How to Make Plantain Salve in Two Easy Steps

Updated on September 1, 2017
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a homesteader who grows, harvests, and stores many foods, and prefers natural, homemade remedies for her family.

Healing salves, like plantain herb salve, have long been used in many cultures to treat common ailments. This plantain herb healing salve is a great, multipurpose home remedy. Having it on hand can be invaluable, especially for those with young children.

My plantain herb salve recipe is very simple and can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. If you have plantain herb in your yard or garden, you can create your own homemade salve. Here's how.

My Homemade Plantain Salve

Small travel containers make a great way to store plantain salve, and share it with friends!
Small travel containers make a great way to store plantain salve, and share it with friends! | Source

Medicinal Properties of Plantain Salve

Plantain's many medicinal attributes and healing properties allow it to be an extremely versatile and useful all purpose, healing salve.

Plantain Medicinal Properties

  • Effective pain reliever and anti inflammatory
  • Effective against stings and insect bites
  • Reduces swelling and relieves pain (and even helps with drawing the stinger out from bee, hornet and other insect stings)
  • Relieves pain associated with plantar fascitis and tired or sore feet
  • Reduces swelling and wards off infection
  • Heals cuts, scrapes, skin ulcers and boils, and stimulates coagulating responses to stop bleeding.

There are many benefits to keeping plantain salve on hand at all times, especially in the spring and summer months when stings are more frequent.

Having stepped on a horse chestnut husk this past summer, I was delighted to have my plantain herb salve on hand. I was able to easily remove the barbs thanks to the pain-relieving properties. It is also very effective in providing relief for poison related rashes, like ones from poison ivy.

Pick fresh Plantain leaves to create your salve.
Pick fresh Plantain leaves to create your salve. | Source

Ingredients for Making Plantain Herb Salve

  • 10-15 leaves Plantain Herb
  • 2 cups Oil
  • (Optional) 1/2 cup Beeswax, or more, until desired consistency is reached.

Two Step Plantain Herb Salve

  1. Thoroughly wash fresh picked plantain herb leaves. Lay on paper towels. Using a second paper towel blot the leaves dry. Have a few clean and sanitized mason jars, or similar containers ready.
  2. Fill containers with fresh plantain herb leaves. Pour oil over plantain leaves, leaving an inch of space at the top of the jar. Place lids on jars and store in a cool dark place for at least a week to 'mellow'.

Potency of Plantain Herb Salve

It is important to let the salve mixture sit for one week at the very minimum, before considering it ready to use. A general rule is the longer you allow the mixture to sit, the more potent the plantain herb salve will become. After the desired amount of time, you can remove the plantain herb leaves (for shelf stability). Though depending on how often you use the salve, it may not be necessary to remove them at all.

If you chop or crush the plantain leaves before adding them to the jars, it will make it harder to remove the leaves at a later time. Some people claim this increases the potency of the salve, but I'm not sure if it gives any additional medicinal properties to the oil.

A coconut oil based salve will provide a much firmer 'balm' like consistency. The addition of beeswax will also firm up any salve made with traditional oils.

Optional Ingredients for Plantain Herb Salve

I noted a few tablespoons of beeswax as an optional ingredient, because my recipe is obviously oil based which will make it thin in application. I do not mind the thinness personally. If you like a more 'balm' like texture, the addition of beeswax will help thicken the plantain herb salve recipe. Plus add a little more shelf life stability to the salve as well.

Coconut oil is a wonderful 'optional' choice. After making my first round of salve with a traditional oil as a base, I switched to coconut oil and continue to use it now. Coconut oil provides many healing and medicinal properties as well, so it adds to the medicinal properties of the Plantain herb salve.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, making plantain herb salve more manageable than the thin texture of a regular oil. Using it to make a salve requires heating.

Adapt my instructions to 'cook' plantain herb leaves in the coconut oil on a low simmer for around 45 minutes, straining out the leaves prior to filling the jars.

Plantain Salve Storage

There are many options for storage, if you are leaving out any thickeners, you can even store in a oil bottle like these, as long as you keep it in a cool, dark area.
There are many options for storage, if you are leaving out any thickeners, you can even store in a oil bottle like these, as long as you keep it in a cool, dark area.

Plantain herb can be used in many other ways outside from the salve we have discussed here. The salve is one of my favorite ways to use plantain from my garden but it can also be used in a poultice, succus and even used as a tea to aid in respiratory illnesses.

Questions & Answers

  • What happens if you leave plantain salve to mellow in the sun?

    If you leave it to mellow in the sun, mold will likely form. It may turn rancid as well. Any salves or home remedies should always be left in a cool, dry and dark place. Sun and even artificial light can break down the ingredients resulting in a spoiled product, or it can negate its medicinal properties.

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