Friday, July 17, 2009

Making Plantain Oil - and salve

Did you find your Plantain? If need be, give the leaves a rinse, then pat dry. I'm lucky to have it abundantly in the yard and lane to the back 40, where it is totally uncontaminated.
I don't know how much to tell you to gather, it depends on your jar size.
To make your own plantain oil: chop the leaves coarsely, fill your jar (don't tamp it down, just dump it in), and cover with olive oil, leaving about 1/2" headspace. Cover with a piece of paper towel and jar ring.

PUT A LABEL ON THAT JAR: plant, type of oil, date made, and date due to be strained.

Let it steep for about 6 weeks. I like to leave it out on the counter, because it needs to be stirred - a bamboo skewer works great - daily for about 10 days to release any air bubbles that form. It will begin to smell like pepperoni - honest. It's not spoiling, it's OK. Leave it lidded with paper toweling until the odor dissipates. Then it can be lidded with a regular solid lid.

At the end of about 6 weeks, you can strain the oil through several layers of cheesecloth, then store the completed plantain oil in a lidded jar. Make sure the jar is labeled!

This healing oil can be used plain on rashes, scrapes, bug bites and stings. It is safe for animals and children.

It can be made into a salve by itself, or combined with other healing oils and beeswax, to make a truly wonderful healing salve.

One cup of warmed oil (total: plain or mixed with other herb oils), one ounce melted beeswax in a glass cup (ie measuring cup) - that's a little less than 2 tablespoons. Keep the container warm in a pot of hot water while stirring in the beeswax, it's easier. Then stir in one teaspoon therapeutic grade lavender oil. Immediately pour into waiting containers. How simple is that?!

(A NOTE ON BEESWAX: Find a lidded jar that holds about a cup. If you melt your beeswax in that jar (in a pot of hot water on the stove - never over direct heat, it is flammable), you can measure out what you need, then leave the rest to cool and re-harden in the jar, put the lid on to keep dust out, and just keep using the same jar. Trust me, it's easier than trying to clean hard beeswax out of a measuring cup every time you melt some!)

Best of all: THIS STUFF WORKS!! I keep a small tin in my tote bag, and in my medicine bag. There's also a jar by the bandaids, for the punks to grab when they need to do repairs.

More on other ways to use plantain coming.


  1. Do you use the seeds at all? I see around here many of the plants are going to seed.

  2. Smells like pepperoni? How about dead raccoon! It has been about 6 weeks now and the smell has diminished - although it is still really bad. Should I persevere?

  3. I'm glad I discovered this post! My plaintain oil has only been infusing for 2 or so weeks, but I smelled it and got worried. It doesn't smell spoiled really, but it does smell like pepperoni! I strained it just in case and am trying to make a comfrey/plaintain salve for post-partum. I sure hope it doesn't smell like pepperoni when I'm done!

  4. This is great and I am new at this so why cover with paper towel and not just a lid?
    Thank you, Deanna

  5. I just strained my oil up this weekend and this worked up great! Definitely noticed the pepperoni-ish smell. Was glad to know that's how it's supposed to smell. lol