Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plantain and its Medicinal Uses

Plantain is a lot like dandelions it is considered a weed, and they grow almost everywhere, there are two types a broad leaf and a narrow leaf both are good. You can use the Roots, leaves, and Flower spikes. As with dandelions you need to be careful where you harvest it make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with anything and don’t collect from the roadside. Plantain can be harvested from spring to fall.

Plantain is rich in magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches. The older leaves are tough and stringy so need to be cooked. The seeds can be dried and ground to make a flour, although it takes a lot of seeds.

Plantain can be used both internally and externally.

For external application, it can be made into a salve, lotion, oil or compress. Plantain's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it one of the most effective herbal remedies for topical treatment of skin conditions such as rashes, wounds, ulcerations, cuts, swelling, sprains, bruises, burns, eczema, cracked lips, poison ivy, mosquito bites, diaper rash, boils, hemorrhoids, and blisters. You can make a poultice to draw out splinters or thorns . It can also reduce some of the scarring with more severe cuts and scrapes.
It is also draws out the poison of bee stings, snake bites, and spider bites, If stung immediately rub some crushed or slightly chewed leaf on the area and around the sting to prevent swelling and itching.

Internally you can use in tea ,tinctures or syrup. Plantain has demulcent properties, making it soothing to mucus membranes. It is used to treat conditions of the respiratory tract including sore throat, cough, bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. It also has expectorant properties which help to expel mucus from the lungs when the respiratory tract is congested due to colds or hay fever.

The demulcent properties of plantain are also beneficial in treating urinary tract infections
 including cystitis with blood in the urine, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea.

The seeds of plantain contain mucilage and can be used as a laxative to relieve constipation. They can also be dried and infused in water for a soothing eye lotion.

So next time you see this in your yard you may want to just harvest it instead of trying to get rid of it.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Week 13 Food Storage Challenge

1000 multi Vitamins/ Canned Vegetables

1000 Muliti Vitamins, You may not be able to eat as well as you should so a multi vitamin will help ensure you have all the nutrients that you need.

Canned Vegetables, Even if you can your own it would be good if you had a few extra cans or jars on hand (You can also have dried if you don’t want to have to try and store all the extra cans or jars) on hand just in case you have a year that your garden doesn’t produce as well as it should.

An easy way to dry vegetables is to buy the frozen at the store then all you have to do is put them on your dehydrator trays and dry. (No need to blanch or anything they are ready to go.)

The thing to get this month is seeds. Try to get heirloom if at all possible then you can harvest the seeds for next year. Get extra and keep in a cool place.

If you haven’t planned you garden yet now is the time. Even if you only have a small place you can plant a few things. There is a lot of info on the Internet on small space gardening. If at all possible grow extra so you can put back enough for winter.

If you don’t already have a car kit in each vehicle try to do that this month. Be sure to include extra food , water and blanket,

The skill for this month is to learn to crochet or knit. This way you can make blankets, socks, scarves, sweaters and baby things and many other things

Add some more to your money stash.

Put more water back.

Have a great week.

Friday, March 28, 2014

How to make Dandelion Tea

Somebody asked me how to make dandelion tea so I thought I would do a quick post on it. I can’t post pictures since our dandelions are not growing yet.

You can make tea from the leaves , flowers or root.

For fresh leaves use about a 1 to 2 ratio ½ cup leaves to 1 cup water.
Put leaves in pan and cover with water let boil about 3 minutes then strain and add sweetener of your choice. You can drink it hot or iced.

You can also dry the leaves for storage to have year round. If using dried leaves use 2 Tablespoon dried leaves per cup of water.


You can add the blossoms to the leaves if you would like or you can make a tea with just the blossoms. I found this recipes over at

I haven’t tried it yet, but can’t wait to, it sounds so good
Lime & Dandelion Tea
1 quart of dandelion flowers (or more)- Pick them fresh and use immediately so they don’t wilt! Get only the yellow parts, and pull off any leaves (use in salads) or stems
3 quarts of cold water
1 cup of hot (not quite boiling) water
The juice of 3-4 limes
2-3 tablespoons dried stevia leaf or sweetener or choice (honey, cane sugar, etc, to taste)
1/2 cup dried red raspberry leaf (optional)

In a jar or cup, pour the hot water over the stevia leaf and dried red raspberry leaf using) and stir well. If using another sweetener, put it in the warm water instead. Let steep 5-8 minutes and then strain off the herbs.

