Ribwort plantain has been used for centuries as an effective natural medicine. For use as a cough and bronchial tea, you can dry leaves and flowers collected by yourself in the summer and thus store them for the winter cold season.
Harvest ribwort plantain for drying.
It takes time for ribwort plantain sown in the garden to develop into a stand that provides enough material for regular harvesting for consumption. Fortunately, however, in most areas you can find the plant in the wild, which is most easily done during the flowering season. Sometimes the herb is also a nuisance in the lawn, the relatively tedious manual removal of which is only really worthwhile when used as a medicine and spice. If you want to dry ribwort for storage, you should do so after a few days of dryness. Also, ideally, choose a location without dirt, as the ribwort plantain should not be washed before drying, if possible. Otherwise, during the drying phase, the leaves may turn dark and can no longer be used.
The different ways of drying ribwort plantain.
The leaves of ribwort plantain contain a relatively large amount of juice, which can be obtained as an alternative to drying, using a juice centrifuge as a natural remedy for coughs. When drying itself, the following options are common:
- hanging the long leaves in the middle over a pole, as when drying laundry
- threading on strings or threads
- drying simple layers in the oven
When using the oven, use only temperatures below 45 degrees Celsius if possible and keep the oven door open a crack with a wooden cooking spoon. When using air-drying methods, make sure all leaves are well ventilated, otherwise darkening may occur from drying too slowly. You can then store the dried leaves in screw-top jars and use them for the following purposes:
- as a tea herb for bronchial teas
- as supplementary food for rabbits
- as feed and natural medicine for horses
Tips & Tricks
The leaves of ribwort plantain are best harvested from May to September. If you also want to harvest flower buds, there must be enough leaves left on each plant in the spring for further growth.