Live Science tells us broadleaf plantain is one of the best weeds you can hope for in your home garden. It's a hardy weed that can be found growing through cracks in the pavement in many cities. Broadleaf plantain was brought to the Americas by Europeans. It became so ubiquitous, Native Americans dubbed it "the white man's footprint."
Instead of pulling and tossing, try sautéing the leaf in a pan with olive oil. You'll be surprised to learn the weed is nutrient-dense. Here are 8 of the greatest health benefits of broadleaf plantain.
1. Iron. Broadleaf plantain is "loaded" with iron, according to Live Science. Eat it, along with spinach and mushrooms, for a natural iron boost.
2. Calcium. Wellness Mama says this plant is a surprising source of calcium. Remember, calcium is important for more than just strong bones. It also helps regulate muscle and nerve function.
3. Vitamin K. This vitamin helps stop bleeding. Next time your little one falls on the pavement, look around for broadleaf plantain. Crush the leaves and apply directly to the bleeding cut, as recommended by Natural Living Ideas.
4. Skin regeneration. Natural Living Ideas explains broadleaf plantain contains allantoin, a compound that aids skin regeneration. To treat rashes, burns, cuts and sores, make a salve from plantain leaves, coconut oil and beeswax. Add a handful of washed and dried leaves to an 8 ounce heatproof jar. Top with 4 ounces coconut oil. Place the jar in a saucepan and fill the pan with water so the jar is halfway immersed in water. With the heat on low, let the oil simmer and diffuse for 2 hours. Next, strain out the plantain leaves. Add 1/2 ounce beeswax to the oil and place the jar back in the pan to allow the beeswax to melt. Pour the solution into small jars and allow to cool and harden. Keep your DIY salve on hand to apply when needed.
5. Anti-microbial. Broadleaf plantain contains aucubin, a powerful anti-microbial, reports Natural Living Ideas. This is yet another reason why you'll want to keep a DIY plantain salve on hand to disinfect cuts and scrapes. You can also use the salve to spot treat acne.
6. Anti-toxins. You'll be delighted to learn that broadleaf plantain naturally draws out toxins from bee stings and insect bites. It's also an effective defense against poison oak, ivy, and sumac, says Natural Living Ideas. Apply crushed leaves directly to the affected site as soon as possible.
7. Anti-inflammatory. Inflammatory conditions like eczema and psoriasis will get the boot when treated with broadleaf plantain, says Wellness Mama. To treat external inflammation, brew a strong cup of broadleaf plantain tea. Let it cool and then pour into a spray bottle. Spritz the affected area for quick relief.
8. Digestive aid. If you suffer from heartburn, indigestion or irritable bowl syndrome, Wellness Mama recommends a cup of plantain tea after meals.
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