Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Etc.

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Xiao Rong
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Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Etc.

Post by Xiao Rong »

I love finding ways to use common weeds, so I thought I'd share my latest project, which is also my first foray into herbal medicines.

The common plantain is commonly seen on roadsides, lawns, cracks in sidewalks, etc. They're not a very pretty plant but they have a long history of medicinal uses, treating minor wounds, sores, and bites to promote healing.

Image

This is my recipe for making a simple salve from plantains. I had a mosquito bite so I applied some of my salve to the bite ... and the itchiness disappeared almost immediately. This stuff really works!

Materials
Plantains
1/2 c. coconut or olive oil
1 oz. grated beeswax

Method
First, pick your plantains. I packed a small ziploc bag with plantain leaves (you should shoot for the less bug-eaten ones, and preferably you should pick them a little ways away from a roadside, since the chemicals from car exhaust can make roadside plants unsafe).

Next, wash them thoroughly and get the dirt off. You'll need to dry them out until they're slightly wilted, to reduce the moisture going into the salve. I just let them dry off on a cookie sheet overnight, and that worked perfectly. You can also heat them gently on the lowest heat in your oven (although I haven't tried this).

Now, you have to infuse your oil with plantains. I'm told olive oil will also do the trick; I used coconut oil. You can either combine the plantains and oil in a jar and let them sit for 6 weeks ... or cook the plantains in oil on low, low heat. I used my crockpot, and let it cook on low overnight. By the time I woke up the next morning, the coconut oil was a deep green. (also, it smelled pretty tasty while it was cooking ... kind of like spinach!)

Strain out the plantain leaves (which for me were cracked and brittle at this point) from the infused oil, using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Heat the infused oil (again on low heat) in a small saucepan. Add a bit of grated beeswax at a time until you reach the desired consistency (to test the consistency of the salve, dip a spoon into the oil/beeswax mixture and then let it cool. Then you can touch the salve on the spoon to see if it's the right consistency. If it's still too liquid, add more beeswax; stop before it gets too hard).

You should end up with about a half cup of salve; have a few spare tins or jars ahead of time to fill up with salve.

When you have an insect sting or a cut, apply the salve liberally to the affected area. You should feel better in no time!



[I'll be adding a picture of my final salve product when I borrow my boyfriend's camera ... it's coming!]
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Pinkpower_80
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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Pinkpower_80 »

I just harvested some of this from my backyard. Yay my 1st time picking something to use & make things with!
What is the easiest way to dry them out?

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Xiao Rong
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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Xiao Rong »

I just laid them out on some paper towels and let them dry overnight ... I hear you can also turn your oven on "warm/hold" and leave them there (maybe with the oven door open?) Good luck!
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Pinkpower_80 »

Thanks! I've got them laid out for the night but will probably put them in my oven in the morning to finish up the process.

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Holdasown »

Cool I see that stuff around all the time

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Pinkpower_80 »

Holdasown wrote:Cool I see that stuff around all the time
I didn't even realize that's what it was until yesterday lol. :surprisedwitch:
Now I'm kinda in an obsessed frame of mind wondering what other herbal treasures my yard holds. :D

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Xiao Rong
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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Xiao Rong »

Pinkpower_80 wrote:
Holdasown wrote:Cool I see that stuff around all the time
I didn't even realize that's what it was until yesterday lol. :surprisedwitch:
Now I'm kinda in an obsessed frame of mind wondering what other herbal treasures my yard holds. :D
I know, right?! A few years ago I went around my neighborhood picking stuff and then identified them through a lot of Googling. You'd be really surprised how much awesome stuff is in your local area - for instance, I found mugwort growing in random patches by the sidewalk.
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Pinkpower_80 »

I'm looking to try mugwort but I can't find if it grows in my area (western NC).

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Xiao Rong
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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Xiao Rong »

Finally borrowed my boyfriend's camera, so this is my final result! I filled an Altoids tin and a little mason jar:

Image
~ Xiao Rong ~ 小蓉 ~ Little Lotus ~

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Et

Post by Pinkpower_80 »

That's awesome! I'm gonna get some oils tomorrow & try to find some beeswax so I can make some.
I got some bug bites on my feet this evening & I lightly chewed a few plantain leaves then rubbed them on my bites. After just a couple minutes they stopped itching & the swelling went down. I was totally stoked about that lol.

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Re: Plantain Salve for Bug Bites, Minor Cuts and Scrapes, Etc.

Post by firebirdflys »

This is great Xiao! I have the narrow leaf type https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_lanceolata growing out of the lawn in the backyard. It grows back every year in the same spot. Husband mows around it when it's growing. Also have a patch of Curly dock, and several Chive patches too. Anyway I made a slave out of it this year, very similar to your recipe but I added a bout 2 or 3 drops of Neroli es oil and stirred it in with with the melting wax stage. That makes it smell super yummy and fresh. I also gathered the seed stalks, not sure what I will do with them yet but they look cool all gathered together like wheat stalks.
bb, FF
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.”
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