How did I get interested in plantain and salve making? Who taught me what I know? Where did I go to learn or find information? I'm all about sharing knowledge and don't claim ownership of anything other than the ways I have come up with through my own trial and error.
3 years ago our family was at the end of one adventure and the beginning of another. We had borrowed a travel trailer for 7 months. We helped to install new flooring, sealed the roof from leaks and settled into a seasonal camping grounds that we called home.
I was intrigued by one woman in the Seasonal section who always kept to herself, knitting, reading and arranging weeds on her picnic table as she dried them out. Every day I would see her take her little wagon or bucket into the woods and come out with them overflowing with green goodness.
One day I approached her with some Sun Tea and we found out that we had a lot in common about healing ourselves naturally.
I came to her trailer and my feet were itching to the point of driving me mad. She handed me a jar of dark, rich green oil from her fridge and told me to put some on my feet. I was instantly relieved of the itch and then suddenly got really sad about the idea that I now had to go and take a shower; the salve would wash off and the itch would return.
She smiled and sent me on my way.
I took a shower and the itch never returned. I never reached out in the night for one of those commercial bite sticks, ever again.
The next day she took me on a hike through the woods and that's when I really started foraging. I'd always used this or that weed, like dandelion flowers and root. I was just dabbling at that point.
I started making plantain salve immediately. My new and seasonal friend had given me some medicine, showed me where to find it, how to process it and then, knowing my children and my own clumsiness at times, taught myself through books and searching on-line how to make it into a salve so that we wouldn't be slopping oil all over the place upon opening the jar. :D
She had no interest in making it for anyone else and directed anyone who asked about it to my trailer. I started gifting plantain to our neighbors until one refused the gift and insisted on buying it. Both this woman and the friend who taught me and started me on my journey encouraged me to sell the salve and so, I went, with dreadlocks, long sundresses and a basket of salve in hand, around the campground, selling my wares to those who might buy them. That was how my salve healing adventure began.
Now I teach others how to make it, and still sell it to those who are in need. This is the beginning of my foraging adventures but not the end. I learn every season more and more. Every season I buy a new book and I am lead to a new plant that will forever change the way I look at life.
The Journey Began in 2013
If you look on-line there are dozens of wild-crafters and foragers writing their blogs on how to create salves and such. I've looked into and compared my recipe to theirs. Some are very similar, some are very different. We all learn by trial and error and we borrow from each other while creating our own ways. No one person has the 'skinny' on the best way, not me, not anyone...well...maybe a botanist...but I'm good with how I'm growing in this and I'm not looking for perfection...I'm looking at natural healing, and I've found it.
I'm located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, Canada.
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©2010 Cari-Lee Miller & Recipe for Alchemy.
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.