Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bug Bites and Thorns

We've spent the last couple of months testing out Plantain leaves. They grow all over our yard, but we didn't harvest any while they were "flowering" and now I can't recognize them. One of these days I'm going to get around to creating an herb garden so I can plant all my weeds and know which is which. For now I have some dried plantain that I purchased.

Plantain is good for relief of pain, itch, and swelling. My daughter is about to try it on the beginnings of a black eye. I don't expect it to work well since it's been hours since she got in a fight. But we'll see.

I used it on my 2 yr old when he got into fire ants. I just put a handful of leaves into a washcloth, closed it up with a rubber band so it looked like a big tea bag and then put it into a very hot bathtub. I let it sit for a few minutes while squeezing it to get the juices out, then added cold water to make it cool enough for him. He got in and played and it seemed to help him a lot.

We've had a couple of strange spots on hands and feet where we aren't sure what happened. But it hurts and swells up. Maybe a thorn? Maybe a bug bite? Maybe a spider bite? We don't know. But I ground some dried plantain, mixed it with water to make a paste, then put it on the spot and held it in place with a band aid. In both cases the swelling was gone within 30 minutes. In one case the spot comes back 30 minutes after the band aid is removed. We're now trying immune boosters for that one. I think it was a spider bite.

We've also used plantain to relieve pain from thorns (even Mesquite thorns!), splinters, etc. I had a jar of plantain oil that was a handy way to be ready, but it got knocked off a table and broke. I'm making more now. You simply put the herbs in a jar, cover with your choice of oil (I like coconut or olive oils because I have them around and they are healthy), put the lid on the jar and shake it every day for three weeks. Then you strain out the herbs, save the oil and label it. Put a couple drops on as needed.