How to make plantain oil for stings and bites

Before watching, please pause, breathe and relax.

This is a short, quiet film where I show you how to make plantain oil. Which I find deeply soothing for insect bites and stings. It is also great for inflamed skin rashes.

Did this video work for you?

I have tried to create a calm, slow vibe with no commentary, so you can experience a little peace out of the usual hustle and bustle of daily life.

Please leave your comments (either positive or negative) in the form below. Thanks.

And kindly share it with your people if you think it is worth it. The share buttons are below.

Ingredients

  • 5 grams of dried plantain leaf (Ribwort or Greater)
  • 200 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • glass bottle

Update After Reading The Comments

  • Always dry the leaves as fresh ones have too much water and can make the oil rancid and at worst infected with botulism. See my botulism alert on this page.
  • I air-dry the leaves using a herbal drying rack. You can also place the leaves on newspaper and let them dry that way.
  • The oil lasts for about a year. I always make very small batches.

Comment

  1. I’ll certainly give that a try! A little bottle in my walking backpack will be very useful.
    I like your idea of no commentary – so many vids on YouTube have really irritating voice overs.

  2. Thank you for this film.
    To increase the relaxed experience, I would slow down the shaking to slow motion speed, also lengthen the time that the captions are shown and fade these in an out. The audio of the glass is quite jarring so I might use a table cloth and a wooden bowl to soften these sounds. ??

  3. gorgeous, we combined plantain, hedge woundwort and self-heal, infused the oil and melted wax and a little coconut oil to make healing balms for out Flintshire forest families. Thank you for all of your inspiration and wisdom over the years 🙂

    If you ever wish to do a course in NE Wales we’d love to host you in our woods.

  4. Great idea! Thank you Robin. I really want to try this out, using local hemp oil.

    What’s your recommendation for drying out the plantain leaves? Hanging them out upside down in a well-ventilated shed perhaps? How long for?

  5. Loved the idea of a commentless video, well done. Will be giving this a go as I often use and recommend plantain leaves to people for bites and stings (and it works). Thank you for the Plantain Oil heads up.
    Keep up the good work Robin, always a pleasure.

    • I made oil like this, though I used grapeseed oil, because it’s more neutral, and then I made a salve using the filtered oil by adding some beeswax (between 1/6 and 1/3 by weight, depending on how stiff you want it – use less to make a cream, more to make a rub-on stick balm). Salve/balm is just handier and less messy to carry around with you, though it will still liquefy if it’s very hot out. I also made a mixture of plantain and comfrey that was quite soothing for my (very nasty) parsnip rash.
      Of course, if you are vegan you will want something other than beeswax… and you can also add some coconut oil and shea butter if you have these and that will make it even nicer for your skin.

  6. Not something I would do, but I’ve passed this on to the wife who is always on the search for some marvellous soothing balm/oil/ointment for insect bites. So no doubt this weekend when we’re out for a walk we’ll be picking plantain leaves to dry.

  7. Very interesting. Why dried leaf, not fresh? Won’t fresh have greater properties? Many years ago, I made something along these lines using beeswax to create a cream but that was using a recipe from Culpeper’s herbal without any instruction. Would you be able to make another video showing how to make ointments/creams, please?

  8. I agree it’s so much nicer to not have irritating music or waffle. I usually mute videos and try to use subtitles to avoid that issue. Found text is only visible when expanded to full screen. Would have missed it but went looking after seeing comments. Great video though. Only recently discovered Plantain oil so this video is timed perfectly. thanks Robin

  9. Really enjoyed not having annoying music or a lot of talking. Was very relaxing. Was easy to follow as it was a simple process and the camera was spot on where the action was. Will definitely try this and pass it on to my family and friends. Thank you.

  10. My only comment is that I’d have preferred to ingredients at the beginning, but I loved the calm approach without even background music… lovely… thank you for sharing ?

  11. I’m a fan of plantain, and your philosophy, but ASMR type videos trigger my misophonia. I won’t lie, I had to stop the video as the noises were invasive to me.
    I LOVE the content and simplicity.
    Maybe do one outside to soften the noise and capture some sounds of nature.
    I hope my honest feedback is gentle.
    Keep up the good work.

