Spring Plantain Herbal Infusion

by Jade Shutes

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


Plantago major


Plantago lanceolata

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

Our plantain harvest

To Make:

  1. Harvest plantain leaves on a dry sunny day.  Avoid harvesting just after a rain, due to moisture.
  2. Chop leaves finely.
  3. Place chopped plantain leaves in clean canning jar or other glass jar.
    Gently press leaves down and fill to just below top of jar.
  4. Fill jar with Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil.
  5. Cap jar.
  6. Label with ingredients and date.
  7. Set in sunny window for 3-8 weeks.
  8. Press out the oil either using a strainer or potato ricer press.
  9. Oil is ready to use!


To learn more about infusions, visit our blog post on Summertime Herbal Infusions