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The most valuable herb at our house during the summer months would be considered by many to be a “weed”. Plantain is no doubt familiar to you as the volunteer growing in the garden, lawn, or along traveled pathways.
Plantain is easily recognizable by its low growing rosette of either broad, roundish or thinner, blade-like leaves. Both varieties have large veins and flattened stems giving it the name “ribwort”. In our house we call it “natures band aid”. The leaves take the pain and itch from bug bites - mosquitoes, spiders and bees.
When my youngest daughter was foolishly poking a beehive built into a hole in our backyard, the angry bees swarmed. Before I could pull her away, she was stung several times. Together we picked a plantain leaf, which I chewed into a mash to put on her bites. Within two minutes she was happily playing again. I have also used plantain leaves on hives, poison ivy and cuts.
Motherlove’s Green Salve made with plantain, helped me survive three kids all with the itch of chicken pox at the same time. When fresh plantain is not available we always keep a jar of Green Salve with plantain on hand ready to use!
Kathryn HigginsMotherlove Founder