  12. Simple but effective information, really enjoy that!

    Only comment would be editing the transition of text to video but it’s certainly a great start!

  13. Thanks, Robin! Beautifully clear and simple, watching this was unexpectedly exactly what you suggested – a quiet moment out of the day. And a good learning! Appreciated ?

  14. That looks great. The main problem for me will be getting the dried plantain as I live in town. But give it a go. Has me wondering, years back I tried making dock leaf “elixir” for nettles. My mother threw it out when it went rancid and started to stink.

  15. That looks great. The main problem for me will be getting the dried plantain as I live in town. But give it a go. Has me wondering, years back I tried making dock leaf “elixir” for nettles. (I was six or seven) My mother threw it out when it went rancid and started to stink.

  16. Loved the simplicity of this. Easy to remember without writing it down too. I’m going to try it as I’m always being bitten by insects when in the garden. Thank you. Loved the silence too.

  17. Thank you and – my thoughts are as the ones already posted, but also I think that you showed great respect and “love” for each last piece of the dried plantain – and every last drop of the oil. I think (perhaps) that reverence may be transferred into the healing properties of the oil? Id like to think so.

  18. A very useful suggestion, I will try that. One tiny thought, I’d have liked to see the leaves you used before they were dried to be sure I was using the right ones.

  19. Delightful to watch and I loved the gentle sounds of glass-on-glass and the pouring of the oil.

    I couldn’t quite catch the instruction saying how long to leave the infusion before using – the film went too fast for me to read it.

    Where might plantain leaves be obtained?

    Thanks so much; a lovely mindful experience.

  20. Robin, thank you
    this was very meditative to watch without comment. showed just how easy to make. I do the same process with calendula and recently learned that drying helps to store better(less water in the leaves) and other good qualitiy oils can be used as well

  21. Thank you for a great no sound vid, perfect ! I just want to add that once the oil is ready, it can be mixed with melted beeswax (5 parts oil to 1 part wax) to make a balm. That makes it easier to take on hikes 🙂

  22. Lovely quiet moment, thank you, and a good reminder to go make some plantain based salves.

    At the risk of shortening it, you could use a piece of paper to make a funnel to pour the crushed leaves into the bottle. You could lengthen the vid (if you have shortened it – it was a nice length) to show how to add beeswax to make a thicker salve and pour into suitable containers.

    If you’re able, I’d fade in/out the text over the video with a transparent background so you don’t get a visual shock of loosing the imagary with the black background.

    Thanks again
    Steve

  23. Really enjoyed the video, I went on my first foraging walk with a tutor a while ago and she pointed out plantain and said it is a natural antihistamine but we were focusing on edibles so she didn’t explain how to use it. I will definitely be trying this!

  24. Thanks Robin, we have lots of plantain growing here. I think it’s a very pretty plant. This might be good for my daughter who has eczema, but I’m always a little anxious about putting any oils on her skin when it is itchy, hot & inflamed.

  25. Thanks for that. And thank you even more for not putting on annoying music and spinning the video out for ten minutes like lots of other people do! This may or may not be useful;I use my jam funnel when filling bottles and jars with fiddly things. It works a treat with lentils, rice, sugar etc that always seem to escape all over the place and might be handy for the crushed herb ?

  26. Thanks for that. And thank you even more for not putting on annoying music and spinning the video out for ten minutes like lots of other people do! This may or may not be useful;I use my jam funnel when filling bottles and jars with fiddly things. It works a treat with lentils, rice, sugar etc that always seem to escape all over the place and might be handy for the crushed herb ?

    • Agree, a funnel would have been better. I created it on the hoof and hadn’t prepped at all. Which I kind of like as it makes the video more real, rather than a construct of ‘being my best self’, whatever that actually means. But the youngsters keep saying it 😉

  27. Thank you for the video, very informative and useful. Liked it without any music or voiceover, however, unlike everyone else I didn’t like the glass on glass, the sound feels unnatural, a wooden bowl would sound and feel kinder in my opinion. Anyway got to dash, I have some plantain to pick ?

  28. Thank you for a few moments peace and quiet.

    I rarely (as in NEVER) suffer from bites or stings but MOH is an insect magnet. I’ll be making this for him.

