Feb 12

Plantain

1 comment

Edited: Mar 12

Just setting up some pages so we can share information. I'll list specifics here soon. All suggestions are very welcome! Both for the plant and for how to set up this forum.

Botanical Name: Plantago magus

Energetics: Cooling, moistening (and I find it drying at times - depends on what is needed) 

Major Properties:  Demulcent, astringent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory

Examples of Uses: Gum disease, mouth pain, clean and heal dirty wounds, cold sores, intermittent fever, sinusitis, plugged ears

 

Parts Used: Leaves (some herbalists also use seeds and roots)

Preparations:

Fresh - just macerate leaves with your fingers or teeth and apply externally

Tincture - of fresh, young leaves preferred

Oil - of fresh, young leaves preferred

Dry for winter use - just hydrate and use same as fresh

 

Personal Observations:

Plantain is one of the best "drawing agents" in herbalism - pretty amazing actually!

If you find yourself with a sliver or bite from a bug (be it mosquito, gnat, or bee), grab a leaf of plantain, gently macerate it with your fingers (or teeth), and apply.  Plantain has great “pulling out” properties – be it dirt, slivers of any sort, and even the allergen (“the itch”) of a bug bite.  Plantain will also help to heal up a wound, but only after it has cleaned it out. It will not allow the wound to close over until it is clean - another great benefit of plantain! This is of much benefit with gravelly knee scrapes or other dirty wounds

Out of season, just use plantain ointment (made from the oil you made in the summer...)

Sometimes I use ointment along with a fresh leaf with wounds, just to help hold everything in place.

Swimmers Itch - a strong tea of fresh plantain leaf, used as a skin wash, has helped greatly with some of my family.

My grandkids all have their own “itch stick” which I’ve made by using plantain infused oil and beeswax in a lip balm container, and they simply apply it to bug bites and itches as needed.

Gum disease - swish or brush with plantain tincture or oil to draw out infection and heal gums. My "numbers" at dentist appointments improved substantially by oil pulling with a bit of plantain tincture or oil added to the coconut oil that I use for oil pulling.

Sinus and/or ear pain or pressure - rub plantain ointment in a downward motion along nasal passages and Eustachian tubes to help move mucus and relieve pressure. Repeat often.

I often dab plantain ointment in my nose before subbing in school classrooms to prevent the many viruses from attaching in my nasal passages.

I know there are more ways I often use plantain - I'll add them as I think of them. It is one of my top 5 herbs as far as frequency of use.

If you don’t have plantain growing in your yard, I would encourage planting one close to your house so it is handy for summer use.

 

This brief overview merely highlights my observations.  There is, of course, a great deal of information that you can find on the Internet or in books.  Or better yet - get together with other herbalists and share your experiences!

 

Please add your own experiences so that together we can create a more comprehensive overview.

 

As always, if you have a chronic ailment that is not resolving itself or an acute issue, seek the attention of your physician.

Plantain is my favorite plant so far. I am just getting started in herbal medicine. So far I have used plantain for noseeum bites. Which I blistered from. Benadryl cream didn’t even touch it. I picked a bowl of plantain, sat in a chair, rolled up the leaf, gave it a little chew and held it on the bites. After doing that twice the blisters went away, the itch went away and it shrunk the welts. I made a tincture of it and have used it when I burnt the roof of my mouth after biting into a hot slice of pizza. After swishing with the tincture a couple of times it healed pretty fast. It also works for tooth aches and sensitive teeth. I swished and also held it in my mouth where the hurting tooth was. I haven’t needed to go to the dentist for that tooth yet and it’s been awhile. The other amazing thing I have used it for is I cut my finger with a razor blade pretty deep. I poured the tincture on the cut then closed it tight with a bandaid. The next 2 days I just dabbed it on using a cotton ball dipped in the tincture. My wound healed nicely and no infection. This plant is awesome! I think you will like it and find many more ways to use it.

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