The number one must-have herb for the summer months:
With the summer months approaching, now is the time that all the creepy crawlies, snakes and insects come out of hibernation, and the time we need to be wary of bites and stings. In particular, bee stings, snake bites and mosquito bites are synonymous with the warmer weather. The number one herb to have on hand for this purpose is Plantain.
Now this is a herb that nearly everyone recognises by sight, but ask anyone what it is, and most people will tell you they have no idea. I know my mother-in-law spent years each summer trying to dig it out of her lawn, thinking it was a useless weed, only to learn years later of the many benefits it offers.
Look on your lawn, Plantain is everywhere!
There are two types of Plantain—the broad leaf variety known as Plantago Major, and the narrow leaf variety known as Plantago Lanceolata—and both are extremely effective in treating all sorts of bites, stings and for drawing out infections and poisons. And the great thing is that, once you can identify plantain, you will notice that it can be found in just about any lawn, garden or backyard!
The uses of Plantain are far and wide:
This wonderful herb has a long list of uses attributed to it, including, but not limited to:
|Healing wounds||Purging the body of poisons||Relieving fevers||Fighting infections|
|Calming the symptoms of asthma||Healing injuries||Decongesting the body||Helping skin problems|
|Helping to relieve colic||Calming coughs||healing tuberculosis||Relieving stomach aches|
|Healing haemmoraging in the stomach and bowels||Relieving colitis (inflammation of the colon)||Curing excess menstrual bleeding||Drying up excess mucous present with colds and flus|
|Treating catarrh||Helping allergic reactions such as hay fever||Healing ear infections||Treating sore throats and tonsillitis|
|Fighting urinary tract infections||Relieving symptoms of cycstitis||Treating prostatis||Relieving swollen prostate|
|Reversing blood poisoning||Treating kidney problems||Relieving thrush symptoms||Treating haemorrhoids|
I can personally speak of the power of this wonderful herb. A number of years ago, I experienced a nasty abscess in my gum. Placing a poultice of plantain oil over the area helped to draw out the infection and allow the area to heal.
A close friend of mine had an allergy to bee stings, with the reactions she experienced getting increasingly worse with each time she was stung. The area would swell up alarmingly and be quite painful. It was recommended that she purchase an epi-pen in case her allergy turned to anaphylaxis, which is what seemed to be happening. In the meantime, she learnt about the wonders of Plantain. The next time she got stung, she quickly placed some plantain oil over the area. The pain disappeared in a matter of minutes and only very minor swelling occurred—a great improvement from the previous times she had been stung!
The child of a friend got bitten by bull ants on both hands. Again, the plantain oil was used to treat the area. By the time it had been applied to the second hand, the pain in the first hand had all but disappeared!
Doctor Christopher tells the following stories of his experiences of the healing powers of Plantain: “We had a man come to us for help who had blood poisoning. Red streaks were running up his arm; he had a large lump under the arm pit, and he was in extreme pain. His fingers were swollen so large that his hands were spread wide. We simply bruised some leaves of the plantain herb, made them into a poultice and applied it over the entire arm. Within twenty-four hours the fingers were normal, the lump was gone, and the tell-tale red line had entirely disappeared. The herb had drawn the poison completely out. In another case, a girl cut her foot on a poisonous sea shell, and her leg swelled up with the usual red streaks and a knot formed in the groin as large as a baseball. A plantain poultice was put on her leg, and within one hour pain was gone. The poultices were repeatedly applied every hour and she was completely healed in a very short time. Plantain is also useful for poisonous stings, bites, plants. A 2-year-old was stung on the neck, and the part swelled to enormous size. Again, the remedy was simple, yet wonderfully effective: four plantain leaves were bruised and bound around the neck, and within one hour there was no sign that anything had been wrong with the child.”
How to take it:
Plantain can be used in a variety of ways. It can be juiced for internal use, including the treatment of inflamed mucous membranes, lung infections or diarrhoea. The fresh leaves can be made into a tincture for either internal or external use. This tincture can also be used to soak a cotton cloth and applied to the body to treat stings or wounds. Alternatively, the fresh plant can be used for this purpose. It should be chewed first in order to activate the plant’s juices and applied on the affected area. Plantain can also be dried and soaked in a good quality olive oil. This mixture can then be used (after straining out the Plantain) as it is, or made into an ointment.
If you are out and about and you have nothing to make any special concoction there is an easy way to get the relief of a bite. Just grab a plantain leaf, put it in your mouth and chew it up to get the saliva mixed with the Plantain juices and apply it to the area where you were bitten or stung.
In severe cases, use this approach while on your way to the hospital.
A GREAT RECIPE
Plantain can be used in the following recipe as a general pick-me-up tonic, or to treat colds, sore throats, anaemia, fatigue or eczema.
- 3 cups fresh plantain leaves
- 1 cup raw honey
Run the leaves through a food processer or juicer, and squeeze the mixture through cheesecloth, to obtain the juice.
Combine 1 cup of the juice with the cup of honey, and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
After allowing the mixture to cool, pour it into an amber bottle. Take a teaspoon at a time three times a day or as often as needed.
With one of the coldest winters on record it is good to get nice weather finally. Hopefully this tip will allow you to enjoy the weather without worrying too much knowing that Plantain is always near you.
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