Plantain is a common weed found in abundance in fields and back yards throughout most of North America. It is a moist cooling herb. The leaves, seeds, and roots are used fresh or dried, internally or externally. It is considered to be an alternative (blood cleanser) astringent, antiseptic, refrigerant, and a vulnerary (wound healer).
Primarily used as an herbal drawing agent, plantain is used to pull splinters, dirt, pus and infection out of wounds. Leaves are used on bee stings, insect bites, and snake bites to draw out the venom, as well as taken internally. It is easy to work with. If you or your animal gets stung by a bug while out riding, just hop off and grab a leaf, chew on it and apply to the bite. Within moments, you can feel the itch dissipate. It also helps to reduce the swelling typically left behind.
Plantain is an excellent general tonic for the gums, pulling out infection and toning the tissue. It is rich in vitamins C, K, and factor "T" which helps to stop bleeding.
Plantain soothes inflamed nerves but can help bring back damaged nerve function. It is turned to often for use with neuralgia. It is also considered a wonderful herb for use with cough because of its mucilaginous properties. It is popular in Europe as a cough syrup for children.
Horses will seek out the leaves of this plant when they feel digestive discomfort. It has been used for impacted digestion and for internal hemorrhaging. You can feed one to two handfuls of leaves twice a day to the average size horse.
Plantain is one of those herbs that grow abundantly in your fields. Next time you look down to see where you're walking, notice the Plantain and smile. Pluck a leaf and think about how it can help you and your animals.
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Herbs n' Pastures: Plantain
Usually mistaken for a weed, Plantain (Plantago) is an excellent grazing herb for horses. Its many useful properties and versatility make it a staple in any horse's diet.