I realize June’s full moon was last week - I’m running late which is pretty much the theme of my life right now, ha!
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity though to highlight an amazing herb popping up everywhere in my neighborhood right now, Plantain. I chose to feature Plantain (Plantago spp.) as 1.) It’s generous, abundant and amazing; and 2.) It’s played an important role in my family’s response to the wildfire smoke plaguing our region this week.
Plantain is energetically cooling and moistening. As such, it shines in soothing hot irritated tissue. The wildfire smoke blanketing the Eastern Shore has had my eyes, throat, and nose irritated and scratchy. A wash of strong Plantain tea did wonders in helping my eyes feel better and the tea calmed my throat and cough. Be warned though, it’s not the most tasty and delicious beverage. It can get very bitter - a small price to pay for the cough relief it brought.
Many herbalists consider it to be one of the most dramatic healers for inflammatory digestive problems. Rosalee de la Foret and Emily Han recommend it for intestinal permeability, ulcers, and IBS in their book Wild Remedies.
It is a fantastic first-aid herb, and indeed it was in this capacity that we first became acquainted. The same energetics it brings internally can be applied topically to red, hot skin conditions. It also has a remarkable ability to ‘draw’ and is often used to bring splinters to the surface.
Plantain thrives in disturbed areas and is equally comfy in fields and parking lots. There are several species and I recommend consulting a field guide for specific information on identification. Typically though it will have basal leaves with easily seen parallel veins. The variety growing throughout my yard (and pictured here) is Narrowleaf Plantain (Plantago lanceolata).
I invite you all this week to get outside and take a look around. Chances are Plantain is hiding in plain sight.
Let us all join in sending love and healing energy to the wilds of Canada and the brave men and women battling the blazes. May the fires soon be out.
(Safety First: Always positively ID any plant and only gather from areas free of chemicals.)