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Silke

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If you click the image, you land on my blog post about this stuff.
Plantain (Plantago Major / Plantago Lanceolate) is about the most useful "weed" you'll ever find.
Not only is it completely safe to use on pretty much any skin condition, it's...free. And it grows pretty much anywhere. (The Native Americans used to call it "White Man's Foot", because anywhere the settlers went, this herb sprang up.)

It's anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial.
Completely safe even if your cat ingests it.

It has a ton of uses, both internal and external.
You need to pick it before the first frost, that's the only thing. But those two 200ml tubs above? They generally last me a good 6 months. (A little goes a long way.)
...and I use it on myself, the horses, and the cats.
Rashes, sores, bruises, cuts, scrapes, scratches, bug bites, nettle stings, poison ivy, sunburn... even eczema. You name it, it will help heal and take out the sting, reduce itching and inflammation.

Since lots of my friends kept asking me how to make it, I took photographs this time and wrote this blog post. (My mum actually just ran off with a tub of it, because "It smells really nice and it feels really nice on the skin" -- never mind the healing properties of it, the main thing was "it smells nice" lol.)
And any "leftover" plantain you pick can be dried for an awesome tea that helps with sore throats and coughs, as well as bronchitis.

About the only investment you'd have to make is for some beeswax pellets, vaseline and Lavender oil.
But with that you can make tons of the stuff, bringing the cost down to next to nothing -- for the most useful pot of salve you could ever have.
(Come to think of it, you could probably make shampoo / soap with it, too.)
 

kauna

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Thank you for sharing! I may have to see if I can find it to make my own ;) I have horrible eczema at times and this sounds like a great alternative.
 

Silke

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Definitely try it. :)
It's very soothing, and very good for the skin.
 

Toa and Ross

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Thanks so much for the libk to the blog. Looks great. I love it that you make your own.
 

Maddie

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@kauna on the eczema thing... make sure you aren't using stuff with olive oil in it. Do not listen to the hype that it helps lol. Info comes from my dad (he's a doctor) so can't pull you any actual sources atm. Anecdotally I can tell you that if I use anything with olive oil (even having it on my hands when I make pizza dough) they instantly dry out and start to get the rash. So random tibit that might help :)

@Silke looks sweet!
 

kauna

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Thanks @Maddie for the tip! (y) Everyone says that olive oil and coconut oil are great! I tried the coconut oil and like you said with the olive oil just dried my skin out completely
 

Silke

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@kauna I don't think this salve would, but I use sunflower oil for the infusion, not sure if that makes a difference. :)
I do know it is taken up by the skin very quickly, and it's very light, not a thick wad of creme. :)
The main thing is that the plantain goes into the skin, as that's the healing / soothing component.
You could just mash up the plantain and spread it on, but it's a bit yucky and it doesn't get deeper into the skin.
 

Maddie

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@Silke that should be fine lol my dad hasn't told me to stay away from that. Just olive oil. :)
 

Silke

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It's worth trying this stuff, because for one thing -- if you pick it locally, you know exactly where it comes from.
I'm also thinking of adding a dollop of local honey into the next batch, because I get hayfever attacks. This way, my body can immunize a little against the local pollen. (I try to have at least a spoon of local honey every day, and it helps a lot. But it HAS to be honey from the immediate area where you are.)

IMG_5274_sm.jpg


This is my attempt at making a cute container for the dried plantain (which is awesome as tea, for coughs and bronchitis)
It's a repurposed yoghurt jar, with some fabric from my ripped jeans lol.
Label made by me, from scratch.

It's kinda sad how much of this stuff is being forgotten.
Herbal remedies are very much used in Germany, and my old doctor (30+ years ago) used to prescribe various tinctures, which were made up by the "Apotheke" (Pharmacy)
He'd always try a natural remedy for various ailments. Not because he didn't believe pharmaceuticals worked, but because -- as he told me once -- it's a way to manage side effects and natural remedies tend to be easier on the body. If it didn't work, you'd get the meds, no question. But from my own experience? Generally the stuff he prescribed worked very well.
I remember coming in with a horrible chesty cough I just couldn't get rid of, as well as a stinking rotten cold.
He told me point blank he cannot cure the common cold -- but to take 5 drops of peppermint oil on a teaspoon (or a lump) of sugar, to help open the airways. Then he handed me a prescription for plantain tea -- warning me that it doesn't taste nice -- and to drink as much as I could stand of it.
Wouldn't you know? The cold started to clear up (or rather, I could breathe) and I got rid of the cough within a few days.
(Not the tastiest tea, I admit...)
Good alternative for people who need to watch the pennies. :)
We're planting Arnica and Marigold (Calendula officinalis) for next year, as well.
 
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