Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wild Wednesday


Do you have this plant in your yard? I bet you do. It's a common weed. The leaves are thick and if they are not mowed down they get pretty big. This plant is a super healer. It can be used of all sorts of things . It's great for wounds, bruises, eczema, and rashes of all kinds. It can be used fresh or dried in a poultice, in tincture form, or in oil. I prefer to use it in oil form as the base for salves.
To make the oil simply grab yourself a mason jar (or similar) and fill it two thirds full with cut up plantain. I use the entire aerial portions of the plant...the leaves, stems and flowers. I cut the pieces pretty small (the more cell surface that gets in contact with the oil the better) and cover it with olive oil. If you can afford it, use organic oil, but otherwise just use the best you can.
I have read a lot of conflicting advice about the best way to steep herbs in oil. Some people heat the herbs and oil in an oven at a very low temperature for a few hours. Some people let it sit in the sun. Some put it in a paper bag and let it warm in the sun that way. I don't like the idea of the sun hitting it directly, nor do I like the idea of turning my oven on in July, so I generally will either put it in a paper bag and set it in the windowsill, or I will just set it out of direct sunlight on my kitchen counter and let it sit for one week, and then strain it out. It should be a great color green.
You can now use this oil for rashes, eczema, bruises, or scrapes. Or you can melt it together with some beeswax and make an oil.  I will have a tutorial on this in about two weeks. 
A couple other herbs that make great oils to use on their own or as a base for a salve are Yarrow and St. John'sWort.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so delighted to see you've found the extra time to blog; I really enjoy reading your posts! :)