Plantain: First Aid Use for this Common Weed

The next time you get a mosquito bite, the secret to stopping your itch may be as close as your backyard. You may have even assumed it was just a weed! Plantain leaves are actually a great medicinal plant that, along with soothing a bug bite, will also take away the pain from a bee sting, and aid in healing to minor scrapes.

This low growing green leaf plant is not to be confused with the plantain bananas. The broadleaf plantain and narrow leaf (or ribwort plantain) grow in North America and around the world. I recognize these plants by their noticeable veins on the back of their leaves. Healthline states that both plantain weed and aloe vera have wound healing and tissue repair properties. You can read more about aloe vera in my previous post.

For bug bites, stings and wound care, make a poultice out of fresh plantain leaf. The traditional way to make a poultice is to chew leaves. Plantain is edible, so there is no harm in chewing the leaves. However, I would suggest washing the leaves first before putting them in your mouth. I choose to crush the leaves by pinching them with my fingers. Once juice is released from the leaves, I apply the green mashed leaf to my mosquito bite. I freely rub the plant on the bite bringing both satisfaction to the itch and healing to the skin.

While participating in the Spring Apprenticeship program at Cedar Mountain Herb School, I learned that plantain works best fresh. Because of this, I have not used plantain leaf to make salves. I know where to easily find plantain in my neighborhood and can gather some fresh when I need it.

Watch my video for more information on broadleaf and narrow leaf plantain.

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