Plantain, broad and narrow leaf
Description: The broad leaf plantain has leaves over 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) across that grow close to the ground. The flowers are on a spike that rises from the middle of the cluster of leaves. The narrow leaf plantain has leaves up to 12 centimeters (5 inches) long and 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) wide, covered with hairs. The leaves form a rosette. The flowers are small and inconspicuous.
Habitat and Distribution: Look for these plants in lawns and along roads in the north temperate zone. This plant is a common weed throughout much of the world.
Edible Parts: The young tender leaves are edible raw. Older leaves should be cooked. Seeds are edible raw or roasted.
Other Uses: To relieve pain from wounds and sores, wash and soak the entire plant for a short time and apply it to the injured area. To treat diarrhea, drink tea made from 28 grams (1 ounce) of the plant leaves boiled in 0.5 liter of water. The seeds and seed husks act as laxatives.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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