It's often listed as plantago leaf (Plantago major), but you wouldn't believe how many other names have been assigned to this herb. We'll clue you in below. Most of us refer to it as Great Plantain. Regardless of what you call it, it's a wonderful addition to skin cleansers—such as my Aloe Herb Facial Cleanser.
A Little Bit About the Plant Itself
Okay, ready for these names? This plant is also called Common Plantain, Ripple Grass, Cuckoo's Head, Rat-tail Plantain, Englishman's Foot, White Man's Foot, Ribwort, Waybread, Waybroad, Snake Weed, and more! It's native to Europe and Asia, and was brought over to the U.S. by European settlers.
A wild-growing plant—or weed— it can be found in temperate climates, usually in soil that is well drained. It grows spikes with greenish-white to greenish-brown flowers, as you can see from the picture, and may be found around the edges of fields, in parks, and even on wasteland.
The leaves, roots, and seeds are edible, and can be enjoyed raw in salads or steamed and blanched. In fact, this is a favorite wild edible in our household! It's full of nutrients, including beta-carotene; vitamins B1, C, and K; calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Plaintain is also what is often called a “wildcrafted” ingredient, which is simply an ingredient grown and cultivated in the wild for its health benefits. Careful attention is paid to the plant's natural environment, so it's free to flourish without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. We believe these ingredients are just better for you than commercially grown herbs, because they thrive in a natural way that helps them attain their full health benefits.
Plantain's Benefits to the Skin
Plantago is best known for its skin-cleansing properties, and is often used for oily skin. Other benefits include the following:
- Toning: Plantago can minimize the appearance of pores and fade the look of under eye circles.
- Gentle: Great for sensitive skin.
- Soothing: Plantago has long been used to soothe bug bites and to calm the itchiness of poison ivy.
- Moisturizing: combined with its cleansing properties, plantains are known to help dry skin.
Best of all, this herb is completely safe and non-toxic. Enjoy!
Have you found other uses for plantago? What do you call it? Please let us know!
Photo courtesy ecolic via Flickr.com.
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