PLANTAIN: Your go-to anti-itch remedy! (and how to make your own plantain oil)
Do not be confused by the name, this is not the banana like plant you may be thinking of. This Plantain is a leafy plant that belongs to the Plantago Genus. As well as being edible and full of vitamins, this plant also has many medicinal uses. Plantain had been adopted as a natural medicine since prehistoric times and is especially well known for it's anti-itch properties.
There are many natural home remedies to help "relieve" itching, discomfort and in some cases even severe pain from insect bites and stings. Over the years we have personally tried many of them – baking soda, vinegar, ice, salt water, hot baths, calamine lotion, alcohol, witch hazel, essential oils….. and we've found that nothing STOPS itching, swelling and pain (even from the wasp stings) as well as plantain oil.
Plantain (plantago major or plantago lanceolata) considered a common weed by many is one of the most praised herbs in history, and was used in antiquity to cure headaches, all kinds of skin conditions and as an antidote to poisonous bites. Recent researches have also shown its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, excellent anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties as it works on reducing the appearance of fine lines, dark circles under eyes, droopy eyelids and dark spots related to aging.
Plantain is safe for children of all ages in getting relief from insect bites and soothing skin rashes.
You can simply pick few clean plantain leaves, chew them and apply chewed leaves on a wound or itchy area.
Of course plantain oil is easier to apply, and no chewing required!
Here’s an image of our Plantain oil being made from wild plantain, coconut oil, lots of sunshine and few weeks of patiently waiting for the process to complete.
Anyone can make plantain oil, but if you don’t have time to make it you can also buy it from our web store.
Our Plantain is wild grown in our organic medicinal herb garden, then harvested and infused in oil. A drop of oil applied to irritated area will sooth any stings, bites, poison ivy rashes and some say even snake bites. However we've luckily never had to test that last example and I hope we never will (if you have been bitten by a venomous snake, please seek medical attention immediately!)
If you’d like to make your own, simply pick a pound of clean young plantain leaves, cut them into smaller pieces, place them in a jar with airtight top and pour over organic cold pressed oil of your choice. Olive oil, rice bran oil and many other are excellent choice since these oils have wonderful skin soothing, moisturizing and nourishing properties. However make sure you store your plantain oil in the fridge since these oils will turn rancid fast. Jojoba and Coconut oil have much longer shelf life and will make your plantain infusion last for many years but they are more expensive.
Leave your closed jars with plantain and oil on the window sill for 4-6 weeks. When your oil turns into this beautiful green colour, you know it's ready to be strained through a cheese cloth.
Then pour into dark glass bottles with a dropper and use as needed. Ideally you'd want to keep the oil in a larger bottle in the fridge and carry a small bottle with you to your trips to the cottage, parks, etc.
Let us know how it turned out and share your experience in treating those painful itchy bites and stings with plantain oil. And make sure you share some of your oil with friends and family.