BUG BITE Be Gone: Meet PLANTAIN (New Video Lesson)

By | September 11, 2020

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Plantain to the Bug Bite Rescue (New Video Lesson)

This common weedy perennial we often step on, scientifically called Plantago major of the Plantaginaceae family, is useful in so many ways, it’s even food. Neutralizing / curing insect bites (mosquitos, bees, wasps and more) is one of its remarkable gifts, and it is the theme of today’s lesson. Learn to ID, harvest, and use this most useful herbal ally that is everywhere.

Other common names for Plantago major are Common Plantain and Broad Leaf Plantain. Other Plantago species are used similarly.

Plantain is an amazing topical healer that many of us step on everyday.
It is soothing (demulcent, emollient), cooling (anti-inflammatory), drawing & binding—tissue tightening (astringent vulnerary [wound healer]) and cleansing (antimicrobial).

Harvest & Use
Gather leaves anytime during the growing season. Leaf likely more potent before flower, but still effective throughout its life cycle. Pick leaves that are vibrant and green, and make a poultice either by chewing (spit poultice), mashing or pureeing until you have a juicy wad of plantain.

Apply to bug bite right after being bitten. Leave on until the bite is resolved; this can happen in 5 minutes for bee stings or longer for wasp stings, which may need 30 minutes (and a fresh re-application if the sting is stubborn.).

If you’ve been stung by a bee or wasp, best to sit still right after, relax, and apply plantain. Don’t run around which can move the venom throughout your body and cause more irritation.

If you want to make a plantain infused oil, and then salve, best to gather the leaves before flower, but that is for another lesson.

Look for plantain in anthropogenic sites, cracks in sidewalks, lawns, fields, and paths in full sun to part shade in most soil types.
USDA Hardiness Zones 3-9.
Range: Native of Europe. Found throughout most of the world.

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