Making a Tincture of Plantain

Plantain (the weed, not the small banana) has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb.  Native Americans and Europeans have used it to treat a variety of medical issues including skin wounds, insect and spider bites, snake bites, and indigestion.  It is said to even help with acne and blood clotting.  Overall, this prolific weed has some powerful medicinal uses.  I’ve just recently discovered it, but I’m already impressed with it as a treatment for bug bites.

With all of this new information I have, I ran into a problem.  As it gets hot here in Texas, the Plantain is starting to dry up and crumble away.  I researched ways to preserve some of it.  Dehydration is an option, but I’m certain a lot of the medicinal qualities would evaporate away.  It looks like the best option to save the qualities I want is by making a tincture.  Tinctures are liquid extracts, usually made with ethanol.  I just happened to have a stash of moonshine at a pretty serious concentration, probably close to 180 proof (90%).  A bit of Google research turns up that tinctures are simple to make.

The basics are to add plant matter to the alcohol, let it sit a while, then strain the plant matter out with a filter or cheesecloth.  The alcohol will absorb the herbal goodness.

Raw Plantain Leaves


Rinsed and Chopped Leaves


Leaves in a Pint Mason Jar


Adding the Alcohol


Leaves Steeping

The leaves will steep in the alcohol for a week or two to do its work.  After this time, I will strain the plant matter out and save the liquid.  This liquid is the tincture.   This batch will net me around 9 or 10 ounces.  Once it is done, I will put it in a dropper bottle and test it out on the numerous bug bites I receive here on the homestead.  I’m really hoping it can offer some relief from all the chiggers that seem to find my legs delectable.  Stay tuned for an update in a couple of weeks on the final product and the relief it might offer.

2 Responses to Making a Tincture of Plantain

  • Joan Sullivan says:

    Plantain is an excellent “wild” herb. I use the seeds and the leaves. According to my Louise
    Tenney, M.H. (my herbal bible), plantain neutralizes stomach acids, clears the ears and head of mucus, and is also known to neutralize poisons. The leaves when applied to a bleeding surface, will stop hemorraging. It is useful for children in a mild tea for treating chronic lung
    Plantain is rich in vitamins C, K, and T. It is also rich in calcium, potassium, sulfur, and a high content of trace minerals. Personally, I use Vodka to make my tinctures….it doesn’t taste.

  • I prefer making a plantain oil by filling a quart jar loosely with plantain (the broadleaf is better) and covering it with olive oil. I put it in the sun for at least 2 weeks. Strain it and use the oil for all the skin issues addressed by plantain.

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