All about Plantain

all about plantain

Today I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite herbs: Plantain.

While the word, plantain, may bring to mind a banana-like fruit, this plantain is actually a plant, often thought of as a weed. It is found all over the United States, and may even be in your own backyard.

Plantain is also known as: ripple grass, white man’s foot, and ribwort.

Plantain is useful for treating:

  • bee stings
  • snake bites
  • inflammation
  • infections
  • cuts and scrapes
  • poison oak & ivy
  • coughs

Plantain can be consumed as a tea, cooked as greens, or sprinkled in a salad.

Plantain really shines as a healing agent for inflamed or wounded skin. It can be used internally as well as externally, but I find myself using in externally most often. Along with calendula, it is my go-to herb for most skin ailments.

A few ways to use plantain:

Make Plantain Salve


Plantain SalvePlantain salve is very simple to prepare and can be used to treat scrapes, cuts, and other external wounds.

Step-by-step instructions for making plantain salve can be found here.

Plantain Vinegar Tincture for Acne

Creating a simple treatment for acne and other skin conditions is very easy. All you need to do is steep plantain in apple cider vinegar for a few weeks. To see more details and further instructions, visit Jill’s Home Remedies’ post: Natural Remedy for Acne.

Plantain Poultice

Mix plantain powder with a little water or steam dried leaves for a few minutes and apply to skin. Cover with a cloth or a bandage and let sit for on the skin for a few hours. Can be re-applied as needed.

 Use a Plantain Leaf as a Bandage

Plantain leaves on knee outdoors

Image by: Yastremska/

Plantain leaves will actually stick to the skin. They provide protection against dirt and germs, while soothing the skin. A poultice is usually the best method for administering plantain, but a leaf that has been beat a few times (to release the juices) will help in soothing irritated skin. Plus, it’s kind of fun.

Treat Poison Oak and Poison Ivy

Plantain can be an effective method in treating poison oak and poison ivy. Drink plantain tea a few times a day and also wash the affected areas with plantain. To wash with plantain, make an herbal infusion or strong tea by steeping plantain leaves in hot water. Strain out the herbs and dip a wash cloth in the infused water, using this cloth to wash the affected areas.

Don’t wash the tea/infusion off, but let it air dry. Repeat multiple times a day (5 or 6), for a few days.

A plantain poultice could also be used over the area and changed a few times a day.

Treat Bee Stings

Plantain can stop the pain that accompanies a bee sting. The best method is to apply a plantain poultice to the sting. A poultice can be prepared using fresh or dry leaves. A cotton ball steeped in plantain tea and taped over the area, can also do the trick. (I learned this method in A Kid’s Herb Book.)

Where to find Plantain

Plantain can be found in many backyards, vacant lots, and parks. I don’t recommend gathering wild plantain unless you are absolutely certain that you are picking the correct plant (of course, there may also be laws against it, depending on where you live).

I generally purchase dried plantain from Mountain Rose Herbs.

It is also available from the Bulk Herb Store.

Have you used plantain to treat any type of skin ailment? I’d love to hear about it.

This post contains affiliate links.

I am not a doctor or certified herbalist. This post is intended for informational purposes only. Information has not been approved by the FDA. Use caution when treating with herbs.

Top image by: Kletr/

Worried about Ebola? (Time-Sensitive info for you)


The horrific outbreak of the ebola virus in Africa has certainly got y attention. My heart aches for the people suffering and I can’t help but wonder what will happen in the coming weeks and months.

Before Ebola made the news, I knew very little about it. Maybe you were the same way.

If you’ve been wondering what Ebola is and how to treat and prevent it from a natural perspective, you’ll want to jump on the free webinar tomorrow (August 5), with Vintage Remedies. 

Vintage Remedies goes to great lengths to dig deep and only use evidence-based information. They strive to find the facts and present them truthfully and do a good job of making complex topics understandable.

The founder of Vintage Remedies, Jessie Hawkins, will be presenting the webinar. Jessie has a has postgraduate education in epidemiology from the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Health and a Master’s Degree in Public Health Promotion. 

The webinar will be offered twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. Register here.

See you there!


This post contains an affiliate link. 

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