Diva Searching: Plantain Poultice…

For those of us with bee sting allergies here is a hot tip for summer help. A friend once chewed some of this up and made a poultice and put it on a wasp sting for me in a remote area with no phones. Not only did I NOT have an allergic reaction, I didn’t even have any swelling. Food for Thought.



Plantago major grows in lawns and fields, along roadsides, and in other areas that have been disturbed by humans. It does particularly well in compacted or disturbed soils. It is believed to be one of the first plants to reach North America after European colonisation. Reportedly brought to the Americas by Puritan colonizers, plantain was known among some Native American peoples by the common name “white man’s footprint”, because it thrived in the disturbed and damaged ecosystems surrounding European settlements.[12] The ability of plantain to survive frequent trampling and colonize compacted soils makes it important for soil rehabilitation. Its roots break up hardpan surfaces, while simultaneously holding together the soil to prevent erosion.[13]

The seeds of plantain are a common contaminant in cereal grain and other crop seeds. As a result, it now has a worldwide distribution.[4]


The mature plant contains pliable and tough fibres that can be used in survival situations to make small cords, fishing line, sutures, or braiding.[14]

Some cultivars are planted as ornamentals in gardens, including ‘Rubrifolia’ with purple leaves, and ‘Variegata’ with variegated leaves.[15]


The leaves are edible as a salad green when young and tender, but they quickly become tough and fibrous as they get older. The older leaves can be cooked in stews.[16] The leaves contain calcium and other minerals, with 100 grams of plantain containing approximately the same amount of beta-carotene as a large carrot. The seeds are so small that they are tedious to gather, but they can be ground into a flour substitute or extender.[17]

Herbal medicine[edit]

Plantain contains the phytochemicalsallantoinaucubinursolic acidflavonoids, and asperuloside.[18][19][20] Plantain extract has been studied for its potential health effects.[11]

Plantain leaves were used commonly in folk medicine for skin poultices on wounds, sores, or insect stings.[21][22] The root was used for fever and respiratory infections.[18][23]

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