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Herbal spotlight Plaintain (+ sore throat soothing tea recipe)

Plaintain is a much-loved herb in our home. It’s a wild-growing herb, useful for many skin ailments. Like many of the herbs I use, it can be taken internally as well as applied externally in a variety of different remedies.

Externally, plaintain speeds the healing of scrapes and other wounds. Plaintain also relieves skin inflammation as it heals.

A few years ago, I created an herbal bath tea to help soothe my eczema. Plaintain is one of the few ingredients because it works so well. It also shows up in almost every healing ointment I use.

Plaintain can also be taken as a tea. It soothes the throat and prevents excess coughing. The first time I used this for a cough, I noticed that the tickle in my throat was gone almost immediately.

Plaintain’s anti-inflammatory properties work inside the body as well, as it soothes sore throats.

Last winter, my family battled an illness that left them with high fevers, sore throats and lots of coughing. I created a tea with lemon balm, plaintain and marshmallow root with a touch of honey. The kids drank it readily and stopped coughing for a while afterward.

To make this tea, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp plaintain leaf (find plaintain leaf here)
  • 1 tsp lemon balm leaf (find lemon balm leaf here)
  • 1 tsp marshmallow root (find marshmallow root here)

Mix the herbs together and place in brewing basket in a mug. (I recommend this brewing basket – we use it all the time for a variety of steeping needs). Boil water then pour it over the herbs into your mug. Steep in the hot water for 5 minutes, then strain and enjoy.

I do recommend adding a little honey to plaintain tea, unless it’s being paired with a more pleasant-tasting herb like lemon balm. A little drop makes the remedy much easier to take.

How to use it

Plaintain can be combined with other herbs in the form of a tea or tincture. Combined with elderberries, it makes a very effective cough syrup.

Use it as the main herb in a healing ointment or bath tea to soothe inflammation and heal wounds. It can also be applied as a poultice. No known cautions.

Do you use plaintain?