With summer here again you will probably spend a lot more time outdoors, especially if you have small children. I want you to be able to recognize three plants that will come in very handy when bites, stings, scrapes, or rashes happen. If your kids are like mine, they will enjoy searching for the right plant and then making a spit poultice with it! A spit poultice is simply a matter of chewing on the leaf a bit to get the juices going. You then place it on the trouble spot, perhaps tying it in place with a suitable piece of grass. If you’re lucky, the wounded party will be so distracted by the process that they’ll forget all about the pain!
Remember, the sooner you can apply these treatments, the faster you will get results.
And so, as promised, here are a few easy to find herbs that will arrest bleeding, soothe, disinfect, and speed healing:
Plantain. Not to be confused with the banana-like food, this humble plant will draw out the sting, kill bacteria, and act like a soothing bandage. It tastes okay too, and was at one time commonly eaten as a vegetable, chopped crossways like celery.
Blackberry. This is a good one for bites and stings because it will bring down the pain right away and minimize swelling. It also a good one to reach for if there is any bleeding! Be sure to remove the spines that run down the back of the leaves before chewing.
Yarrow. Know as ‘wound wort’ it was used commonly in days of old; this plant saved the life of many a warrior with it’s ability to arrest bleeding and prevent infection. One of it’s many common names is ‘nose bleed’ and let me tell you, it works! Gently chew on the leaf and stuff it up the bleeding nose.
A bit of obvious advice, it is best to gather plants in areas that haven’t been sprayed. Luckily here in Victoria pesticides are banned, but you still want to avoid areas that may have been marked by dogs.
Denise McMorris CHT, RHT, RCH
I am a Western Medical Herbalist who has been practicing in Victoria for 12 years, and last year I registered as a Hypnotherapist. I am strongly grounded in natural nutrition, supplement therapy, and of course the expert application of Herbal Remedies.
As a Hypnotherapist I help those with mood disorders such as anxiety, panic, depression, and anger.
The information presented here is intended for educational purposes only, and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.