Though you think it is nothing more than an annoying weed growing in your backyard, believe us, plantain is much more. Whether it is a hard-packed trail, your garden, or a dirt driveway, plantain is there because it is the perfect environment for it to grow.
Make sure you gather the plant because it has so many different health benefits to offer. Many refer to it as the band aid plant since it is rich in iridoids and has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
Moreover, thanks to its antimicrobial activity, it helps the skin heal faster and better. Continue reading the article to learn more about its health benefits and how to prepare your own plantain salve in a couple of easy steps.
The Health Benefits of Plantain
Plantain can be of aid in relieving spider bites, stings from bees or wasps, bug bites or mosquito bites, poison ivy or poison oak rash, eczema, sunburn, psoriasis, and diaper rash.
Worried about not being able to recognize plantain? No worries- check out the video below to learn how to “hunt” for plantain in your backyard!
Remember, if you cannot access plantain which has not been sprayed with pesticides, you can always find it in dried form. If you have non-sprayed plantain, you can use it to prepare your own healing plantain balm which you can use to alleviate the above-mentioned skin problems.
DIY Plantain Salve Recipe
For around one cup of the salve, you will need:
A cup of fresh plantain leaves, non-sprayed
1 ½ cups of olive or liquid coconut oil
A tbsp + a tsp of grated beeswax
½ to 1 tsp of tea tree essential oil
To maintain the freshness of the salve and impede the growth of microbes, people often use grapefruit seed extract. But, if you decide to use it, you need to follow some important steps to avert mold as plantain leaves do contain some water. That is, use very dry leaves and use a very dry jar.
Chop the leaves finely or grind them using a food processor. Put them in a clean and dry mason jar and add the oil to cover the leaves. If you want to, you can blend it shortly with an immersion blender to release more of the plant into the oil.
Now, cover the jar with cheesecloth and attach it with a rubber band. In your slow cooker, put a towel on the bottom and then put the jar inside. Pour enough water so that half of the jar is covered. Cook on lowest heat for 12 to 24 hours. The slow cooker needs to be uncovered. Add water during the cooking if needed.
After the cooking, strain the oil using cheesecloth and leave it for a couple of hours. If there is water in the oil, it will stay on the bottom of the jar. You can use a turkey baster to siphon the infused oil off the top and leave the water behind. If you do not have the baster, cautiously pour the oil off the top.
Then, heat the tsp of beeswax in a double boiler and add the plantain oil once it melts. Make sure you do not pour any water that may have remained on the bottom. Mix well and then remove from heat. Once it cools down a bit, add the essential oils and mix once more.
Transfer the salve into a container and wait for it to cool down before you close it. Keep it in a dark and cool area.