Highlighting a key herb in The Healer Balm
Plantago rugelii, P. major, P. lanceolata, Plantaginaceae
- For bee stings and splinters in the field - I never have to look far to find a plantain growing and when I do, I crush it up and apply it to the sting or splinter. Usually, within a minute there is relief. For stubborn splinters I will pack a bandage with crushed plantain leaf and sleep on it. In the morning, the splinter should come out easily.
- Infused in oil to soothe and tone the skin.
- In herbal tea recipes designed to support and soothe the respiratory and digestive systems.
Harvest: Leaves anytime, but the most potent harvest is all aerial parts when the flower stalk has just shot up. Dry for tea or tincture. This is a first-aid plant I often use fresh in the field. Plantain loves to grow in compacted soil and thus is found in lawns, walkways, sidewalk cracks, roadsides, garden paths, and so on. It is an annual plant that forms a basal rosette of bright green leaves with characteristic parallel veins and a plain flower stalk, only growing a few inches tall and often in groups.
Medicine Making: I mostly work with dried Plantain leaf & flower.
Plantain Tincture: Dried leaf (1:5, 50% alcohol), Fresh leaf (1:2, 95% alcohol)