You’ve probably walked by this plant every day and not noticed it, or you may have tried to rid your lawn or sidewalk of it thinking it was a pesky weed. But don’t be so quick to weed this magical plant out. Did you know the young spring leaves can be added to your salads for extra vitamin C, K, zinc and potassium? Did you also know that the more mature leaves of the Plantago major are one of nature’s most abundant first aid remedies? Imagine, a first aid remedy ready and available for you to use right there at your feet, literally.

Plantago major, also known as broadleaf plantain, is not to be confused with the much larger banana. Plantago has an affinity to grow where we walk, so it is easily found. It is a small herbaceous perennial, has many oval-shaped glossy leaves with 5 to 7 strong veins throughout each leaf, and is a member of the Plantaginaceae family. Their beautiful flowers are not showy, growing up from the center of the rosette arranged leaves. They’re about 5 to 10 inches tall and on each spike are many green flowers that are wind pollinated. When mature, they will produce an abundance of seeds.

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