June 9, 2014

Wild Herbs for First Aid and Healing.

Our first course with herbalist Sarah Hughes was a great day…there was even a real wound to dress!!



Gillian didn’t hurt herself on the course but was eager to have her grazed knee looked at by our course tutor, medical herbalist Sarah Hughes.

The plant Sarah recommended for a healing poultice was Ribwort Plantain. It has the ability to draw out dirt or sand impurities and effectively clean the wound. Ribwort Plantain also has antiseptic properties which kills germs and create a clean environment for the wound to heal.

mashed up Ribwort PlantainRibwort Plantain Poultice
To make the poultice collect up a good handful of leaves, wash and dry, then chop well. Grind up in a pestle and mortar, then put the resulting green paste onto a gauze pad. Carefully place this poultice on to the wound then tie the dressing pad on with a bandage. Cover the whole dressing with cling film. Replace the dressing every 6 hours for 24 hours and then leave to heal in the open air. If the wound becomes inflamed or red see a doctor.

When we emailed to find out how Gillie’s knee was doing she replied “Knee doing very well…looking very clean and much less red. Complete convert.”

Gillies knee with Ribwort poultice






Identification notes
Ribwort Plantain flowering
Ribwort Plantain is a common plant of road side verges and field edges, waste ground and often along the edge of footpaths.

It has a strap shaped leaf with distinct ribs – hence the name. The flowering stems grow up to 60cm and are topped with black torpedo shaped buds which become brown as a ring of pollen covered anthers work their way up the flower. It is a perennial plant so can be found year after year.

One response to “Wild Herbs for First Aid and Healing.

  1. Update from the Battle of the Wounded Knee. I kept up the plantain poultices and then on Sarah’s advice added some slippery elm. I let the wound dry between applications tending to put the poultice on overnight and letting it dry out during the day. I applied the first comfrey poultice yesterday and wound looking dry, clean and already healed around the edges so about 2/3 of the size it was when you saw it.

    In other news I have made my own comfrey ointment, chickweed oil for chickweed ointment is on the stove. Cleaver decoction my daily drink 🙂 Dried cleavers and dried elderflowers put aside for the winter. I can’t go out of the house without collecting something !

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