The ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) can be used fresh, dried or otherwise preserved in many ways. It is not only edible and tasty, but also healthy for humans, horses and rabbits.
Collect ribwort plantain at the right time
If you can’t grow ribwort as a seasoning herb and medicinal plant in your own garden, it’s easiest to find it at flowering time in natural foraging meadows and along roadsides. Be sure to choose as secluded a spot as possible to gather so you don’t harvest plants contaminated by dogs. Since ribwort plantain reproduces by self-seeding and also by roots, numerous specimens of the species can often be found in a suitable location. In principle, all parts of the plant can be harvested and processed throughout the growing season. However, you will achieve the best results when harvesting between May and September.
Preserving the ribwort plantain
Drying is a popular technique for preserving ribwort plantain, with its cough-relieving properties, for the winter season. Collect the leaves of ribwort plantain during dry weather so that it does not mold during drying. In addition, although you can use all parts of the plant for ribwort, the proportion of lanceolate leaves should significantly outweigh the stems and flower heads. To dry, you can string the leaves of ribwort on a string and hang them in a well-ventilated place. Alternatively, you can prepare ribwort honey or use a centrifuge to extract the juice from its leaves.
The use of fresh ribwort plantain in the kitchen
Ribwort plantain is not only a very effective natural medicine for throat and bronchial complaints, but also a tasty ingredient for the following dishes:
- Herb salads
The fresh leaves of ribwort can be washed and cut into small pieces and easily mixed into salads and spicy dressings. The flower heads of the plant, which have not yet blossomed, can be roasted well in a little oil and produce a mushroom-like flavor when mixed with various foods.
Tips & Tricks
The roots of ribwort plantain can also be harvested and used. Chewed, they help against inflammation of the mouth and throat.