(Natural News) A good prepper knows that even weeds shouldn’t be dismissed when SHTF. For example, broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a medicinal herb that can be used to make a healing salve for various skin conditions. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)
And the broadleaf plantain is often found in your garden or backyard.
Plantain, a versatile and medicinal weed
Sometimes called the “band-aid” plant, plantain has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties due to natural compounds called iridoids. Plantain also contains aglycone and aucubigenin, two compounds with antimicrobial properties.
Finally, plantain contains allantoin, a compound that promotes skin healing. Allantoin is a common ingredient in skin healing creams. It is used to treat dry, rough and itchy skin. The compound acts as an emollient that keeps skin moisturized, preventing dryness and irritation.
Plantain can be used to treat conditions such as:
- Bee or wasp stings
- Bug bites (e.g., mosquito or spider bites)
- Diaper rash
Before using a plantain salve, consult your physician to check for possible allergic interactions.
Healing plantain salve recipe
When harvesting plantain, gather leaves from plants that haven’t been treated with pesticides. Look for plantain in a local forest or clean park.
Harvest leaves on a dry and sunny day and use a dry cloth to wipe any dirt from the leaves. Discard leaves with color changes or spots. You need to use healthy leaves for the salve.
Another option is to buy dried and clean plantain online or from herbal stores. (Related: A weed to some, plantain is a survivalist’s powerful medicine.)
After gathering or buying pesticide-free plantain leaves, follow the recipe below to make a healing plantain salve.
Ingredients for 1 cup of salve:
- 1 cup plantain leaves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil (or coconut oil, melted and cooled)
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon grated beeswax
- 1 teaspoon tea tree oil (optional)
- Heatproof jar
- Sterile gauze
- Glass bowl
- Chop the leaves or use a food processor.
- Place the leaves in a heatproof jar, then add the olive oil or coconut oil. The leaves must be completely submerged in oil.
- Blend the plantain and oil mixture until smooth. Do not over-blend because you may end up having tiny pieces of plantain leaves in the salve. If the plantain is over blended, the leaves will just pass through the gauze.
- Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or gauze then secure it with a rubber band.
- Place a clean kitchen towel in your slow cooker then place the jar inside the cooker. Fill it up with water until the liquid in the cooker covers about half of the jar.
- Set the slow cooker to “low” and cook while covered for 12 to 24 hours. This ensures that the oil is infused with the beneficial plantain compounds. If you need to add more liquid, use warm water.
- Once the mixture is done, place a large piece of gauze over your bowl and secure the gauze with a large rubber band.
- Pour the mixture over the gauze the let it drain. Use a clean spoon to press any undrained plantain mixture to extract the remaining oil.
- Melt the beeswax over a double boiler. Gradually stir the beeswax into the plantain oil. Add the tea tree oil during this step.
- If the beeswax hardens while you’re mixing the ingredients, set the bowl over a double boiler and stir until it melts again.
- Pour the salve into a clean jar, then set it aside to let it cool. Do not close the jar until the salve reaches room temperature.
- Once the salve is cool, put the lid on the jar and store it in a cold and dry place.
If you don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, infuse the leaves and oil using another method. Grind the dry leaves, then submerge them in the oil. Set the mixture aside for four to six weeks in a dry place, then strain and add beeswax as outlined above.
Once you’ve confirmed that you can safely use plantain salve, try the recipe above to make a soothing natural remedy for various skin conditions.