I grew up seeing this plant cover every inch of my favorite parks and greenspaces, but of course knew nothing of its medicinal powers at the time. It’s no wonder that I saw it everywhere — turns out these plantains are invasive. That being the case, I generally advise against planting this species in your own garden, and instead recommend venturing into a field or local park where they’re likely already sprawling in abundance. Make sure, however, that the area isn’t chemically treated. Plantain leaves are most commonly harvested for medicinal use, known to have antimicrobial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re particularly rich in calcium and vitamin K, and are used topically to treat burns, cuts, sunburn, sores and boils. Internally, plantain helps improve liver and kidney function and can help to ease throat infections and common cold symptoms.