Before you yank all those little irksome weeds out of your back yard, take a closer look. Chances are that you are growing some of the most amazingly humble, helpful little plants in the least wanted of places. One weed, in particular, has my highest esteem: plantago major, also known as plantain. This bit of greenery holds the answer to all your insect bites, your rashes, your painful infected wounds, and more.
This plantain is not the grocery store variety that rivals the common banana in foreign cuisine. Rather, it is a small weed with unique leaves and flowers. These leaves and flowers hold miraculous powers against bug bites, snake bites, rashes, and infected wounds. The science behind the plant's medicinal qualities is simple: the plant's chemistry contains a powerful anti-toxin known as Acubin. In addition to drawing out poisons, the plant's leaves and flowers are also antibacterial, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic, plus more! All of these are excellent qualities to apply to skin problems.
How to Use Plantago Major
One of the beauties of this weed is that as soon as you find it, it is ready for use. In fact, in case of emergency, simply harvest the leaves, chew them up thoroughly (or have the injured person chew it up), and spread thickly over the bite, sting, infected area, or open wound. If you have more time, you can harvest a full pound of the weed, take it home and boil it in a pan with one cup of lard or glycerine until the leaves are very soft and mushy. Store in a tightly covered container. This mixture can be used in the same way as fresh leaves--as a poultice.
So the next time you get a bee sting while you are gardening with your tomatoes, reach for a few leaves of plantain. It will help your sting stop swelling, reduce the pain, and eventually heal the site of poisoning. And while you are digging around in the dirt, watch out for the humble plantain. Don't annoyingly yank it out!