Plantain Astringent Tincture and Herb Lesson

Are you plagued with outbreaks, painful blemishes and black heads? Have you tried multiple products to no avail? Here is an easy homemade remedy. It requires only three things. A glass jar, apple cider vinegar and plantain.
 What is plantain you might ask? Plantain is a wonderful “first aid” plant! It grows practically everywhere. Unfortunately I have yet to find any here in my hikes. Plantain has excellent drawing properties.  It can be used in salves, tinctures, poultices and infusions.I heard stories of people being bitten by bugs. They quickly found a plantain plant, chewed a leaf and put it on the bite, shortly after the swelling had subsided and the itching stopped. Because plantain is an astringent it is perfect to use on anything that needs drawing, insect bites, infections, acne, even poison ivy! You can use it to relieve pain, inflammation, rashes and burns.

If you are picking your own plantain be sure that it was not sprayed with pesticides, so I’d avoid picking planting in city parks and along roads. I wish could find plantain here but so far no such luck. I buy my dried  plantain from the Bulk Herb Store. This past summer when I was visiting my family in Northern California I was thrilled to find it growing in the park near their house. My fingers were just itching to pick but I had to resist the temptation because I knew that it had probably been sprayed. For now I’ll just have to be content with my dried plantain.

Are you ready to find out how to make your own natural facial Astringent? Here we go.

Plantain Astringent Tincture


Clean Glass Jar
Fill the jar ¾ of the way with fresh washed plantain leaves or ½ way if your plantain is dry
Fill the jar the rest of the way with apple cider vinegar
Screw on the lid and store in a dry, dark place for about six weeks.  Shake at least twice daily to prevent molding. If necessary you can top it off with a little extra vinegar. After the six weeks are complete strain the vinegar into another glass jar. I used an empty hot sauce bottle. Compost the spent leaves. Apply the tincture to your face after washing twice daily for about two weeks. The tincture will pull the impurities from your skin and leave you with beautiful clean skin. It also helps to remove scaring.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday,

About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. I made this tincture, but am wondering if there are any side effects…dryness, redness, etc. while it is working. I have a teenage daughter suffering with acne and would love to know what to expect.

    • She may experience a bit of redness while it is working. Plantain is an astringent, it pulls the impurities and toxins out of your skin, because of this your daughter may experience more intense acne for about two weeks while the plantain tincture heals her skin. After that her completion should be much better, if not completely clear. If her acne persists you may want to look into her diet as well.

  2. Hi,
    Just wondering, after you wash your face, how do you put the tincture on? And do you leave it on or wash it off? How much do you put on?

    • Katie Mae says:

      When I use it I put a little on a cotton ball or faical pad. I dab it all over my face and let it dry. How much would really depend on the size of your face. You want to just lightly moisten your face not drench it.

  3. I wonder how kombucha would work in place of vinegar! Or do half Apple cider half kombucha in a tonic.

    • Katie Mae says:

      I’m not sure. You could try. I have used kombucha on my hair instead of apple cider vinegar before. Though I do wonder if kombucha has the same pulling properties.

  4. awesome! I cant wait to try this! i AM plagued with blemishes, and ive heard wonderful things about plantain, although it was in reading ‘the medicine wheel’ as related to kidney problems. thanks again! maureen

  5. Eyebright preparation s are also available as an Herbal extract or capsule

  6. loves2spin, I live in Mexico but have a P.O. Box in the US that gets checked by almost every week.

  7. By the way, where do you live? Maybe I could send you some.

  8. How wonderful! I make a plantain/comfrey salve that is loved by everyone that has tried it. I will definitely add this to the repertoire. Thank you!


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