What is Plantain?
Most people know the fruit of the same name. However, we are talking about the herb. Plantain is one of the best natural healing herbs! There are two varieties: lance leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and English plantain, also referred to as common plantain (Plantago major).
What is a Plantain Poultice Good For?
Plantain provides plenty of health benefits. It is an anti-inflammatory, a natural painkiller, and it is very beneficial for the skin. It possesses potent anti-viral, antiseptic, and anti-histamine properties. It has the ability to treat any kind of skin malady including mosquito bites, poison ivy rash, bee stings, glass shards, infections, splinters, hemorrhoids, small cuts, blisters, boils, and eczema.
To prove the effectiveness of plantain, we tried it on a small emerging patch of atopic dermatitis. The results were simply amazing.
The image on the left was taken before applying the first poultice. More pictures were taken after each two-hour application of a plantain poultice (once in the morning and once in the evening) over the course of 2 days.
Organic virgin coconut oil is the only other item applied to the affected area during this experiment. The oil was used to prevent cracking and drying. After one application of plantain, the blisters dried up and stopped itching. Plantain poultice provided better and faster results than most prescribed topical steroid creams!
Natural Versus Unnatural
Many people will use store-bought antibiotic ointment rather than prepare their plantain poultice Plantain is a completely natural remedy, full of minerals and vitamins, unlike the chemicals antibiotics which will indiscriminately kill any microbial life form (good or bad) that it comes into contact with.
Poultices Allow Skin to Breathe
Applying greasy ointment over a cut and placing a latex bandage over it will keep contaminants out. However, it keeps air out as well. If applied properly, plantain poultice allows wounded skin to breathe, thus accelerating the healing process
Plantain is Free
Both species of plantain grow everywhere and are very easy to find.
It’s Non-Toxic to Everyone
Plantain is completely non-toxic to humans and pets. It is completely natural and is safe to use on children. Swallowing some of the nutrient-rich juices while chewing the plantain your poultice can improve your body’s ability to heal.
Identifying Wild Plantain
English plantain (Plantago major) looks like a cross between spinach and a miniature hosta. Its leaves emerge in a rosette from the ground and there is no visible stem. English plantain grows a long flower spike from the center of the leaf rosette which bears tiny white blossoms.
Lance-leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) has long leaves and flower heads which resemble tiny cattails. Just like English plantain, there is no visible stem. Its leaves also grow in a rosette formation directly from the soil.
Lance-leaf plantain grows flower spikes that are short and grow at the tip of a long stalk. These spikes may display short white hairs, tiny white blossoms, or both. Its flowers bloom from the bottom of the spike to the top.
Where to Find Plantain
English plantain usually grows in the shade of other plants. You can look under shrubs in your garden or flower beds. It can be also found growing in the leaf litter underneath shade trees. Lance-leaf plantain can be found scattered across grassy fields or lawns. It can be seen growing at the edges of paved areas and from cracks in sidewalks.
How to Make a Plantain Poultice
Just follow these instructions! This will help you to make a plantain poultice that will effectively and quickly treat any skin ailment.
Find Some Plantain
As we said before, fining plantain is very easy. Find plantain that has not been sprayed with insecticides or weed killers. A local wildlife is an area that is free of pesticides!
Pick a Handful of Leaves
It is recommended to pick older larger leaves from the base of the plant because they are packed with the important nutrients. Plantain is usually considered a weed because it is very hard to kill and it grows fast. Even if you pick all of the leaves from a single plant, it will grow back from the roots.
Clean your plantain and eliminate any dirt, insects, or other contaminants.
Put a few plantain leaves in your mouth (or the mouth of the person who will be receiving the poultice) and start chewing. Plantain leaves have a very potent “green flavor. When your leaves look and smell like fresh wet grass clippings, you can move to the next step.
Apply Mashed Leaves to Skin
You can apply your mashed up plantain to a bee sting, cut, mosquito bite, and scrape to accelerate the healing. Cover any surrounding swollen, reddish or irritated skin. The poultice can eliminate itching and reduce inflammation.
Plantain to the rescue!
Make sure not to use anything air-tight. The poultice should be able to breathe and gradually dry.
Replace As Needed
After a few hours, your plantain will dry up, so you will have to replace it.
Cover It Up
You can use bandages, tape or whatever you have to cover the mashed plantain.
Keep an Eye On the Wound
Plantain is a very beneficial herb that has potent healing properties. However, it is very important to keep an eye on the wound. If you experience symptoms like swelling of the throat make sure to visit your doctor immediately because this symptom is life-threatening.