Seems like this summer is the summer of the wasp, it brings back a memory from years ago when Toby, my Wheaten Terrier was a puppy. Toby has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, this time was no different. He was leisurely exploring his new yard when he poked his nose in the wrong place. A wasp nest. Almost instantly the wasps bolted out of their nest, tangling themselves into his long puppy hair. Luckily Toby was a fast puppy and escaped with only a few trapped in his hair. I hurried to get the wasps out of his hair, but not before he was stung a time or two. Toby has always been a very sensitive dog, needless to say he was not about to leave my side after this traumatic ‘attack’!
Being an herbalist, I knew the absolute best herb to relieve wasp bites was plantain. Plantago Major, a common weed growing in most lawns, has been used for centuries to soothe and heal the skin. Thanks for its astringent and antibacterial qualities, the extract is extremely effective for calming external skin irritations and insect bites. In order for Plantain to be the most effective for soothing, it has to be applied to the affected area as soon as possible.
Toby and I quickly began our search for plantain leaves in the yard. Luckily the search did not take long, I found some plantain leaves for a make-do poultice (do not do this unless you are sure the lawn has not been chemically treated). I remembered from my herbal training the fastest and most effective method to make a poultice is by chewing the leaves, yes in your mouth, and applying them onto the affected area. The poultice will help to soothe and draw the irritation away from the sting while eliminating most of the swelling. The immediate results amazed me, Toby did not suffer any itching or obvious distress from his encounter! Needless to say, from that moment on Plantain leaves have been one of my favorite herbal remedies!
You can find Plantain Leaf Extract in every product of M&J’s Dog Essential Pack!
You can also find Plantain Leaves in Simply Soothed Herbal Rinse (guess where the name came from? )
Photo Credit: Plants for a Future