Plantain Vinegar Gel
There are over 260 species in the Plantaginaceae family of plants, many of which have been used medicinally for thousands of years, but some are considered weeds. The seeds of the greater plantain (Plantago major) are used as bird food. The whole plant contains tannins, salicylic acid, vitamins B and C; it also contains an abundance of interesting phytochemicals, some of which may be responsible for its reputation as vulnerary, anti-toxic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Famous for both internal and external benefits since at least the times of Dioscorides, Galen, Celsus and Pliny, the seeds of Plantago psyllium are still used today in medicinal and cosmetic preparations. It is an ingredient in laxatives and used externally for face masks, rashes, irritation and to soothe swollen eyelids.
The small glossy seeds of the plant yield soothing mucilage, like linseed. This mucilage is sometimes used to stiffen certain kinds of muslin and woven fabrics. The mucilaginous gel is made from the seeds of the plantain (also known as fleawort) using organic cider vinegar and steam.
Gerard and Culpeper mention psyllium as cooling on the eyes. Culpeper also recommends it as a remedy for “all scabs and itch in the head and the body, ringworm, shingles and for all wounds and sores internal and external.”
This herb shouldn’t be confused with another plant that shares the plantain name – a type of large and green-tinted banana (Musa paradisiaca).
We use plantain vinegar gel (Plantago psyllium) in our green, forest-themed, soothing Trampshower gel.