Thursday, April 28, 2011

Plantain Tea

Plantain Tea

Great for minor colds and flu. It can be also be frozen and used to soothe bee stings.

  • One teaspoon dried, crushed plantain (or two to three teaspoons fresh)
  • One cup boiling water
  • Peppermint and honey to taste (optional)

Place plantain into a jar. Pour boiling water over the herb, adding peppermint if desired. Cover with a lid and let steep 5 to 15 minutes. Strain off the herbs, add honey to taste and sip.

Bee Sting Frozen Plantain Cubes

Fast relief for bites, stings, and rashes

Make a quick herbal first-aid treatment for bee stings and poison ivy by freezing plantain tea into cubes. Make plantain tea, omitting the honey, and pour into ice cube trays. Place into the freezer until frozen. Remove and store in zip-lock bags until needed. The coldness of the ice and the properties in the plantain give fast relief to the swelling, pain, and itch caused by insect bites, bee stings and poison ivy.

Source: Vicki West.

The picture at the top of this post is from a scraggly plant I found growing in my front yard. I dug it up and transplanted it to a spot in the backyard, but it died not soon after this photo. Made me cry. It's a lanceleaf, or narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata).

The following photo is from a closely related plant, the common plantain (Plantago major).

Both variations have the same medicinal properties and can be used as a tea or frozen sting soother. I often find both plants growing in the same area.

Image courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ant Poison

Ant Poison

This is NOT food!

But, it is simple and fast!

Borax (sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate) is a mineral, produced by repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes. It is not acutely toxic, requiring significant doses to cause severe symptoms. Rats can die if they ingest 2.66 grams per kilogram of body weight. I weigh about 82 kilograms (180 pounds), so I'd need to ingest about 218 grams of borax. That's nearly one half of a pound!

Of course, I'm not a rat, contrary to what my brothers have said in the past.

Boric acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be particularly toxic to infants, especially after repeated use, because of the slow elimination rate.


Ant Poison

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup borax powder

Dip wet sponge into mixture and leave in ant pathways.

The ABC's of Boat Camping, Gordon and Janet Groene, 1994, Sheridan House, Inc.

Image courtesy of Omar Franco