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  • Writer's pictureLauren Kinnersley

Making Plantain healing salve

I have always wanted to make plantain salve. Plantain is said to have antibacterial properties and is good for putting on insect bites, nettle stings, bruises and minor cuts. All of which are daily occurrences working on my allotment!

Ribwort plantain is abundant at this time of the year. It is easily identifiable by its leaves, which have a satisfying parallel vein structure. This works well in art projects such as leaf rubbing and needle felt art.

First pick about 30 leaves. Wash them and leave them to dry before ripping them into pieces. I added mine to a jar and squashed them down.

Pour olive oil over the leaves. Coconut oil is also good. Add an equal quantity of oil to leaf volume. Now place this in a pyrex bowl, and place over a pan 1/4 filled with hot water. Place this over a heat source. This could be a fire if you are out in the field, here I used a hob. Simmer gently for 30 minutes to an hour. This system enables a low heat, so that the active components in the plant are not destroyed. Now pass the mixture through a sieve into a pyrex jug. You have now made plantain infused oil. You can discard and compost the leaves.

At this point you need 20g of bees wax. I used spent beeswax candles. Grate or smash the wax into small pieces. Add it to the pyrex bowl, and place back over the pan of hot water, over the heat. Stir until this melts. Then pour in the plantain infused oil. The wax may solidify. so just keep stirring until everything dissolves.

Now transfer this mixture back into the pyrex jug. I added 1/2 a teaspoon of lavender essential oil. Moving quickly, pour this into your containers, before it sets. I collect small containers for this purpose. Small jam jars from holiday breakfasts work well!

Allow it to cool, and keep it to hand for future use.

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