Plantain is an easy herb to find - it's growing wild in nearly every yard, park or sidewalk crack. If you wild harvest make sure to harvest in a non-sprayed area, away from where dogs have been walked (i.e. harvest uncontaminated plantain). Use broad leaved plantain if at all possible. Here is the recipe for Plantain Salve - add it to your list of "must-haves" among your herbal remedies. This salve is a great help for bug bites, bee and wasp stings, mosquito bites, stinging nettle rash, poison ivy, and other skin irritations:
You will need:
fresh plantain leaves, slightly wilted and not damp/wet (enough to fill a 1 litre mason jar)
olive oil (enough to cover plantain leaves in 1 litre mason jar)
pure beeswax (aprox. 1 oz per 1 pint/2 cups oil in your recipe)
vitamin E oil (aprox. 1 tsp)
a few drops pure essential oil (e.g. lavender, peppermint)
1. Do not wash the plantain leaves as water on the plant may cause mold to develop during the steeping time. Roughly chop plantain leaves and pack into 1 litre mason jar.
2. Pour olive oil over plantain leaves and fill jar with oil upto about 1/2 inch over the leaves, to completely cover them.
3. Let steep in a sunny warm window for 6 weeks, shaking jar every few days. When oil is fully infused it should be a rich dark green colour. Other methods for infusing include lightly warming plantain and oil in a double boiler or crock pot for a few hours; or blending plantain and oil in food processor and straining this fresh oil into your salve.
4. Strain oil through fine meshed sieve. Reserve the oil, and add aprox. 1 oz pure beeswax per 2 cups (1 pint) oil. Heat over low in a stainless steel saucepan, stirring to combine and melt the beeswax.
5. Test for consistency by dipping a teaspoon into the oil/beeswax mixture and setting this spoon into the freezer for a minute. Add more oil if consistency is too thick, or more beeswax if consistency is too thin.
6. Add vitamin E oil, and pure essential oils (optional). Pour into clean dark glass jars, label and store in cool dark location.