Get out there and enjoy being active this summer. Hike. Play catch and throw frisbee with your kids. Dig in the dirt. I encourage you every year to do that. But playing catch comes with a catch. The possibility of stings and bites. Yuck.
When Lisa Bedner of Pipssisewa Herbs taught me about Plantain being good to draw out the toxins from a bee-sting or insect-bite, I thought "I need some of that. But, I'll have to plant some." (If you are familiar with Plantain, I am sure you are laughing.)
Every picture I saw when I researched the plant had roundish-oval shaped leaves. No Plantain in my yard. Then Jeremy Lekich of Nashville Foodscapes (www.nashvillefoodscapes.com) gave an edible plant walk at the Middle TN Urban Gardening Festival last weekend. I learned that Plantain comes in two varieties: Plantago major (the round one) and Plantago lanceolata (lance-leaf). Guess what? I have more than enough lance-leaf. In fact, in my front yard and around my HVAC I have plenty to share, in case you don't have either variety.
Unfortunately, I got to use it the day after Jeremy taught. I got two spider bites, which normally would stay red for a couple of days and itch. I chewed Plantain into a poultice (side note - it tastes like grass), applied it, and let dry. There was no itching and by the next day the redness was gone.
Oh, if you want some from around my HVAC, come transplant it quick. I'm clearing that out before Covenant Heating and Cooling comes out next week for my spring maintenance. (Gotta protect the air-conditioning system for when I go in from the summer play.)