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.
Plantain Astringent Tincture
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.