Friday, June 18, 2010

Amazing Plantain - and I'm not talking bananas!

Those pesky backyard weeds ruining an otherwise perfect lawn!

Common plantain, or Plantago Major grows close to the ground and is so common in grassy areas that it is easily overlooked. It is found in lawns, pastures, meadows, even cracks in sidewalks.

Interestingly enough, Plantain's common name comes from the Latin word planta, which means sole (as in sole of a shoe). Native peoples associated the plant with the Europeans who seemed to leave a trail of the alien weed wherever they went.
Plantain, like dandelion, is a ubiquitous weed that left to its own device, can quickly overtake an area.

But here's the good part: Plantain has some extremely practical uses, especially in the summer. Its juice, when rubbed on an insect bite or bee sting, immediately sooths the area and begins the healing process. Plantain may also stop poison ivy from blistering and itching if applied to the skin immediately after contact.

Here's how:
Pick a leaf or two of plantain and put it in your mouth. Chew it until it is slightly pulpy and then apply this paste to the affected area.
Pick one more leaf and place that overtop of the paste you created to 'seal' it on the skin.

Leave it on for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the bite!) and voila - itch gone - bite healed!

Plantain - here's to you!

In good health,

Dr. Stacey Welton, ND

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