  29. Thank you Robin.I am sure that I can find plantain and I have a Skin Itch that I will try this on. I believe you are living a very tranquil life and I am striving for this in my latest years.

  30. Nice approach – agree it is nice without music or commentary. I think it would be nice to do a complete end to end video showing how to identify the plant (best time to harvest) how to pick and dry the leaves, then how to make the product and even in use at the end (perhaps without going to the trouble of being stung). You would have a whole host of nice background noises then – birdsong outdoors, the rustle of leaves etc which for me really enhances the calming effect.

  31. Thank you! I have been on the path of learning about my backyard “pharmacy”. Plantain I have in abundance. I have been doing some tinctures with creeping charlie, canadian horseweed and oregano. I am looking forward to trying some oils. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  32. Hi Robin

    I am fairly new to foraging..a couple of years..and new to your work..which I love by the way..including this video. I misunderstood and thought you would be grinding the plantain seed for its oil..is that possible too? If so how would you do that? Thank you. Suzi

  33. Thanks Robin! Your video was nice and relaxing. I also appreciated your suggestion to breathe and relax before beginning the video. As always, your video was straight-forward and helpful.

  34. Hi Robin, I loved the video, a refreshing change from the awful musak that accompanies many bits of filming regardless of subject. Also, I have been a long time user of plantain leaves as they do actually work simply chewed and rubbed on – far better than the dock leaves we grew up with. It works especially well with ant bites. I shall definitely be making the oil. Thank you.

  35. Really useful, thanks for making this 🙂

    One thing I would say as feedback is that you are aiming for a relaxing calm vibe, you could experiment with introducing one or more of these things to future videos:
    – some kind of light music bed (I don’t really like unnecessary beds, but they can add value if used sparingly in the right context)
    – some quiet voice-over commentary, especially on the slower parts (like putting the plantain in the bottle at the beginning), to give a little background etc.
    – Fade the text in/out on empty space in the existing video, instead of sudden cuts to white text on a black screen. Some people add subtitles with useful asides or info, which might be another option if you don’t want text on the screen at all, but want viewers to be able to opt-in to seeing further instructions.
    – scenic time lapses to illustrate the “wait” instructions (maybe a bit OTT and not worth the effort, but I think time lapses in general are fun to make if you have the equipment and fancy experimenting)

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

  36. I loved the calm, quiet video thanks, Robin.. Personally I would have liked to have had the ingredients first to know what you were stuffing in the bottle. Also please could you say how long this oil can be stored for, and what is the best way to store. Thanks for making this. It’s so appreciated.

  37. Thank you, I really am enjoying learning about natural medicines and foraging. My great grandmother was a herbalist apparently. I have some plantain on my front doorstep. How is it best to dry it, naturally in the sun, in the oven or would you recommend using a dehydrator? I don’t currently have one!
    Dawn

  38. Thanks, Robin. Nice video. My comments: 1) As others did, I recommend making a salve with beeswax (or a vegan substitute). I make one with comfrey & calendula that’s great for all kinds of skin healing; all the ingredients (incl olive oil, coconut oil & beeswax) have anti-infective properties. 2) I would use a canning funnel (bigger outlet) or paper cone to get all the herb into the bottle quickly (obviously not something you felt you needed to do). 3) It would be convenient to have the whole recipe, including the comments, in print below the video; would have saved me a lot of clicking back & forth to copy it whole. I’ll be out in the yard next, plucking plantain leaves!

  39. Hi Robin. I’ve just made a fresh plantain oil into a salve with 25g of alcohol to stabilise it. I hadn’t given a thought to botulism. Will the alcohol prevent it or should I just use it quickly. It’s disappointing as it’s a really vibrant emerald green and feels really potent. I’ve made an oil the salve with comfrey too but that was the method you just showed.

  40. Enjoyed the video thanks
    I’m assuming you discard the leaves after the draining process.
    Can you also dry the leaves in an oven to speed up that first stage? Or is it better to go the longer natural rout?
    Thanks again ??

  41. Thanks for that- wonderful to see the method without the usual superficial and largely pointless babble that is so often more about the presenter than the task/outcome. I’ll be picking the ribwort right away! ( thanks also for mentioning both types of plantain- I’ve never seen the broadleaf form where I live in Australia, great to know it works with both!)

