plantain

plantago ssp., not to be confused with those delicious pan-fried potato-bananas, is a pioneer species with very tiny seeds that are easily embedded in (and spread by) muddy shoes.  narrow and broad leaf varieties are often the ones we use in our salves (and as dried).  fresh young leaves can be eaten in salads with a distinctive taste or steamed up with other greens (like nettles, kale, cabbage, etc) or used medicinally.

fresh plantain in the garden is great for little garden injuries- i remember when i received my first bee sting while eric and i were hanging out by the may pole and instantly, eric plucked some of the long narrow leaves, crushed and spittled them up in his hand and applied it to the sting.  3 minutes later, i couldn’t even find where the bee had stung me exactly- no swelling, no pain, no apparent wound, still had the adrenaline rush of the sting though.  i was just glad to find out i wasn’t allergic to bee stings!  this isn’t to say that people who are allergic to bees will have the same reaction as i did: make sure you’ve got your epipen or a system that works for you.  the crushed wet green juice is also great for nettle stings, bug bites, small cuts and bigger (clean) cuts.  definitely a skin ally.

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