Information about the Herb Ribwort

Plantago lanceolata, also known as Blackjack is part of the Plantaginaceae plant family. Ribwort originated fromEurope, but the plant is widely distributed throughout the world.

General Information

Ribwort belongs to the natural order Plantaginaceae of which there are more than 200 species.

Botanical Name: Plantago lanceolata

Plant Family: Plantaginaceae

Common name: Blackjack, Black Plantain, Costa Canina, Hen Plant, Jackstraw, Lamb’s Tongue, Lance-leaf Plantain, Long Plantain, Narrow leaved Plantain, Ribble Grass, Ribgrass, Soldier’s Herb, Snake Plantain

History: Ribwort was called Costa canina and Quinquenervia in medieval times because of the prominent veins in the plant, which is where the name Ribwort comes from.

Tradition: In Anglo-Saxon times country children played a game of banging the stalks of the plant together until they broke.

Medicinal Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, plant

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Plant Constituents of Ribwort


Ribwort has the same chemical constituents as Plantain (Plantago major).

  • Aucubin (a glucoside)


  • anti-hemorrhagic [an agent to stop hemorrhages]
  • astringent [a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body]
  • demulcent [a substance that soothes inflamed mucous membranes and protects them from irritation]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system]
  • expectorant [an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages]
  • hemostatic [an agent that controls bleeding]
  • soothing

Usage of Ribwort

Ribwort is used for:

Blood Conditions

  • coagulates blood 
  • rids the blood of toxins
  • weak or bad blood
  • diarrhea
  • gastritis
  • enteritis

Genitourinary Tract Conditions

  • bladder disorders
  • cystitis where there is bleeding
  • diseases of the bladder, combined with Thyme
  • stones
  • weak kidneys

Glandular Conditions

  • goiter
  • malignant glandular disorders

Liver Conditions

  • liver disorders

Parasitic Conditions

  • worms

Respiratory Conditions

  • bronchial asthma
  • bronchitis
  • chronic catarrh
  • coughs and irritation from coughing
  • disorders of the respiratory system
  • hoarseness, with slight cough
  • loosens mucous and slime in the inner organs
  • mucous congestion
  • rids the lungs of phlegm
  • soothes inflamed mucous membranes
  • tuberculosis of the lungs
  • weak lungs
  • whooping cough

It is used externally for:

  • cuts
  • dog bites
  • eczema
  • hemorrhoids
  • herpes
  • insect bites
  • malignant growths
  • open sores on stumps of amputees
  • scratches
  • stings from poisonous insects
  • thrombosis
  • ulcers
  • wounds

Other Uses:

The leaves placed in shoes will keep the feet free from blisters

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Drug Interactions:

Do not use Ribwort without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • None indicated


Global Herbal Supplies has Ribwort available in the following forms

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