Making a Healing Plantain Oil

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Narrowleaf Plantain
The Plantain is really growing like crazy in our yard this year. I’m so glad we didn’t plant grass when we first cleared the land. So many amazing wild edible and medicinal plants fill our property now. It’s always exciting to discover new varieties each Spring.

Plantain Oil
It was late afternoon, when the sun had softened its glare and the trees were casting a shadow over the side of the garden where the Plantain especially thrives. I carried a pint jar half full of olive oil to a particularly abundant patch, and sat down to pick leaves from the Narrowleaf variety, which is said to have stronger medicinal properties than Broadleaf Plantain.

Elias
As I was breaking the foliage to fill the glass jar, my littlest guy cruised by in his play car. When he saw what I was doing, he quickly got out of the toy, walked over to where I sat cross-legged, and plopped himself right down in my lap. He wanted to help.

Elias
I handed him a leaf brushed clean of dirt and told him to break it into small pieces like Mommy was doing. He contented himself for quite some time helping me. I soaked in the quiet moment while it lasted.

When we filled the jar about 3/4 full, I took it inside and finished filling the jar with Organic Cold Pressed Olive Oil, to cover the leaves by 1-2 inches. I’ll let it sit for a few weeks before straining it off and storing it for use.

Narrowleaf Plantain
If you’d like to try to find some Plantain in your area, here’s what a nice cluster of Narrowleaf Plantain looks like.

Plantain
And this is Broadleaf Plantain.

Plantain
Notice the straight veins in the leaves. Both varieties grow in most lawns. I’m betting you wouldn’t have to go far out your front door to find one or the other.

We use them all the time for stings. Just chew up a leaf and place it over a bee sting or insect bite, and hold it there for a few minutes. It’ll soak the poison and pain right out. The Narrowleaf would be the best choice between the two, but Broadleaf works as well.

I like to make an infused oil from the fresh leaves, to use during the winter when the plants are dormant. You can use the strained oil as is, or you can use it to make a salve by adding melted beeswax and other herbs and essential oils if desired.

The oil or salve is great to use on insect bites, skin irritations (like Eczema), wounds, cuts, scrapes, diaper rash, poison oak/ivy, and burns.

Wellness Mama has a great article with more information on Plantain and its many uses, if you wanna check that out.

It’s also perfectly edible, and really nutritious. You can eat it raw in salads, but I’ve found that even young, tender leaves are a tad too bitter and veined to be purely enjoyable. A good survival food? Yes. But to eat it on a daily basis… meh. I’ll have to experiment with cooking it to see if it’s better that way.

Do you harvest Plantain in your area? What’s your favorite way to use it?


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Kendra
About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

15 Comments

  1. We have made a balm with coconut oil, plantain and natural aluminium sulfate. It works on any and all skin issues, from burns to sore muscles. Greatest plant ever

  2. this is awesome!!! I cant wait to find some of this around the yard and try it with my oldest daughter this year. she is always getting bits on her legs and itches so much. this might finally be the cure we need for her. 🙂

  3. It’s so ironic that several months ago, I was pulling weeds out of my raised garden bed, and throwing them away. I had no idea that they were beneficial plantain!! I’ll definitely treat this plant with more respect from now on! 🙂

  4. We use an infuses Plantain oil at our house for rashes and bug bites. The kids run for the “itch” oil all the time. My husband uses it on his honeybee stings and it takes the swelling right down. He is even allergic to them and has no problem if he uses the oil right away. It works awesome!

  5. I had no idea, Kendra!! I know for sure we’ve got broadleaf Plantain up here, I’ll have to check around for the narrow leaf. Awesome info – thank you!!

  6. Kendra…thank you for this post because even though everyone says that it is EVERYWHERE…I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find it until I read your post about narrow leaf plantain. After heading outside and looking…low and behold there is was…everywhere! super excited! hubby helped me pull some up and now I have an infused oil going. thanks so much and also I just started the 8 week herbal course that you blogged about. LOVE IT!!! take care and enjoy your growing season!

  7. Thanks for the oil idea. We usually just chew it up and place it over a sting or bite. This spring I’ve really enjoyed exploring our weedy yard. We harvested dandelions for one salad and violets for another. The more I look, the more I notice things I’m unfamiliar with–and the more insistently I oppose putting weed killer on our lawn.

  8. This is wonderful Kendra! and thank you for sharing. I didn’t know what Plantain was or it usefulness until I read your article about using it to help your son’s assassin bug bit. Those bugs are everywhere here in Arkansas and I tell everyone to steer clear of them. We have lots of Plantain in our yard too so I’m going to try making the oil also. I’m learning about and searching for wild edibles and medicinals all the time where we live.

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