Pour the sweetened liquid from the stevia

Add the Dandelion flowers and mix gently. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or until completely chilled and serve. You can strain out the flowers or pour them into the cups. Bonus points if you freeze them into ice cubes for decoration!

You can also make a tea with the roots most people dry the roots but you can use the fresh root if you like. If using fresh roots clean and chop add 2 tablespoons fresh root each cup of water.

To dry the roots start by washing the fresh roots make sure they are clean you may need to soak them in water for a little while to help get the dirt off.

Preheat your oven to 150. In the meantime chop you roots into about ½ inch pieces spread the roots on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven to dry about 2 hours when they are brittle turn the oven up to 375 degrees and cook them for another 10 minutes. Use 1 Tablespoon of root per cup of water. Put the root in the water and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to ten minutes until desired strength. Drain off the roots and add a sweetener of you choice, you could also add some cinnamon , Ginger or lemon if you would like..

You can also make a tea with the whole plant make sure it is clean chop in to smaller pieces then add 1 ½ cup dandelions to a pot and cover with 3 cups water then add a pinch of baking soda and boil for 3 to 4 minutes strain add sweetener of your choice you can add some lemon , cinnamon or ginger if you would like.

If you would prefer Dandelion coffee there is a real good recipe
here .


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Uses for Dandelion, Root, Leaves and Flowers.

Dandelions are such an amazing plant that has so many uses. They also grow just about anywhere so they are easy to find. Although most people just think of them as an annoying weed. In reality it is an herb that is beneficial from root to blossom. Do be careful where you gather your dandelion from, make sure they haven’t had pesticides or weed killers used on them.

Medicinal Uses

Dandelion has a great safety record it has no cautionary drug interactions, cumulative toxic effects, or contraindications for use. All parts a edible and they are in high nutritional Value. Dandelion root contains vitamins A, B-complex, C and D as well as the minerals Iron, Zinc and Potassium. This combination of vitamins and minerals also makes dandelion root a High Antioxidant Food.

Dandelions are regarded as one of the best herbs for building blood and curing anemia. It also acts a as diuretic and has ample potassium to replace what is lost from frequent urination. Aids in digestion. Stimulates liver activity. In Europe, it's used to treat Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes, It can help normalize blood sugar levels. Because of its blood-cleaning ability it helps eliminate toxins thus helping treat skin irritations such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

Dandelion tea is good for relieving constipation, flatulence, and can help reduce high cholesterol.

The white, milky sap is used as an effective wart remover.


You can make a tea, capsules, tinctures, syrups, and salves,

Eating and cooking

Dandelion greens are more nutritious then spinach. Leaves taken in the spring will need to be blanched to reduce the bitterness. In the fall there is no need to blanch as the bitterness will have dissipated naturally,

You can use the flowers to make wine, jelly (recipe here), add to butters and herb vinegars for color.

The roots can be roasted and ground then used in place of coffee ( you want the fall roots for this).

Do you have any other uses for Dandelions ?

Week 12 Food Storage Challenge

8 Cans of Tuna / Spices and Herbs

8 Cans tuna If you don't care for tuna or afraid of the contaminates in it, just get some sort of canned meat.

Spices and Herbs get what you use. You might even want to try and grow your own. If you grow your own, just get what you can't grow. If you are going to grow your own you might want to get a little bit of them just to make sure you can grow enough for what you use. It may take a year or so to adjust how grow to how much you use.

Add more water to your water storage.If you are filling your own containers you might want to go ahead and  get a couple cases of water bottles.

Put a little more into your money stash.

How is your alternative cooking coming along?

Are you finding canning supplies?

Have a great week.