Broad Leaved Plantain.

Plantago major.

A common plant by our way-sides, with broad short leaves, and long slender spikes of brown seeds. The leaves rise all from the root, for there are none upon the stalk. They are of a somewhat oval figure, and irregularly indented at the edges, sometimes scarce at all. They have several large ribs, but these do not grow side-ways from the middle one, but all run length-ways, like that from the base of the leaf toward the point. The stalks grow a foot high, their lower half is naked, and their upper part thick set, first with small and inconsiderable flowers, of a greenish white colour, and afterwards with seeds which are brown and small.

This is one of those common plants, which have so much virtue, that nature seems to have made them common for universal benefit. The whole plant is to be used, and it is best fresh. A decoction of it in water is excellent against overflowings of the menses, violent purgings with bloody stools and vomiting of blood, the bleeding of the piles, and all other such disorders. The seeds beaten to a powder, are good against the whites.

There is a broad leaved plantain with short flowery spikes, and hairy leaves, this has full as much virtue as the kind already described: the narrow leaved plantain has less, but of the same kind.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.