Plantian: Herbal First Aid
Plantain remedy taken from Herbal First Aide by Matthew Wood MSc
To read or save the whole PDF: First Aid Herbs
Plantain (Plantago majus, P. lanceolata)
This remedy is what we call a “drawing agent” in herbal medicine: it pulls material out of the body. Therefore it is particularly suited to cases where there is dirt, infection or poison in the cut.
One of my friends described a case she sat in on as an apprentice many years ago. A man fell off a motorcycle and skidded across the pavement. His ankle was cut up, full of dirt and infected. The doctors didn’t know how to clean out the wound but my friend’s teacher juiced plantain and poulticed the wound in the chopped leaves and juice. Shortly it looked clean and healed without trouble.
An Indian woman from Cass Lake described how her husband had a festering ulcer on his leg from an old wound that required him to go to the hospital in Minneapolis – six hours away – one a month and have a painful cleaning and bandaging done. Her mother-in-law suggested that she take a plantain leaf, bash it up slightly between two rocks and put it over the wound. The ulcer healed up completely. The doctor scolded the man and his wife for using a folk remedy!
A woman on one of my herb walks had a bad scrape on the knee that had gotten inflamed, red, swollen, and tender. “Just a second,” I said. I slightly chewed a plantain leaf and she placed it under the bandage. “It’ll look clean by tonight,” I promised. Sure enough, it was. She changed the bandage and put on some elecampane leaf I had given her. It healed without complication.