Water Plantain (Alisma Plantago-Aquatica), also known as Mad Dog Weed, can be erect or drooping, perennial favoring the shallow water of wetlands, marshes, muddy banks and water-logged ditches. It is also occasionally found in wet fields. Prominent in Iowa marshes and found across the United States and Canada. Tiny white flowers appear from June through September. Can reach 3 feet in height, but is normally less than that. Loves the water and needs full sun.
From the ancient Greek Alisma (meaning water plantain) and the combination form of plantago-aquatica, meaning "water plantain".
|Sun Exposure||Savanna, Prairie|
|Soil Moisture||Wet, Wet Mesic|
|Bloom Time||Summer, Fall |
June, July, August, September
|Max. Height||3 feet|
|Seeds Per Packet|
|Seeds Per Ounce|
There are three or four different species of Plantago known worldwide as "Soldier's Herb", a widely used medicinal plant - our Water Plantain is not in that category.
Root: Cooked. Rich in starch. Caution is advised, the root is acrid if it is not dried or well cooked before use.
Leaves and petioles: Must be thoroughly cooked. They require long boiling and have a salty flavour. The leaves are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. They are used in the treatment of cystitis, dysentery, renal calculus, gravel etc. The fresh leaf is rubefacien. It is used in the treatment of leprosy and is also applied locally to bruises and swellings.
Dried stem bases eaten, or grated and taken with water in treating digestive disorders such as heartburn, cramps and stomach flu.
The powdered seed is an astringent, used in cases of bleeding. The seed is also said to promote sterility. The root has a wide range of medicinal uses. It is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diuretic and hypotensive. It is said to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level whilst it also has an antibacterial action on Staphylococcus, Pneumococci and Mycobacterium. The root is used in the treatment of oliguria, oedema, nephritis, acute diarrhoea, cholesterolaemia and fatty liver. It has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been substantiate. The whole plant is believed to promote conception. The root is harvested before the plant comes into flower and is dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root.
Warning: See above cautions.