

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