Chickweed in a pestle & mortar

Hawthorn Basket



Common weeds of footpaths and lawns, the plantains were once celebrated as magical herbs in pre-Christian times, and have followed European settlers around the world.

Plantain is the best first-aid remedy for insect stings, and quickly deals with bites, cuts and ulcers. It is widely available, safe to use and effective for a number of common ailments including old coughs, bronchitis, sore throats and irritable digestive tracts.

Harvesting plantain
For first-aid use, plantain leaves can be picked and used whenever needed as they remain green through the year. Crush or chew, then apply. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you can freeze the leaves for winter use. For making a medicine to preserve, gather the leaves during the summer. To dry the leaves, spread them on brown paper or a drying screen in a warm dry place, turning the leaves daily until they are crisp. Discard if they go black.

Harvest the seeds when they are ripe, picking the heads and spreading them on brown paper to dry completely before stripping the seeds off for storage in brown paper bags or in jars.