Plantain salve has a place of honor in all of our bugout bags and stockpiles. There is a growing shelf of this awesome natural healing salve in our survival medicine section of our prepping storage areas.
You can buy organic plantain salve online and at funky little boutique stores – but it is likely going to cost you about $20 or more for just a small container. Because plantain grows wild literally almost anywhere AND it is so simple to make, there is just no reason to go digging deep into your wallet to garner copious amounts of this valuable first aid item.
Plantain is exceptionally easy to identify and, to my knowledge, does not have any lookalikes, dangerous or otherwise. But, always make absolutely certain you have properly identified plantain and are picking it only from spots that have not been sprayed with herbicides.
Plantain Salve Uses
Plantain is most often used for skin care issues and drawing out splinters, but the healing salve you about to lean how to make can even help save your life after a snake bite, and with and respiratory problems.
- Rub it onto minor burns and cuts to help heal the skin.
- Apply it to bruised areas to help reduce swelling and soreness, and to reduce inflammation.
- Rub it gently onto insect stings and bites to relieve swelling, itching, and minor pain.
- Apply to dry and cracked skin to foster healing, soothe pain, and help prevent infection.
- Plantain salve can also be used as an active ingredient base, and combined with eucalyptus (or other herbs – essential oils) and rubbed onto the chest to break up mucus and to facilitate a productive cough.
- Apply to poison ivy, sumac, and oak to reduce itching and the swelling of bumps while facilitating healing.
- Combine with yarrow for a potent and general skin care salve for rashes, dry skin, and cracked skin.
Plantain Salve Recipe
- double boiler (or a coffee pot)
- medium-sized pot
- 1 cup plantain leaves
- 1 tablespoon carrier oil or olive oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 2 drops vitamin E (optional)
- Make an herbal infusion oil using your favorite carrier oil, and preferably fresh plantain leaves. Some folks prefer to use olive oil as the carrier oil in this salve (and most others) because it often seems to resist going rancid over time.
- Using a double boiler (or a coffee cup in a pot that has several inches of water in the bottom) to melt 1 part beeswax.
- Remove the pot from the stove.
- Stir in 5 parts of the plantain-infused oil.
- Stir completely to make sure the medicinal infused herbal oil and the melted beeswax are thoroughly combined.
- Add up to 3 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Stir again to completely combine the natural ingredients.
- Stir in 2 drops of vitamin E – optional but highly recommended.
- Add in up to 2 drops of tea tree essential oil – optional, but again highly recommended.
- Immediately pour the salve into containers and seal with a firm-fitting lid.
- Label the container with the contents, its uses, and the date.
Some natural salve makers add in a few drops of grape seed extract with their home remedies – especially when the natural matter does contain some fluid, like plantain leaves do.
But, because I use dry leaves and olive oil when making the herbal infusion oil, I don’t feel the need for the added ingredient.
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, ‘Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out’, Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.