Forager Friday with Diego. In season now: cough

Hey hey, the cold season's here, in a big wave of cold nights due to a cold front coming from the polar region: brrrrr

And with the weather come the ailments: flu, migraine, and cough.

Here below I am giving you a recipe that has been working for me for years. Whenever I feel a cough coming on, I reach at my trusted jar of plantain cough syrup that I keep in the fridge.

I have two varieties, one is plain Plantain, the other also has Horehound and Mint.

Below I'll present the easy one, just with Plantain (plantago lanceolata) as is the most common plant you would find around you, in your very own garden, and also one of the most respected medicine in both Eastern and Western traditional medicine.

It is so easy to recognise this plant, it grows low, with long ribbed leaves branching out from a central core. It produces long stalks at the the top of which it present the flowers and later the seeds in a tight cluster.

You probably recognise it from your school days, when you use to pull the flowering stalk to turn them on themselves and 'shoot the head' to one another as you walk . Remember that? Yes that was plantain.

Now for the cough medicine

  • Collect 200g of young ribwort leaves, make sure you pick young and healthy looking leaves.
  • Wash and chop into small pieces,
  • Boil for 30 min in 1/2 l of water,
  • Let it cool and then strain the water through a cloth (it is good practice to get yourself a muslin cloth for this).
  • Mix in on slow heat 1:1 sugar until dissolved.
  • Fill into a clean bottle while it’s still hot.
  • When it cools down it will be a thick sweet syrup.


Take 3 to 5 tablespoons throughout the day. Keeps for at least a year in the fridge.

Easy yes? and this is just the start of the benefit you could gather from this plant, but I leave the rest to another post.


Further reserach: Plant For a Future, Wikipedia

Please remember that I do not intend to come across as a medical practitioner, but rather I am just passing on age old knowledge. Enjoy your weeds folks, they have been around us for a long time, and they're here to stay.

Check Wild Food Map for locations