Ribwort Plantain Card




The following is printed on the back of the card.

Extract from the book Herbal Chronicles by Medical Herbalist Sarah Atkinson MNIMH Dip.Phyt.

Watercolours painted by Sally Bamber.


Ribwort Plantain – Plantago Lanceolata

The leaves of this very common herb come in two varieties – lanceolata are long and thin like a lance, while the leaves of the major are larger and more rounded.  They both have distinct ribs on the back of the leaves, hence the common name Ribwort.  This herb contains high levels of zinc which makes it very healing for cuts and grazes as well as useful in treating coughs.  But it’s main effect is on mucus membranes – our bodies produce mucus to protect us from irritation but sometimes the mucus becomes the problem.

A couple of years ago I was visiting a couple whose daughter had just had her jaw realigned – I didn’t see her during our visit but my friend reported that her daughters entire face was covered in bandages and she could only take in sustenance and fluids through a straw.  Soon it become clear that due to surgery a lot of mucus was being produced and this girl was struggling to swallow and breathe easily.  I suggested we went for a walk in their garden and immediately saw that her lawn had an abundance of Plantain – we gathered a handful and made tea out of it.  The result was surprisingly fast – the mucus began to reduce and our friends daughter was more comfortable by the next day.

its easy to assume that because herbs are ‘natural’ they can only work slowly – this may be the case but not always.  We were told during my time at the School of Phytotherapy that we should allow one months treatment for each year that a condition has been present.  In my experience this is a useful guide but in addition to this I have noticed that if someone is fundamentally well and happy they will get better quickly.


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