Healing Wounds: Pine and Plantain

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Healing Wounds: Pine and Plantain

-Rachel Berry

Plantain

Plantain

Pine and plantain are two abundant plants we have in the northern California region for wound healing.  These two plants are particularly useful for stings, bites, splinters – any situation when something needs to be drawn out from the skin.

The pitch from a pine tree and the leaves of plantain can be applied fresh, directly to the skin, after a sting or processed into a medicinal oil and then made into a healing salve as described below:

Step 1: Plantain Medicinal Oil

Loosely fill a glass jar with fresh, chopped up plantain leaf. Pour olive oil over the plantain and cap jar.  Leave on a sunny windowsill for 3-4 weeks, and shake the jar daily.  When finished, strain plant material from oil with a cloth or cheesecloth.

Step 2: Pine Pitch Medicinal Oil

Collect resin from natural deposits that occur on pine trees. Fill a container about 1/3  – ½ full with pine pitch (pick a container you don’t mind losing – it will be hard to get the pitch out after you are done). If you have a big chunk of pitch, put it in a rag and hammer it into smaller pieces before putting it into the container. Add olive oil and fill to the top.  Let it sit in a sunny location for four or five days, and shake regularly.  When finished, strain oil from pitch.

Step 3: Making the Wound Salve

Ingredients

4 parts medicinal oil, half pine pitch oil and half plantain oil (by volume, ex: 4 ounces),

1 part beeswax (by weight, ex: 1 ounce)

Method

  1. Melt beeswax in pot or double boiler until melted.
  2. Add the oils and stir.  When fully blended, remove from heat and pour into a glass container to harden.

**Want to learn more? Join Rachel’s Herbal First Aid class on June 8th, 9:30-1:30, Nevada City. Register at http://sierrabotanica.com