What Is Ribwort Plantain?

Plantago lanceolata is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. The common names for the plant are ribwort plantain, narrow leaf plantain, English plantain, ribleaf, and lamb’s tongue. As common of a “weed” as Dandelion, however, not as commonly known by name. I am continuing on my mission to save these plants that so many call weeds! If you missed my other blog posts on StarFlower.There are so many unappreciated plants out there that the Chemical Industry is pushing us to destroy and kill! Please understand that every plant has a purpose in our ecosystem, and these plants, if you listen, may be telling you something about your soil. Do you know its name or the benefits of the Ribwort Plantain?

The Healing Benefits of Ribwort Plantain

One plant that can be considered an astringent, emollient, anti-microbial, anti-viral and diuretic yet be considered a weed! Let me give this disclaimer; I am not a doctor. I’m not giving treatment advice. I am a farmer and a permaculturist and have seen, heard and experienced these results, please continue to see medical professionals. This plant has healing benefits for toothaches, prevent infections, poison ivy, cuts, insect bites and, rashes. This doesn’t include the nutrition benefits and the healing benefits of eating high nutrition locally grown without chemicals food supply.

Nutrition Value of Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain Leaves:

In the springtime when you’re waiting for spinach to grow it is the best time to eat the Ribwort Plantain young leaves. You can use them in salads and as an alternative as Spinach. As the leaves grow, they will get tougher to eat. At that point, you would want to cook them in soups and sauces.  One hundred grams of the leaf (about 1/2 cup) contains 184 milligrams of calcium, 52 milligrams of phosphorous, 277 milligrams of potassium, and 2,520 micrograms of beta-carotene (2).

Ribwort Plantain Shoots:

The shoots of the broadleaf plantain, when green and tender and no longer than about four inches, can be described as a poor man’s fiddlehead, with a nutty, asparagus-like taste. Pan-fry in olive oil for just a few seconds to bring out this taste. You’ll need to place the shoot in your mouth, clench with your teeth, and quickly pull out the stem. What you’re eating are the plantain seeds (1).

Ribwort Plantain Seeds:

The seeds can be eaten once cleaned by winnowing. Once you have done that process the seeds can be ground into flour and used as you would regular flour or as a rice alternative. When your preparing and cooking to use as a rice alternative you want to soak the seeds til soft, then prepare like normally do for rice recipes. One hundred grams of the seed contains 339 milligrams of potassium and 305 milligrams of phosphorus (2). Consequently, the green seeds boiled in milk or a tea of the dried leaves will stop diarrhea (1).

Living In Eden An Edible “Weed” Garden

The seeds provide a food source not only for us but birds and small animals. The World Permaculture Association’s motto is

“A Food Garden In Every Heart”

The goal of being able to provide an Eden like garden where everything is edible, everything is nutrient-rich and chemical free is why I got into Permaculture. I want everyone to recognize a resource and use that resource to its full potential. Look past the catchy chemical pesticides commercial to find your Edible Eden!

  1. http://eatingwild.blogspot.com/2011/07/common-plantain-nutrition-and-medicinal.html
  2. https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/herbal-remedies/health-benefits-ribwort-ze0z1404zjhar
Giuseppe Tallarico

Giuseppe is a versatile and results-oriented Agronomist specializing in Permaculture, Food Security, and Environmental Management Systems dedicated to consulting large-scale farms through the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture to achieve maximum profitability naturally while creating a greener abundant earth for generations to come. Giuseppe is an Accredited Instructor by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and a permaculture consultant for the government of Jordan. Giuseppe serves the world permaculture community as the founder and General Manager of the World Permaculture Association and the head of the Urban Permaculture Laboratory Educational Center. https://www.giuseppetallarico.com