Tuesday, May 16, 2023

How to Make Plantain Salve

Plantain salve is a natural skincare remedy that has gained popularity for its remarkable benefits. Harnessing the power of the plantain herb, this salve provides a holistic approach to skincare, offering nourishment, healing, and protection. In this article, we will learn how to make plantain salve, exploring its various applications and highlighting its efficacy as a skincare solution.

DIY Plantain Salve

Plantain grows abundantly here in Ohio.  We have it all over the backyard, so I don't have to go far to forage this herb for my natural skin care recipes.

The plantain herb, scientifically known as Plantago spp., is a perennial plant that is widely recognized for its medicinal properties. 

With several species available, including Plantago major and Plantago lanceolata, plantain leaves are commonly used in salve making due to their rich nutrient profile and therapeutic qualities. 

These leaves contain compounds such as allantoin, tannins, and aucubin, which contribute to their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties.

You might also like these herbal remedies:

Keep track of your favorite herbal recipes in my essential oil journal.  You can print off the pages to create a 3 ring binder of recipes, dilution charts, reference sheets, and more.

If you want to learn more about using herbs for natural skin care, I recommend The Herbal Academy for courses.

Gathering Plantain

Plantain can be found in various regions across the globe, often growing in lawns, meadows, and even disturbed areas. Look for it in sunny or partially shaded spots. 

The best time to harvest plantain leaves is during the early summer months when they are at their peak. I use an app called PictureThis when I forage for herbs to make sure I'm getting the right thing.

Preparing the Plantain Leaves

Once you've gathered your plantain leaves, it's crucial to prepare them properly before incorporating them into your salve. 

Start by gently cleaning the leaves to remove any dirt or debris. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. 

Next, consider drying the leaves to maximize their potency and shelf life. You can air-dry them by spreading them out in a single layer or use a dehydrator set at a low temperature. 

You can dry them similar to how you would dry tea herbs.

You can also buy dried plantain to use to make DIY plantain salve.  I recommend buying from Mountain Rose Herbs, Grassroots Herb Supply, or Starwest Botanicals.

Infusing the Plantain Leaves

Infusing the plantain leaves in oil is a key step in extracting their beneficial properties for the salve. Begin by selecting a high-quality carrier oil such as avocado oil or sweet almond oil, which will act as the base for your infusion. 

Place the dried plantain leaves in a clean glass jar and cover them with the chosen oil. Ensure that the leaves are fully submerged. 

Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for several weeks, allowing the oil to absorb the medicinal constituents from the plantain leaves. Remember to gently shake the jar daily to promote proper infusion.

You can learn more about how to make plantain oil for skin to learn more about using the cold infusion method or the warm infusion method.  

Customizing Your Plantain Salve

One of the wonderful aspects of making plantain salve is the ability to customize it to suit your individual needs and preferences. Consider incorporating different essential oils that complement the properties of plantain. 

Try adding one of the following essential oils:

You can also experiment by adding other herbs such as calendula or comfrey to amplify the healing properties of the salve. 

I used plantain with other herbs to make this charcoal drawing salve recipe.

Storing and Packaging

Proper storage and packaging are essential for maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of your plantain salve. Transfer the finished salve into clean, dry containers that are suitable for skincare products. 

I like these 2 ounce metal tins for salves.  I buy them from SKS Bottle or from Amazon.

Using Your DIY Plantain Salve

Plantain salve offers a wide range of applications for skincare and natural healing. It can be used to soothe skin irritations such as rashes, insect bites, or minor burns. 

Apply a small amount of the salve to the affected area and gently massage it into the skin. Allow the salve to absorb fully. Repeat as necessary for relief. 

The plantain salve's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties can aid in reducing redness, swelling, and itchiness, promoting the natural healing process.

Plantain Salve for Natural First Aid

Beyond its skincare benefits, plantain salve serves as a natural first aid remedy for minor injuries and ailments. Its antimicrobial and soothing properties make it a versatile solution for various conditions:

  • Cuts and Scrapes: Apply plantain salve to clean and protect minor cuts and scrapes. Its antimicrobial action helps prevent infection, while its healing properties aid in faster recovery.
  • Insect Bites and Stings: Plantain salve can provide relief from itching, swelling, and discomfort caused by insect bites or stings. Apply a small amount to the affected area to soothe and reduce inflammation.
  • Burns and Sunburns: The cooling and moisturizing properties of plantain salve make it an excellent remedy for soothing minor burns and sunburns. It helps alleviate pain, reduces redness, and supports the healing process.
  • Skin Irritations: Whether it's a rash, allergic reaction, or skin irritation, plantain salve can help calm and alleviate discomfort. Apply a thin layer to the affected area to reduce redness, itchiness, and inflammation.

