I am a very frustrated gardener right now. Our last frost date was only last week so you know my plants aren’t quite the right size yet. I have nothing to harvest or even really tend to except weeds. Why is it that a late frost can kill a vegetable plant, but not weeds? Weird, right? Anyway, the one thing I do have a lot of is dandelions, plantain and lambs quarters. So I’m picking and drying plantain today.
Plantain is a perennial ‘weed’ you probably have growing in your yard or garden. Not to be confused with the banana type fruit you see in some stores. As much of an annoyance as it is, it has many great uses also. The leaves can be crushed up and applied to cuts and scrapes to help stop bleeding and pain. They also help with insect stings or bites. They are edible and the younger leaves are great in salads while the older leaves are tougher and are better cooked into soups and stews. The seeds can be ground into a flour substitute. The roots can also be used for pain. Today though I’m focusing on the leaves and their uses as a tea.