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Ribwort

One man's joy is another man's sorrow.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica says “Ribwort and hoary plantain (P. lanceolata and P. media,respectively) are troublesome weeds. ” 

https://www.britannica.com/plant/ribwort

We, on the other hand, have deliberately planted this “weed” from seed and are delighted every day that it has grown so beautifully.

Our children are at the vegetable patch at least once a day to pick a leaf from “longleaf”, as they like to call Plantago Lanceolota. They have quickly learned that the fresh leaf and the juice it contains has an itch-relieving effect on insect and nettle bites. And there are plenty of these if you like to roam through bushes and shrubs.

For small scratches and abrasions, ribwort has an antiseptic and haemostatic effect. So it’s no wonder that this “weed” is highly popular with children who romp through the garden. It has no side effects and is completely non-toxic – what more could you want?

Externally, it has a wound-healing effect and even replaces a plaster quite easily for blisters on a hike.

Since the plant likes to settle by the wayside all over the world, it is often simply “trampled flat” – which is reflected in the Latin name “Platago” – planta = sole of the foot.

Already in ancient times, ribwort was used to treat gastrointestinal diseases and snakebites. Fortunately, there are fewer snakebites nowadays. Since the 11th century, the main use of ribwort plantain has been as a medicinal herb for bronchial colds, fever and skin inflammations.

Apart from the roots, all parts of the plant can be used. As already mentioned, ribwort is particularly recommended for inflammations and insect bites, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect, soothes irritated skin and strengthens the immune system.

Here's how you can best use ribwort:

As tea

Pour 90°C water over 2-5 fresh or dried leaves and steep for 10 minutes. A saucer on the cup prevents the essential oils from evaporating. Sweetened with a little honey, the tea helps with coughs and asthma, inflammation of the throat and pharynx. It is best to drink 3 cups daily. Gargling with a slightly stronger concentrated tea is also possible.

Cooled tea can be used as a facial tonic for impure skin. Compresses made from cooled tea also have a wound-healing i antibacterial effect.

As syrup

Especially in the wet, cold winter season, ribwort syrup supports the immune system and is an excellent anti-inflammatory as well as a cough and expectorant.

Approx. 20 leaves of ribwort, washed
100g sugar
1 litre of water
Honey
Lemon juice

Boil the leaves with sugar in 1 litre of water for 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to crush and mash the leaves in the pot. The liquid will absorb the juice from the leaves and turn a green-brown.

Let the liquid simmer until about 50% of the liquid has evaporated. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with a little honey.

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