Sensory Herbalism with the Seed Sistas

Practical Herbalism

At the heart of what we do, is always practical take-homes and applications. You can connect with plants all day long, but how is the information you’ve gleaned going to serve you and your community in the future? 

Here are some practical tips for remedy creation from abundantly growing herbs. Take a wildflower guide with you to ensure correct identification and if in any doubt, take someone well versed in the world of botany or get yourself on a local herb walk.

Plantain Medicine

Plantain is a herb of Saturn, the bringer of positive authority, creating boundaries and structure. It protects mucous membranes, the tissue located inside the nose, mouth and throat, our own boundary to the world around us. It contains compounds which are healing to the skin and wounds, anti-inflammatory and slightly analgesic too. This herb is the perfect candidate for a bites and stings balm, which doubles up as a wound balm too.

We combine it with lavender essential oil for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as the soothing quality the scent has on the nervous system.

Plantain Oil Recipe:

To make plantain oil choose a bright sunny day to harvest your leaves, after the dew has evaporated. Dry the leaves on newspaper overnight so that much of the water content disappears, otherwise you will get rancid oil. Fill a jar with the leaves and cover with organic almond oil. Leave in the oil for a lunar cycle then strain. Bottle the oil and label.

This oil will now keep well in a cool dark space for at least a year if not more, it is a perfect base oil for ointments and creams it can also be used straight away as a simple oil, particularly if you have an insect bite or sting, just rub a little bit onto the affected area a few times daily.

Plantain Balm Recipe:

Soothing and healing for stings and bites

Makes 6, 15g jars
54ml plantain-infused oil
27g coco/shea butter
13.5g bees wax
10 drops of lavender oil
6 x 15g jars

  • melt all ingredients in a bain-marie
  • stir well
  • add 20 drops of lavender oil
  • pour into jars and leave to cool
  • Label and store out of direct sunlight

Use as and when it’s needed.

Keep in a cool dark space where it should keep well for at least a year.

Earth clarity drops

We use plantain in a drop combination with elderflower, particularly for sufferers of hay fever or any over-reactive state, such as asthma or eczema.

Plantain can help to contain and ground airy thoughts through providing a soothing coating to the digestive tract and other mucous membranes in the body. It grows near to the ground indicating its ability in helping us to stay in touch with the Earth’s energy. In supporting the boundaries of the mucous membranes, it gives us a sense of our own boundaries. Often when folk find it a challenge to maintain their own boundaries within relationships, you see reactivity to allergens presenting in a physical way.

Elderflower, in contrast, acts higher up in the body, directed mainly around the head and throat. It has a drying, clearing action through redistributing the mucous that can flow and gather in the nasal passages. In clearing in a physical way, the elderflower enables us to think clearly. It is light, airy, and expansive, useful for stuck, congested, emotional states.

We combine the tinctures of plantain and elderflower that can be taken in drop doses. They really are a very powerful combination.

Case study with Earth Clarity – plantain and elderflower drops

Carol was the manager of her own marketing company, she had to be extremely organised, and self-motivated to maintain the business. During the year before we met her she had experienced a breakdown in her marriage and moved house whilst trying to manage and keep her business afloat and continue to manage her 2 other employees.  The relationship had continued to be challenging with angry messages exchanged regularly which rocked her emotionally. She had started to experience a ‘muzzy head’, unable to think clearly and felt that there was a fog in the morning that would ever totally lift. In addition to this as spring commenced, she had started to experience intense bouts of hay fever symptoms, itchy eyes and runny nose. It was clear that the prolonged stress and feelings of insecurity around the home and relationship had created a feeling that her boundaries were under attack and she was barely able to maintain a ‘sense of self’ (in her own words).

She was given Earth Clarity Drops (plantain and elderflower tinctures combined) and an affirmation of ‘I can clearly state my needs and boundaries, I create time for connecting with myself and nature’. She took the drops 3 times a day for 6 weeks and experienced a returned sense of clarity and focus. The hay fever symptoms had improved greatly and if she felt her eyes getting itchy, she had taken a few more drops. She was taking more time to relax, having regular massage and doing gentle exercise and as a result felt more grounded and able to be more productive with the time she did have for work.