Get to know one of the most widely available and healing herbs – Plantain (Plantago major). This medicinal plant is probably in your yard right now, growing abundantly. Some think it’s a weed but read below why Plantain is used in our home more than any other herb. I hope you get inspired to use it in your home as well!
Not your average weed!
I love free herbs, don’t you? Some call them weeds but I call them free herbs! I first became interested in Plantain when I read about it in a book and then realized my house was surrounded by them. So many of them, that my husband had been pulling up and mowing over for years. Plantain is resilient thriving in rocky terrain and well-worn paths. It was the gateway herb into foraging for me and a great one for you to begin with.
Once I learned about the benefits of Plantain I was given an opportunity to try it while on a hike. My daughter got stung by a wasp and was in a lot of pain. While thinking of how to help her I remembered Plantain is good for bee stings! It didn’t take me long to find the plant and identify it by the prominent parallel veins. I took a leaf off the plant and made a poultice by chewing it to release the juices, then quickly placed it on the wound. Almost instantly the pain stopped and the swelling subsided. Woohoo, Plantain for the win! My kids now love to make little spit poultices of Plantain for every little bump, cut or bite.
Anti-inflammatory + toxin removing capabilities.
We’ve since had numerous success stories using this amazing herb for everything from spider bites, embedded ticks, rashes, staph and poison ivy. I’m always amazed at how well and fast Plantain can work on the skin. Part of the reason why this herb is so effective is because of the ability to calm inflammation and pull toxins from the skin’s tissues. It is known to pull out venom from snake bites, poison from spiders and infection from wounds. Native Americans would refer to Plantain as “snake weed” for that reason. As a caveat, I am not recommending to use Plantain instead of seeking medical treatment but I am recommending to use it until you can get treatment if needed. But in a survival situation knowing how to find and use Plantain could possibly save your life!
All about Plantain.
Plantain has a special affinity for the skin and mucus membranes and can be useful in multiple situations. It is most well known used on the skin for it’s wound healing abilities but if you find yourself or a loved one with gastrointestinal issues or a sore throat don’t hesitate to brew a cup of Plantain tea to sip on. Harvest it’s leaves and dry them to use all throughout the winter.
Here are some key facts about this herb:
- there are three main types: Plantago major, Plantago Rugelii, and Plantago lanceolata
- the leaves are primarily what is used and they grow low to the ground in a rosette-like shape
- some uses are wound healing, burns, bug bites, sore throat, coughs, ulcers, leaky gut, diarrhea, pink eye (make an eye rinse from cooled tea)
- considered very safe
- cooling, moistening herbal energetics
- herbal properties include: antiseptic, vulnerary (wound healing), antimicrobial, astringent, demulcent (relieving irritation), emollient, antivenomous, analgesic (relieving pain), drawing, anti-inflammatory, styptic (stops bleeding)
- use as a poultice, tea, tincture, infused oil or food
- high in vitamins A, C & K
- leaves contain Allantoin for wound healing
If you have trouble finding Plantain in your area or maybe you just want more of it then look into buying seeds from Strictly Medicinals. Because it grows in zones 3-10 your chances of having it accessible are pretty high!