Plantain Leaf

If you are looking for an all cure plant for cuts, scratches, bites, and small wounds on the skin, look no further! Known as the Fist Aid Plant for hikers, this wild plant is a life saver to many who are lacking band-aids or any wound care supplies.

Plantain was brought to the Americas by colonial travelers from Europe. There are more than 250 species of Plantain around the world and they are all said to be edible or safe for consumption. However, it may not be the most favorable flavor to many.

Parts Used: Leaves

Main Constituents: Flavanoids, iridoids, mucilage, tannins, minerals.

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent, demulcent, vulnerary

Dosage: For tinctures, take 3x per day for catarrhal conditions or digestive problems, including gastritis, and IBS symptoms; For infusions, drink 1 Cup 3x per day for digestion, and as a gargle for sore throats; As a poultice, mash the leaf with a bit of water into a pulp for slow-healing wounds. Alternatively, if you are in an emergency situation, and have no water, you can chew on the leaf and place that on your skin wounds for healing; For the juice, leaves can be juiced and taken in 2tsp doses 3x per day to soothe cystitis, diarrhea, and lung infections. The juice can also be applied to wounds and sores.

Magickal Properties: Healing, Cleansing, Protection, Strength, Power, Repel Evil Spirits, Repel Snakes, Wishes

Planet: Venus

Element: Earth

Healing Powers

Plantain is a must-have for any herbal first aid kit for its use in bites, stings, cuts and scrapes, as well as to help to draw out slivers, splinters and stingers.

Plantain has been described by herbalists as a lance that penetrates and opens the wound to draw out the poison. It may also be used to soothe and cool the pain, itching or burning symptoms of poison ivy, nettle stings, and sunburn. In-the-field preparation of a “spit-poultice” for direct topical application for any of the previously mentioned ailments, is a super easy and quick way to begin the healing process, particularly when there are no other first aid supplies at hand.

Plantain leaves can also bne placed in a sock for hotspots, blisters or made into a wash, compress, infused oil, salve, or cream for a variety of skin conditions.

Plantain’s anti-inflammatory and astringent properties applicable to soothe chronic skin conditions while toning skin tissues in the case of eczema, rosacea, shingles, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids.

Plantain also exhibits antibacterial properties that contribute both to its use for wounds and for acne. Its antibacterial properties, however, are destroyed by heat.

Valerian

Valerian plant is known to help those who take it …relax, take a nap, and let loose. This plant focuses on the nervous system and can be used as a mild sedative. Be aware that most people do not like the smell of this flower; some claim it smells like sweaty socks!

Scientific name: Valeriana officinalis: The name is from Latin ‘valere which means to be strong or healthy.

Parts Used: Root, Rhizome, herb

Planet: Mercury

Element: Water

Main Constituents: Volatile oils, valepotriates, akaloids

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Sedative, hypnotic, nervine, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, hypotensive, carminative, milldly analgesic.

Dosage: 

  • Soaked in cold water for up to 10 hours: drink 1 cup strained water/tea up to 3 times daily for anxiety, nervous tension or blood pressure related stress. Take 1 cup before bed for insomnia.
  • Tincture: take 1tsp (1-5ml) up to 3 times daily for nervous problems. Doses can vary between individuals. Sometimes high doses can cause headaches for some; so it’s best to start with small doses. If taking other forms of medication, check with your doctor prior to consuming this tincture. Will not usually cause drowsiness/grogginess unless you are also taking other medications.
  • Compress: soak a pad in a cup with maceration or tincture and apply to muscle cramps or abdomen during period pains and colic.

Magical Properties: Protection; purification; restfulness; calmness; grounding; love and harmony.

Valerian is a well-known relaxant and is useful when muscle tension combines with anxiety or sleep problems. It relaxes smooth muscle spasms and cramping.

Most of the benefits are stored within Valerian’s volatile oils. Many find the tea tastes disgusting and the smell is disgusting (…think gym socks, yuck!) but many will struggle through that smell and taste for it’s amazing benefits!

As Nature it ordain’d its own like hurt to cure,And sportive did herself to niceties inure.Valerian then he crops, and purposely doth stampTo apply unto the place that’s haled with the cramp

Poet Michael Dayton

Although it is a fairly safe species its use is not recommended for extended periods of time and it should be used with caution for those suffering from liver failure. Not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, or children under the age of 12.

Valerian Through History

During medieval times in Sweden, many grooms wore Valerian to ward off the envy of elves on their wedding day, or leading up to their wedding days.

Most of us have heard the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany who played his flute and led the rats out of town forever. Many feel the Pied Piper must have been familiar with valerian and put it in his pockets or rubbed himself with it. Rats love the smell, and it may have been the valerian, not the music, that enticed the rats to follow him!

The Nordic goddess Hertha is said to have used valerian as a whip to encourage the stag she rode to greater speeds.

In magic, it was used in love potions, and in Sleep Pillows.

Some people claimed that if valerian was thrown where people were fighting, they would cease immediately and that it could be used to tame the wildest of beasts.

The ancients Greeks would hang bundles of valerian in their homes, especially in their windows, to keep evil entities from entering. The Celts believed hanging it their homes would keep lightening from striking.

In the wizard world of Harry Potter, valerian was believed to have soporific qualities and was given in teas to encourage sleep.

It was generally regarded as a feminine element. Its powers were believed to be love, sleep, purification, and protection.

In addition to a sleep aid, valerian has been used for anxiety, stress, to treat addictions, convulsions, gas, pain, hyperactivity, intestinal cramping, migraines, aggression, nervous exhaustion, coughs, epilepsy,  and the flu. And the list goes on and on…