Plantain is an excellent plant usually found in your backyard. We are not thinking about the greenish form of banana but a green plant grown in your backyard. People sometimes remove plantain because they find it unattractive, but this little plant has great potential.
Plantain is called the “band-aid” plant because it has calming and anti-inflammatory properties, all due to a natural compound found in this plant: iridoids. Besides this, the plantain contains aglycone and aucubigenin, which have documented antimicrobial properties. As you can see, the plantain is packed with beneficial agents for the skin and, in addition, has allantoin, which promotes skin healing. You may have heard about allantoin as it is often a key ingredient in skin healing creams.
Plantain Can Be Used For the Following:
- Spider, mosquito, or any other bug bites
- Bee or wasp stings
- Diaper rash
The best plantain to use is the plantain that is not treated with pesticides. Consider picking plantain if you have a nearby forest or a clean park, otherwise you can buy dried and clean plantain on the market. Herbal stores often constitute a good starting point.
When you have selected or purchased some plantain leaves that are high quality and pesticide-free, you can make your own plantain salve.
For approximately 1 cup, you will need the following:
- 1 cup plantain leaves, chopped
- 1 ½ cups olive oil or melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated beeswax
- Tea tree oil, not more than 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Heatproof jar
- Sterile gauze
How to Make Plantain Salve:
1. If harvesting leaves, make sure you harvest on a dry and sunny day.
2. Clean leaves from any dirt with a dry cloth, and discard any leaves with color changes or spots. Use only healthy leaves.
3. Chop leaves or grind using a food processor.
4. Place the leaves in a heatproof jar and cover with the desired oil, olive or coconut.
5. The leaves must be submerged in oil completely.
6. Process the plantain and oil mixture until smooth. Make sure you do not over blend because you may end up with tiny pieces of plantain in your salve. The plantain may get too “shredded” and just pass through the gauze.
7. Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or gauze, and secure the gauze with a band.
8. Place a kitchen towel in your slow cooker.
9. Place the jar inside the cooker and fill with water so the water covers about half of the jar.
10. Set to LOW and cook, covered for 12–24 hours. The key is to infuse the oil with plantain compounds.
11. If needed, add more water but warm water, not cold.
12. Place a piece of large gauze over your bowl. Secure the gauze with a large rubber band.
13. Pour the oil into the gauze, and let it drain.
14. Press any undrained plantain mixture to drain any remaining oil.
15. Melt the beeswax over a double boiler.
16. Stir the beeswax into the plantain oil, and add tea tree oil at this point, if using.
17. If your beeswax hardens, set the bowl over a double boiler and stir until melted.
18. Pour the salve into a DRY jar and allow to cool.
19. Do not close until it reaches room temperature.
20. Once cold, put a lid on the jar.
21. Store in a cold and dry place.
NOTE: If you do not have a slow cooker or crock pot to use, you can infuse it another way!
- Just grind the dry leaves and submerge them in the oil. Place aside for 4–6 weeks in a dry place.
- Strain and add beeswax, as described above.