Nature’s Band-Aid: A wild herb that belongs in everyone’s apothecary (plantain)

herbs Jun 14, 2020

Have you ever had a mosquito bite or a spider bite or a splinter that was embedded so deeply it was hard to get out?  Or have you ever inhaled smoke and felt like your lungs were hot, dry, and you just couldn’t get whatever you had inhaled coughed out?  

What if I told you there is a plant that is probably growing in your yard right now that could help heal those issues and more? Plantain (Plantago spp.) is a fantastic wild herb (some call it a weed!) that has amazing healing properties.  It is called "Nature's Band-Aid" by many people, and it is one herb I think EVERYONE needs to know – because it grows everywhere and is potentially life-saving.  In fact, I have heard other herbalists tell stories of people who were bitten by poisonous spiders who survived because of plantain – while their companions who were also bitten did not and died.

Plantain is a first-aid kit in a leaf. It has the power to draw out debris and toxins from a wound. Two of its powerful constituents include Acubin, reported in the Journal of Toxicology as a powerful anti-toxin and Allantoin, proven to promote wound healing, speed up cell regeneration, and have skin-softening effects.

Dried plantain along with dried calendula infused in oil is excellent for babies & children for diaper rash, cradle cap, and for skin-soothing and moistening.

Have you heard of Metamucil? The fiber in it is called psyllium, which is from the seeds of one of the plantain family (Plantago ovata).

All parts of plantain can be used either fresh, dried, infused in oil or vinegar or tinctured. The root is especially good for venomous bites.

Here’s how I use it:  Use the fresh leaves to make a poultice for bites and wounds. Gather the leaves in the spring (preferably before flowering) both to dry and tincture. Use the dried leaves in teas and to infuse in oil to make healing salves. Also use the dried leaves to make a strong tea to use as a compress or moisten the dried leaves to make a poultice when the fresh is out of season. Use the tincture as a spray or roll-on to relieve bug bite itching.

Go outside and see if you can spot plantain growing in your yard. Chances are you will find it growing in an area where the ground has been compacted, like around the driveway or where children play. Introduce yourself to this fantastic healing ally, and be sure to gather only in areas that haven’t been sprayed with chemicals.


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Use CAUTION! Do not eat/use a wild plant unless you have 100% certainty it has been identified correctly.

Disclaimer:  This information has been compiled from reputable herbalists and natural care professionals. It is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.This information is not intended as medical advice, nor is it intended  to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Seek professional medical care for health concerns.


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