DIY ribwort ointment for coughing and itching

Photo: © Utopia / jw

You can easily make your own ribwort ointment against coughs and itching: all you need are three ingredients and a little time.

Healing wild herb: ribwort

Ribwort grows almost everywhere
Ribwort plantain grows almost everywhere (Photo: © Utopia / jw)

You can find ribwort plantain almost everywhere, it grows by the wayside and in almost every meadow. The wild herb contains many healing ingredients and is therefore a real all-round talent: So-called iridoid glycosides have an antibacterial effect and tannins accelerate wound healing by compacting and drying out surfaces. The contained flavonoids inhibit inflammation. With its mucilage, ribwort relieves the urge to cough, has an infection-inhibiting effect and promotes the immune system.

Ribwort plantain is therefore also a classic home remedy for coughs: If you dry the leaves, you can use them as a cough tea. Do you already know this 6 herbal home remedies for a cold?

The weed is also an ideal remedy for on the go: If you have small scratches, insect or nettle bites, you can simply grind a few plantain leaves and press them on the affected area. The sap soothes the pain or itching and promotes wound healing.

You can find out what you should consider when collecting wild herbs in our article Collecting and identifying wild herbs: 10 tips.

Make your own plantain ointment

An ointment made from ribwort is suitable as a cold ointment for coughs or for rubbing in against insect bites, itching, small wounds, burns and neurodermatitis. You don’t need a lot to make them:

The ingredients (for a small screw jar)

To make ribwort ointment yourself, you only need three ingredients.
To make ribwort ointment yourself, you only need three ingredients. (Photo: © Utopia / jw)
  • 1 handful of freshly picked ribwort leaves
  • 100 ml organic vegetable oil (e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil)
  • 12 g beeswax from the regional beekeeper or from the pharmacy

Ribwort plantain ointment: the preparation

The collected leaves must be cut into small pieces
The collected leaves must be cut into small pieces (Photo: © Utopia / jw)

Step 1: Cut the ribwort leaves into small pieces. Place the crushed leaves in a screw-top jar and fill the jar with the vegetable oil enough to cover the leaves.

Chopped ribwort leaves soak in olive oil
Chopped ribwort leaves grow in vegetable oil (Photo: © Utopia / jw)

Step 2: Now you need a little patience: Close the jar and let it stand for two weeks at room temperature. Shake the jar well once a day.

If you want it to go faster, you can let the shredded leaves and oil soak in a water bath over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Leaves and oil must be separated from each other
Leaves and oil must be separated from each other (Photo: © Utopia / jw)

Step 3: After two weeks (or 30 minutes), the leaves and the oil must be separated from each other: To do this, filter the oil through a cotton cloth and a fine sieve.

Step 4: Heat the filtered oil and the beeswax (12 grams of beeswax to 100 milliliters of oil) in a water bath. When the beeswax has dissolved, pour the mixture into the jar. After cooling, you can close the jar. The ointment can be kept for several months.

Make your own vegan herbal ointments and oils

For those who don’t want to use beeswax, there is one vegan alternative: Use coconut oil as a vegetable oil, then you can simply leave out the beeswax. Simply heat 100 grams of coconut oil with the ribwort in a water bath. Let it sit for about half an hour, then filter out the herbs and pour the ointment directly into the jar. Don’t be surprised: the ointment will be a little different in texture and color from the beeswax ointment.

The recipe is suitable as a basic recipe for marigolds (calendula), dandelions, yarrow and many other herbal ointments. If you prefer to use oils instead of ointments, you can simply omit the beeswax and use the pure herbal oil.

Many wild herbs can even be eaten: 10 weeds to eat.


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