Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) belongs to the plantain family and often grows along roadsides, in greasy meadows or in parks. In the past, ribwort plantain was a vegetable substitute in times of need, but today the plant is an important ingredient in many natural remedies.
Recognize the ribwort plantain by its flowers
The ribwort plantain has lance-shaped leaves growing directly from the ground. These are also popular as a natural medicine and feed for horses and rabbits. However, the plant is particularly easy to recognize in larger meadows by its towering flowers, which are distinguished by their cylindrical, spike-like shape on a long stem. At flowering time, this spike is surrounded by a basal rosette of small, whitish flowers.
Collect ribwort at flowering time
In this country, the flowering time of ribwort plantain ranges from about May to September. In alpine locations, flowering may begin somewhat later; ribwort plantain has been sighted at altitudes up to about 1,750 meters above sea level. The edible plants are primarily harvested for the following purposes:
- Remedy for coughs
- relief from insect bites
- as a seasoning herb in soups
- for the preparation of herbal tea
- as an ingredient in healthy salads
Tips & Tricks
The leaves of the ribwort plantain develop their greatest healing effect already in spring. Therefore, the plant should be harvested as a natural remedy before flowering if possible.