Monday, after a stressful weekend and an agitating day I went for a walk in Forest Park. I was thinking about today’s blog post and trying to figure out what I was going to write about. I wanted to write about a plant, and I was going through a list of plants with “p” names in my head. Just as I got to plantain, I looked down at my feet to see a lovely speciman growing next to the path. I took a few pictures and stroked the leaves a little. It was a very friendly, cheerful sort of plant, and I was reminded of its soothing powers–just the kind of cool, soothing energy I needed at that moment.
Plantain (Plantago spp.) is an unassuming weed found in yards, at road sides . . . actually it’s found pretty much everywhere. But don’t let its plain looks fool you into thinking it isn’t very interesting. Plantain is kind of miraculous. A spit poultice of the leaves will draw out justa bout anything–slivers, splinters, little pieces of rose thorns. Once I was stung (bitten?) on the stomach by a yellow jacket that had gotten up my skirt–the pain was intense and sharp. A poultice of plantain brought the swelling down and decreased the pain within minutes.
So plantain draws out the things that don’t belong. I feel this ability works on the metaphysical level as well, and would make plantain the perfect choice when you need to release energy that feels stuck in your body. Due to it’s watery nature (at least I think it seems watery, Scott Cunningham might disagree!), I wouldn’t use it in smudge form. I’d infuse it in water and add it to a bath, maybe with some sea salt, to pull out toxic energies and emotions. Or I’d use the infusion to sprinkle the house or the ritual circle for purification. If you want to both bless and purify, you might add rosemary to the infusion as well.
And plantain is free and abundant! That’s the beauty of using weeds for magic.