Plantain is a lot like dandelions it is considered a weed, and they grow almost everywhere, there are two types a broad leaf and a narrow leaf both are good. You can use the Roots, leaves, and Flower spikes. As with dandelions you need to be careful where you harvest it make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with anything and don’t collect from the roadside. Plantain can be harvested from spring to fall.
Plantain is rich in magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches. The older leaves are tough and stringy so need to be cooked. The seeds can be dried and ground to make a flour, although it takes a lot of seeds.
Plantain can be used both internally and externally.
For external application, it can be made into a salve, lotion, oil or compress. Plantain's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it one of the most effective herbal remedies for topical treatment of skin conditions such as rashes, wounds, ulcerations, cuts, swelling, sprains, bruises, burns, eczema, cracked lips, poison ivy, mosquito bites, diaper rash, boils, hemorrhoids, and blisters. You can make a poultice to draw out splinters or thorns . It can also reduce some of the scarring with more severe cuts and scrapes.
It is also draws out the poison of bee stings, snake bites, and spider bites, If stung immediately rub some crushed or slightly chewed leaf on the area and around the sting to prevent swelling and itching.
Internally you can use in tea ,tinctures or syrup. Plantain has demulcent properties, making it soothing to mucus membranes. It is used to treat conditions of the respiratory tract including sore throat, cough, bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. It also has expectorant properties which help to expel mucus from the lungs when the respiratory tract is congested due to colds or hay fever.
The demulcent properties of plantain are also beneficial in treating urinary tract infections including cystitis with blood in the urine, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea.
The seeds of plantain contain mucilage and can be used as a laxative to relieve constipation. They can also be dried and infused in water for a soothing eye lotion.
So next time you see this in your yard you may want to just harvest it instead of trying to get rid of it.