I got a phone call this morning from a woman who had been bitten by an insect and was swelling up. Fortunately I had a picture of broad leaf plantain on my website so was able to tell her how to make a spit poultice to draw it out.
I first learned about plantain poultices when Wisconsin ethnobotanist and Anishinaabeg medicine woman Keewaydinoquay Peschel during her last trip to the east coast. She had used plantain to draw out all kinds of things from insect bites to glass during her years as tribal medicine woman. One year she was lecturing to her class on plantain while a student’s visiting mother sat in on the class. Three years later a package arrived for her from Florida, a thank-you gift from the student’s mother. It seems that the woman and two friends were gardening in Florida and had been bitten by a spider. They didn’t think too much of it, insect bites being fairly common, but on her way home she saw some plantain growing, remembered the lecture and made a spit poultice to draw out the venom. The next morning her friends were dead and she was well. Continue reading How to Make A Plantain Spit Poultice