It’s finally spring and all around there are cleavers, violet flowers, chickweed, plantain and a few other early spring medicinal plants in the area around us. I am sure if you look around your yard or in a field yet to be touched by modern day ‘weed killers’ you will stumble upon plantain. Today we (my son and I) harvested plantain. We will use this infused oil for a variety of summertime salves. Plantain is a wonderful herb to infuse and use in salves for insect bites, wound healing and inflamed skin conditions.
Plantago lanceolata, P. major, or P. media
Other common names: Ribwort plantain (P. lanceolata), Greater plantain (P. major) and Hoary plantain (P. media)
Botanical family: Plantaginaceae
Botanical description: P. lanceolata is a rosette-forming perennial herb bearing narrowly oblong, sparsely hairy and distinctly parallel-veined leaves, distinctly ridged flowering stalks and numerous inconspicuous white or pale pink flowers in a dense solitary cluster.15
Part of plant used: Fresh plant material is preferred although dried can be used too.
Harvest Time: Gather plantain leaves in spring through autumn.
Active components: Plantain has up to 2.5% iridoid glycosides. The main compound is aucubin, accompanied by catalpol and asperuloside. Furthermore, 2% mucilage, together with tannins (6.5%), phenolic acids (chlorogenic and caffeic acid), unidentified saponins and flavonoids. P. major and P. media have similar constituents.16
Therapeutic benefits: Plantain is a wonderful herb used for wounds and inflammation of the skin.
Plantain herbal oil is indicated for:
- Inflamed skin conditions
- Wound healing
- Insect bites
- Harvest plantain leaves on a dry sunny day. Avoid harvesting just after a rain, due to moisture.
- Chop leaves finely.
- Place chopped plantain leaves in clean canning jar or other glass jar.
Gently press leaves down and fill to just below top of jar.
- Fill jar with Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil.
- Cap jar.
- Label with ingredients and date.
- Set in sunny window for 3-8 weeks.
- Press out the oil either using a strainer or potato ricer press.
- Oil is ready to use!
To learn more about infusions, visit our blog post on Summertime Herbal Infusions