Benefits of Plantain Salve for Skincare

Plantain salve offers a myriad of benefits for skincare, making it a valuable addition to your beauty routine. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Healing Properties: Plantain contains compounds such as allantoin, which promotes skin cell regeneration and accelerates wound healing. The salve can help soothe minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, reducing inflammation and preventing infection.
  • Moisturizing and Nourishing: The emollient properties of plantain salve help moisturize the skin, preventing dryness and maintaining its natural hydration. It can improve the skin's texture, leaving it soft, supple, and rejuvenated.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Action: Plantain salve has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm and reduce skin redness, irritation, and itchiness. It can be effective in relieving symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Antimicrobial Benefits: The salve's antimicrobial properties can help combat bacteria and fungi, making it suitable for treating minor skin infections, acne breakouts, or fungal skin conditions.
  • Protection and Prevention: Applying plantain salve to the skin forms a protective barrier that shields it from environmental stressors, such as pollution and harsh weather conditions. It can also help prevent scarring by supporting the natural healing process.

Incorporating Plantain Salve into Daily Skincare Routine

To make the most of plantain salve's benefits, consider incorporating it into your daily skincare routine. Here are some suggestions:

  • Daily Moisturizer: After cleansing your face, apply a small amount of plantain salve to moisturize and nourish your skin. Massage it gently until fully absorbed. Its lightweight texture makes it suitable for both daytime and nighttime use.
  • Overnight Treatment: Before bedtime, apply a slightly thicker layer of plantain salve to areas that need extra attention, such as dry patches, rough elbows, or cracked heels. Allow it to work its magic overnight, and wake up to hydrated, smooth skin.
  • Lip Balm: Combat dry, chapped lips by using plantain salve as a natural lip balm. Its moisturizing properties will help keep your lips soft and supple. Apply a thin layer as needed throughout the day, especially in harsh weather conditions.
  • Cuticle Care: Massage plantain salve into your cuticles to hydrate and nourish them. This can help prevent dryness and promote healthy nail growth.
  • Spot Treatment: Use plantain salve as a spot treatment for specific skin concerns, such as acne breakouts or inflammation. Apply a small amount directly to the affected area and let it work its soothing and healing magic.

Learn more about plantain leaf benefits for skin and hair.

How to Use Your Plantain Salve Recipe

When using plantain salve, follow these general instructions for effective application:

  1. Cleanse the affected area gently with mild soap and water.
  2. Pat the area dry with a clean towel.
  3. Take a small amount of plantain salve using clean fingers or a spatula.
  4. Apply a thin, even layer to the desired area.
  5. Gently massage the salve into the skin until fully absorbed.
  6. Reapply as needed throughout the day or as directed.

It's worth noting that while plantain salve is generally considered safe for topical use, it's essential to be aware of potential allergies or sensitivities. If you experience any adverse reactions, such as redness, itching, or swelling, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

DIY Plantain Salve Ingredients

You will need the following to learn how to make plantain salve:

How to Make Plantain Salve

Step 1

Fill a glass jar half full with dried plantain leaves. 

Step 2

Pour the avocado oil to fill the jar completely. Make sure all the leaves are fully covered.


Step 3

Put lid on jar and keep in a dark cold area for 6 weeks. Or, you can also slowly heat it on the stove or in a slow cooker on low heat setting for 4 hours. Then strain out the leaves for your infused oil. 

Step 4

Add the beeswax to your infused oil. Heat on medium low in a double boiler or for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring thoroughly in between until fully melted. 

Step 5

 Pour into your tins. Leave uncovered and let sit for a few hours or overnight. 

Safety Considerations

While plantain salve is generally safe for topical use, it's important to be aware of any potential allergies or sensitivities. 

Before applying the salve to a larger area of your skin, perform a patch test by applying a small amount to a small patch of skin and monitoring for any adverse reactions. 

Additionally, exercise caution when using the salve on children or pets, as their skin may be more sensitive. 

I hope you enjoy this plantain salve recipe!

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diy, plantain salve, herbal salve
Yield: 8 ounces
Author: Cari @ Homesteading in Ohio
Estimated cost: $10

How to Make Plantain Salve

prep time: 15 Mperform time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 15 M
How to make a DIY plantain salve to promote skin health.


  • 1/2 cup dried plantain leaves
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax pellets
  • 3 to 4 2 oz tins
  • 10 drops essential oils (optional)


  • glass measuring cup or double boiler


  1. Fill a glass jar half full with dried plantain leaves.
  2. Pour the avocado oil to fill the jar completely. Make sure all the leaves are fully covered.
  3. Put lid on jar and keep in a dark cold area for 6 weeks. Or, you can also slowly heat it on the stove or in a slow cooker on low heat setting for 4 hours. Then strain out the leaves for your infused oil.
  4. Add the beeswax to your infused oil. Heat on medium low in a double boiler or for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring thoroughly in between until fully melted.
  5. Pour into your tins. Leave uncovered and let sit for a few hours or overnight.
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