Plantain and Vinegar Tincture

Plantain, a “weed” that grows in most of our yards, coupled with apple cider vinegar can make for a long-lasting skin remedy.

Plantain has many medicinal uses and you can often times find it in skin salves at the health food stores.

  • it creates a cooling and soothing effect on the skin
  • pulls out toxins from bee stings and bug bites (astringent)
  • often used for skin issues like eczema, dandruff, and sunburn
  • contains allantoin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical that kills germs, speeds wound healing, and stimulates the growth of new skin cells (source)

The easiest way to use plantain is to pick it from the yard, chew it up, and use the plant to place on bee stings and bug bites – it will help to pull out the toxins and lessen the pain and itch.

If you’re foraging, there are two types of plantain, english (the thin leaves like I have in my yard) and common plantain, one with a much broader leaf.

But what if you don’t have any in your yard? (like the guy from True Green would like to see our yard….void of plantain) Or what if you’re going to be camping or traveling and you don’t want to run around looking for a weed while your friend or loved one sits painfully waiting? And a tincture can also be used throughout the winter, when your plantain sits under many inches of snow and ice.

Making a tincture is one of the best ways to always have a herb on hand when you need it. And with just two ingredients, plantain and apple cider vinegar, it’s simple to make and both ingredients help heal the skin.

plantain tincturePlantain and Apple Cider Vinegar Tincture


  • Plantain, dried or fresh
  • apple cider vinegar, the one with the ‘mother’

Method of Preparation

1. If you are using fresh, wild plantain it’s best to pick before they send up the seed heads, but anytime will work. And you can also use the seed heads in the tincture. Use plantain from areas where you know that not pesticides have been used and wash it lightly….just in case a dog used it as it’s bathroom.

2. With fresh plantain, you’ll want to bruise the leaves a bit. So either roll them between your hands, use a mortar and pestle, or even just chop them up a few times with a knife. With dried plantain, you don’t have to worry about it.

3. Fill a jar approximately 2/3 full of fresh plantain or about 1/2 full of dried plantain and cover with apple cider vinegar. With skin preparations I don’t feel the need to weigh and measure the herbs…..but do what you’re comfortable with.

4. Cover and put the jar in a cool, dark place. Pull it out once a day or two and shake it.

5. Let sit for 2-3 weeks, strain out the plant matter, and keep the tincture in the cupboard or in a dark-colored bottle. (sunlight will damage the medicinal benefits.)

To use, you can apply to bites and/or stings with a cotton ball. Some people also use this as a facial astringent (diluted 1 part tincture, 10 parts water). (also be aware that it can make your skin sensitive to the sun)

Have you ever made or used a plantain tincture before?

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This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.