Thursday, February 18, 2016

How I make Plantain Oil and how I use it.

When we moved into our home a few years ago we were amused by the massive amount of Ladybugs that we found in ever nook and cranny, as the summer heated, our amusement faded when the big old red wasps became thick both inside and outside of our home. They came in through vents, they lived in the eves, they lived in the trees near by. About once every couple of weeks one of us was getting stung. And as most people know those suckers HURT! I have always learned little bits of herbal-ism from my elders and sometimes my elder's elders, so I knew about plantain. After a bit of research on the internet, I knew a bit more about it. It is a vitamin rich, edible herb with some pretty awesome medicinal qualities as well. I am not a professional herbalist, nor am I a doctor so anything I put in this blog post is my own experiences, I am not in any way recommending that you do exactly as I have done. (have to get the legal stuff out of the way). It was mentioned more than once that an oil infused with plantain could ease the burn and hurt of a bug bite/sting and especially with repeated applications help them heal faster and prevent the swelling associated with them.

Within a week, me and the kids were out happily harvesting plantain. Half of it I dehydrated in my Excalibur, the other half I let dry out over night in the house and then did a rough chop/handling of it and filled mason jars with the leaf then filled the jars with olive oil, topping the jar off every time it settled a bit more through the leaves. I put them in my cabinet over my stove and with my extracts in the making, I shook it two to three times a day, leaving it alone for three months. (we had a miserable year that year with the stings, we didn't think to chew the leaves and use them in a pinch!)

The following spring, we had plantain oil at the ready anytime someone was stung and it greatly reduced swelling, pain, and irritation for everyone in the family, from my then five year old son up to me the eldest at thirtyish something. ;)\

The dehydrated plantain leaf I will toss into a crock-pot on low covered well with olive oil, and leave the lid well cracked, you don't want water building up in there. I warm it through well and pull it off to cool when it turns more green than the olive oil. Then strain it and bottle it.

I have used the oil in soaps, lotions, lotion bars, salves, straight, and in a hair conditioner.

But still to this day, our favorite way, is still as the balm on a good old wasp sting, or other bug bite.