Latin Name:

Plantago lanceolata L.

Other Names

Ribwort Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain, English Plantain, Ribleaf, Lamb’s Tongue, Buckhorn


This flowering plant of the plantain family has distinct narrow leaves with strongly defined parallel veins. It grows in disturbed soil and most commonly is anywhere from 1 to 2 feet tall. It is known as the “Mother of Herbs” and has common edible and medicinal uses. Both the leaves and the seeds are edible.

Its medicinal uses come from its leaves, seeds, and roots, which provide astringent, demulcent, mildly expectorant, hemostatic, and ophthalmic properties, and have a high mucilage and tannin content. It is known as an effective treatment for bleeding, as it can stop blood flow and encourage the repair of damaged tissue. It has also been used to treat diarrhea, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma, and hay fever. The plant can also be used externally in treating skin inflammations, including anything stings, swellings, cuts, and ulcers.

Homeopathic Use

Plantago is most specifically indicated for certain cases of ear, eye, and tooth pain and inflammation.

For more information about its homeopathic healing potential, refer to the materia medica on Plantago Major by Boericke and Plantago by Clarke.