  42. The video was short and clear and easy to follow. However unlike others I didn’t find it at all calming or meditative. I can’t imagine how it was quiet unless I turned the sound off….I found it all too noisy, microphone too close and the harsh chinking glass on glass was difficult to tolerate. Even the loud shaking sound intense. Maybe I’m very sensitive. I didn’t enjoy the angle of filming without your head in the shot. Although of course that makes it person focused. I liked the simple wording and no music.
    I’ve used plantain to make a salve and find it very good indeed. For visual learners this is a good presentation. Thank you for sharing this great medicine Robin. ?

  43. A wonderful informative video. Thank you.
    Plantago lanceolata came to me with an abundance this year and I have been using it more. So perfect timing and I will be making the oil.
    Very calming video and straightforward instructions. It’s so satisfying to simply take a few minutes to enjoy extending the use of your foraged plants with drying and infusing etc. Just the gentle sounds of preparation and focus on the ingredients and tools. Perfect.

  44. Broad Leaved Plantain is everywhere in the summer, but always seems to be on grass verges or road sides, even growing in the gutter, so that I find it quite hard to get any that isn’t likely to be contaminated. I chew the fresh leaf and apply it to areas of skin problems with a bit of tape overnight. Nothing happens for a day or two but then it reduces the irritation for up to several weeks. I’m not advocating that other people try this, but it works for me. I haven’t made any plantain oil, but I’ve got a jar of dried plantain so I will – thank you Robin.

  45. My active brain started to rebel against the tranquility of it at first (a couple of seconds). Then I made myself focus on the video. I found it relaxing, informative and really enjoyed the real-time activity, rather than a sped up version which is quite often used. Thank you so much for making this and all you do.

  46. lovely informative, calm video. two things for next time, could you please show a picture/specimen of the plant you are working with please then i am 100% sure i am using the correct plant and second you say ‘shake and leave in the sunlight for a month’ but also you say ‘can be used after 48 hours’ is that 48 hours after you put the plant in the oil or 48 hours after it has been in the sun for a month?

  47. addendum to last message – have just found your link to the picture of the plantain so sorry, I scrolled past the ingredients list after i watched your video

  48. Love having no commentary. The noise of the glass was jarring (I have a headache today so a bit sensitive). I recommend a jam funnel for filling and then you wouldn’t need to keep banging the bottle in and out of the bowl; you can just tip the leaves into the funnel. I’d also like to have a bit more of an idea how you use the oil. Pour from a bottle it put in a sprayer?

  49. Fantastic to see so many comments?
    Enjoyed the asmr ?
    I’ve got a handy tip for drying herbs that doesn’t require much space nor outlay.
    In the last couple of years, super markets(although I’m neither keen on them nor condone a lot of their unethical practices) have provided these fine mesh draw string shopping bags. I’ve found them to be pretty pathetic as shopping bags as, too small and with the draw string only conducive to trolley shopping so I found an alternative very practical use for them, herb drying, pegged on an indoors retractable washing line.
    £1 a bag
    £7 for the retractable cloths line and the fine mesh bags work very well in a sunny airy environment such as a sunny front or back porch.

  50. That was so lovely thank you and the suggestion to stop and breathe first x very calming mixed with a lovely practical”how to” video. Loved it. Thank you

  51. Agree w others that this was a soothing, calming video of an herbal oil preparation. Such a welcome contrast to ads/constant chatter/stimulation on other sites. I always enjoy learning from you, Robin. Thank you!

  52. I loved the quiet, the brevity and the clear instruction in the video. My herb garden contains a beautiful patch of volunteer plantain, thank you for the inspiration ?.

  53. I loved the quiet, the brevity and the clear instruction in the video. My herb garden contains a beautiful patch of volunteer plantain, thank you for the inspiration ?.

  54. Very nice Robin. And a good idea, no commentary. Can you confirm if there is no sun to put the mix in a warm place.How warm? Many thanks & looking forward to more if you decide to do them.

  55. Lovely..I would love to see the whole process from picking the actual plant, drying process and steeping in sunshine on windowsill , bottling and using . Like the lack of commentary. Thankyou !

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