When I talk to my customers about the ingredient plantain they often think of what looks like a banana. The plantain I’m talking about is a weed. Indigenous people of America used it to extract venom from snake and insect bites. They would chew on the leaf to get the medicinal properties activated and then apply the leaf to the bite.
Plantain is a low growing weed and is found in the cracks of sidewalks and near water spigots. It is the leaves which are used to make poultices, tinctures, extracts and oil infusions.
There are two species which are well known and preferred Plantago lanceolata and Plantago major.
Mountain Rose Herbs
While plantain has benefits internally as well we are going to focus on how plantain benefits skin.
Plantain contains compounds which aid with reducing inflammation, pain and itching. Due to these strong properties individual see a speedy recover. Most within the same day with no sign of ever being bitten.
Individuals have said that plantain eliminates various rashes sometimes within a day. With poison oak/ivy individuals have found a reduction in itching and irritation.
Plantain aids with these skin issues in various ways. It reduces inflammation, relieves itching, reduces pain, prevents scarring by regenerating new skin cells quickly.
Plantain contains allantoin a compound that aids with skin cells that have been damaged. It also contains tannins which brings the skin together to stop bleeding and promote a faster recovery. It also contains a compound which both protects and soothes the inflamed area of the tissues both outside the skin and inside. The compound aucubin prevents the DNA of bacteria and viruses from duplicating, thus aiding with a quicker recovery. It’s astringent properties help to draw out any foreign objects from the body. While also reducing pain and swelling.
Plantain is just as good as Aloe Vera, if not better, when it comes to sunburn. It can be used by extracting the juice from the leaf, making a poultice or putting a cream containing plantain on the burn.
I myself have used our Soothing Salve on a sprained ankle. I applied right after the sprain and kept applying it as I thought about it. By the end of the day the swelling and bruising were gone. I still had a little pain, but nothing that caused me to limp or be careful how I walked. One of our customers used it on some back pain she could not get rid of and to her surprise it relieved it. Another customer came to my booth at the market and took some of the tester to put on her fingers which she had arthritis in. She said her daughter came over and took her Soothing Salve, which happens often. My husband and I both carry the salve with us, that is how I was able to apply it right away after the sprain. Another customer came to my booth and said “What is in this?” I told her and asked why? She said she fell and put the salve on and it never bruised, but did have a small amount of swelling. She then went on to tell me she hit her hand and didn’t use the salve to see if it would bruise and it did. She even still had the bruise when she came to see me.
Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. The information here is strictly for educational purposes. You should always consult with a health care professional for any medical issue.
Have you ever heard of the herb plantain? Have you ever used this herb? If so please share your experience.