Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wildcrafting: Plantain

Did you know you can do wildcrafting in your own yard!?
Apparently this weed that I have been mowing over every week is Plantain... 
A very valuable herb. 

Plantain, one of the most widespread 'weeds' around  the world, is a first-choice remedy for many ailments. It is safe and effective, for most skin type issues such as  bee stings, bleeding, cuts, bruises, bug bites, hemorroids, and itchy skin. Its ability to draw out infection - as well as splinters and even glass shards - is rumored to be especially remarkable. A cup of strong Plantain tea is said to quell the worst indigestion, and a small wad of chewed leaf placed next to the gum will quiet a painful toothache until it can be attended to. I have been told by my Totally Natural Goat's group that the easiest way to make a plantain poultice is to chew up the leaf, put it on the wound, and cover it  with something to hold it in place for at least 30 minutes. I read somewhere else that the saliva actually contains many antibacterial properties (which may be why animals lick their wounds). If a 'spit poultice' is not for you, you can chop plantain with a knife or in the blender with a coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or little water.

A simple ointment, made with an olive oil extract of fresh Plantain and a little beeswax is a very good general purpose remedy for many skin ailments, and is especially helpful with diaper rash. Plantain may also be used as in juice, tea,  tincture, wash, gargle and syrup form.

Nutritionally, plantain is equally amazing. Related to spinach, plantain leaves are rich in iron and vitamins A and C. Plantain may be eaten uncooked, but adult leaves tend to be stringy, and seedpods are a bit tough. Preparation is as simple as boiling washed plants until tender, then serving the leaves as you would spinach, or the seedpods as you might green beans or asparagus. A little apple cider vinegar helps enliven the taste of cooked leaves, and serve them hot with butter, salt and pepper. Seedpods are said to be good in stews, soups and stir-fries, or with melted cheese over them.



No comments:

Post a Comment