Using herbs is one of my favorite and most cherished aspects of my #LifeFromScratch. What could be more empowering than using the gifts nature has to offer to heal, nourish, and protect yourself and your family? Herbs can be used as medicine, to ease anxiety, to clean your home, and even for beautifying.
Seriously, what can’t herbs do?
Plantain was one of the first medicinal herbs I ever used. My dad calls them “magic leaves” and taught me about how to use them for healing wounds and insect bites when I was very young. Very simply, you can put clean plantain leaves on a wound and place a bandage over it. You want to change the leaves frequently as needed. Some people also make a quick-n-dirty poultice by chewing up a leaf and sticking it on a cut. I haven’t found myself that desperate.
I make this salve to preserve the plantain for use throughout the year, since I can only get fresh plantain in my area for a few months. It’s easy to make and super convenient to have a little tin of this DIY plantain salve handy at home or in my purse for whenever it’s needed – no need to search for leaves or make a remedy every time there’s a boo-boo to address. Just search for it one time to prepare this and other plantain remedies – a tincture, perhaps?
You can probably find plantain growing in your own yard! If not, keep your eye out anywhere that isn’t sprayed by pesticides – you don’t want those chemicals in your medicine!
Pick a lot and dry it out. I hang mine in a produce bag in the window, “tumbling” them every day so they dry evenly. You can also dry herbs in the oven if you’re in a hurry. You need to let the plantain leaves dry out completely – any water left in the plant can cause your finished salve to mold! So don’t jump the gun and use leaves that aren’t dried out. You’ll know they’re ready when they crumble very easily between your fingers.Don’t want to mess around with all that picking and drying? You can buy dried plantain from Mountain Rose Herbs that’s ready to rock for your DIYs!
- ⅓ c dried plantain
- ½ c olive oil (or another carrier oil)
- ⅓ oz beeswax (Buy 1 oz. bars at Mountain Rose Herbs!)
- 10 drops of tea tree oil (optional)
- Infuse your carrier oil with the dried plantain - just put them in a clean jar together and let it sit for a week. (It's okay if you wait longer - it will only make your salve more potent! You may need to add more oil if you wait longer, but that's okay, right?)
- Strain the oil out into a clean jar.
- Melt your beeswax using a double boiler. Watch it carefully!
- Add your infused oil to the beeswax as soon as the beeswax is melted. The cooler oil may cause parts of the beeswax to become solid again, but just stir it gently as it heats up until it's all mixed together well. Remove it from heat as soon as it's completely liquid and combined.
- You can add 10 drops of tea tree oil to add more antibacterial properties and to help preserve the salve. Stir it in!
- Pour the liquid into a tin or jar for storage. It will harden as it cools... and it's ready!
Use this plantain salve to:
- Soothe insect bites and bee stings
- Prevent infection and speed up healing of cuts and scrapes
- Soothe poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac rashes
- Soothe irritated skin
Looking for other DIY healing salve recipes? You’re in the right place……
- ‘Fix Pretty Much Anything Salve’
- Foot and Heel Salve
- Hand Salve
- Soothing Tooshie Salve (great for your babe’s bottom…and for your hands, too)
- Balms vs Salves: What’s the Difference!??
I noticed most sites use tin containers. A few used plastic. Is there a reason for the tin?
Hi Debbie! No, not really. Glass is actually preferred, and is how I offer my deodorant for sale in my online store (although I used to offer tins for smaller amounts). What you have on hand will likely work just for this recipe.