I think herbs are one of God’s greatest gift to us! I can almost guarantee that at some point in your life if not every time you go out into the yard you are walking on this herb and don’t even realize it!
The herb is called Plantain or Plantago lanceolata and has been used medicinally since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Most people today just think of plantain as a pesky weed but it is a super herb with great benefits! If you don’t have it growing all over your yard just till up a little section and plantain will probably show up from your neighbors yard into your little plot.
Plantain draws toxicity from the body and has been used as a remedy for blood poisoning and also to stimulate the liver as well. One of the best benefits that plantain has is its anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. It is great for stings and rashes. How perfect! You are usually running around outside in the grass or near it when you get stung by some critter and not far away is something to help right away! See why I love herbs so much and consider them a gift? One of the best ways to use plantain is to make a poultice with it. You can also make a strong tea with it and soak a cloth in the tea and apply it to the sting or bite. It is also good for boils or other deep seated infections, and has been known to be so good at drawing things out that you can try using it for splinters that are to deep to get out with tweezers. Rosemary Gladstar states in her book, that you can apply a hot tea made with plantain for 20 to 30 minutes adding a tablespoon or two of salt to make it more effective. Apply some mashed up leaves with a bandage and change a couple of times a day until the splinter works its way to the surface. This might be good to use for a child that won’t allow you to use any other methods to remove the splinter!
Plantain is also good internally for a cough and inflammation of the mouth or throat. Its also very nutrient dense and contains vitamins, minerals and even some protein. Who knew? Another simple herb skill in addition to the medicinal oil and tincture is the poultice. I’ve basically discussed it above but here’s a quick overview of making a poultice.
Here’s what ya do:
Gather fresh plantain leaves and mash or chop them up. Place them against the affected area and use a bandage or wrap the area in a cloth to hold them in place. Leave the herbs there for about an hour and then reapply. You may be able to see evidence of the toxins being drawn out by the color of the herbs. That’s a great sign that it is working! You can also take the fresh or dried leaves and make a strong tea by steeping for at least 10 minutes and applying a soaked warm cloth of the tea to the affected area.
Hopefully you’ll think twice when strolling through the yard now!