While most people completely ignore this plant and try to remove it from their garden, it turns out that it is one of the healthiest and most beneficial plants on the planet.
Plantain can be found in two major forms: Lance and Broadleaf. However, there are over 200 varieties which can deliver pretty much the same effects. It grows well in rocky soil like driveways and it can be typically seen alongside dandelion. It was first introduced in North America in 1600s and was referred to as called “White Man’s Foot” by the Native Americans who noticed how plantain sprung up where Europeans walked and disrupted the soil.
Plantain has been often used as remedy for hikers molested by mosquitoes. Given that it pulls out toxins from the body with its astringent properties, it can be crushed and used as poultice over the area affected by rashes, bug bites, bee stings, glass splinters, or acne. All you have to do is to bandage the area and let it work for up to 12 hours. It can be also used as an infusion used as skin wash or as a balm for emergency kits.
Plantain is most known for its healing effect on the digestive system. It is particularly beneficial for those who have been damaged by anti-inflammatory or pain medications, antibiotics, Celiac disease, and food allergies. The leaves may be added to soups, steeped as tea, or dried with a sauce which resembles kale chips. On the other hand, the seeds can be made into powder and consumed before meals to aid weight loss.
Being a natural expectorant, plantain can be also used to treat lung problems, colds, and coughs. Simply put, plantain is basically a cure-all, effectively treating menstrual difficulties, skin problems, digestive issues, and even arthritis. As an added bonus, it is highly versatile and it can be added to salads, enjoyed in stir fries, made into tea, or chewed to ease thirst.
In addition to this, here are 7 additional reasons to add plantains to your diet!
1. Robust Nutritional Profile
- 181 calories
- 47 grams carbohydrates
- 1.9 grams protein
- 0.5 grams fat
- 3.4 grams fiber
- 27.2 milligrams vitamin C (45 % DV)
- 1,668 IU vitamin A (33%)
- 0.4 milligram vitamin B6 (22 %)
- 739 milligrams potassium (21 %)
- 55 milligrams magnesium (14 %)
- 0.9 milligrams iron (5 %)
Note that cooking changes its nutritional value.
2. Great Source of Potassium
Plantain is packed with potassium, a nutrient that regulates blood pressure, diminishes the effects of sodium, eases muscle contractions, and helps regulate heart rhythm.
3. Regulate the Digestive System
According to a study from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, eating plantains is a good way to treat constipation and relieve hemorrhoids and digestive conditions like diverticulitis.
4. Fight Free Radicals
A serving of plantains provides up to 35% of vitamin C needed daily, which makes it one of the richest vitamin C foods. This nutrient is a potent antioxidant which combats free radicals.
5. Boost Immunity
Plantains pack 35%A of the RDA of vitamin A, a potent antioxidant which offers a wide range of benefits, such as controlling immune response and protecting against illnesses.
6. Promote Healthy Brain Function
A serving of plantain provides 24% of RDA of vitamin B6, which has been shown to promote brain function, improve mood, and regulate hormones like serotonin, according to research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
7. Prevent Aspirin-Induced Ulcer
According to a study from the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, plantain has an ulcer-healing effect on an aspiring-induced gastric ulcer.