Of all the medicinal plants celebrated for their skin-healing powers, plantain is one of the most revered. Healing plantain salve can be wonderfully nourishing to your skin. Every home should have some ready for the next cut, scrape, sting or bite. Make some today!
We are so happy to bring you this guest post by Samantha at WholeHearted Homestead!
Creating a plant-infused salve is a great way to connect with Mother Nature, while at the same time adding an element of sustainability to your first aid kit or medicine cabinet. A plant infused-oil can be wonderfully nourishing for a wide variety of skin ailments. And it requires very few ingredients and only basic kitchen equipment to whip one up. Creating salves can provide a—new or experienced—herbalist endless opportunities to get acquainted with backyard medicinals.
Of all the medicinal plants celebrated for their skin-healing powers, plantain is one of the most revered. To the untrained eye, it is considered a noxious weed—much like the dandelions, plantain grows anywhere and everywhere. Fortunately, more and more people are learning to appreciate plantain for its simple beauty and generous nature. You can learn more about identifying plantain in this post from WholeHearted Homestead
A healing plantain salve is easy to whip up and makes a lovely home-remedy for everyday cuts, scrapes, burns, and minor skin infections. But why is plantain so great for the skin? Before we get to the recipe, let’s dive a little deeper into the key components that make plantain such a hearty healer.
Plantain’s Medicinal Actions:
- Plantain has the ability to draw toxins out of the body. It effectively coaxes out the poisons of stings or bites, helping to alleviate the burning and itching sensations associated with these injuries.
- Plantain can also remove deep-seated foreign objects from the skin, such as slivers of wood or metal.
- Plantain has long been considered an alterative, or blood cleanser. This has important implications for the skin because the nutrients found in plantain activate the liver. The liver plays a major role in skin health.
- Plantain can help to slow and end heavy bleeding, although it works best when paired with yarrow. (As a tea, plantain can help with heavy menstrual bleeding.)
- Plantain speeds up recovery times because it heals wounds and infections from the inside out.
Now that we have a good understanding of why plantain is such a popular plant to use in healing salves, we can journey on to the recipe.
Healing Plantain Salve Recipe
- Plantain-Infused Oil (Learn to make infused oil here)
- Beeswax *The amount of beeswax you need depends on how much plantain-infused oil you’ve made. For every 8 ounces of oil, use 1 ounce of beeswax.
1. Place the plantain oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Over low-medium heat stir the mixture frequently until all the beeswax has melted.
2. Carefully pour the mixture into tins or glass containers. The salve will quickly change from an oily liquid to a soft ointment as it cools.
*If you’d like to test your salve before allowing the whole batch to cool, before beginning place a spoon in the freezer. Once the beeswax has melted, pour a small amount of the mix onto the spoon and put it back in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
**If you’d like a harder salve, add more beeswax. If you are looking for a softer salve, add more oil.
3. Store the salve in a cool place. This will prevent the salve from melting and solidifying over and over again. Well-kept salves can last up to three years, but should yours begin to smell off or funny, it’s time to get rid of it and make a new batch.
Plantain, as you can see, is full of healing potential. Not only is it consumed for its rich, nutrient-dense properties, but it also efficiently restores the skin to a healthy state after injury or infection. It is truly amazing that such a common “weed” can be so giving. Whipping up a batch of plantain salve is an easy and fun way to get out in the yard, forage for a common medicinal plant, and create a product that increases your sustainability. The availability of plantain and the simplicity of this recipe is sure to leave you feeling like quite the accomplished herbalist once you give making a healing plantain salve a try!
Samantha is a lover of all things green! That’s why she created the blog WholeHearted Homestead. Samantha lives completely off-grid on 20 wooded acres in Missouri with her husband, along with a variety of pets and homestead critters. Samantha plans to forever study herbs and medicinal plants, as they are her passion. She believes there will always be something new to learn from our green allies.