This small succulent plant can be found growing abundantly in gardens and woods in early spring and fall. I always snack on it whenever I see it as it has a light refreshing taste and is high in nutrients. It makes a great pesto or addition to salad. Traditionally it is used topically for dry skin irritations such as eczema, bites, stings, minor scrapes and cuts. It should not be used for wet, mucus laden skin conditions. It is cooling to heated, dry, irritated skin.
Plantain - Plantago Major Plantain grows all over the world and is commonly found in backyards and cracks in city sidewalks. It has a long history of use for chronic skin conditions. Plantain is a mild demulcent which means it wets tissue. This makes it ideal for healing bites, stings, scrapes and minor wounds as well as soothing itchy and irritated skin. It works to draw things out which makes it ideal for splinters and drawing out infections and dirt from wounds. For a quick herbal first aid chew up some plantain leaves and apply directly to the affected area. Plantains healing quality has also historically been used internally to soothe the intestinal lining.
Spilanthes - Acmella Oleracea Spilanthes is known as the “toothache plant” for its analgesic properties. When you eat a whole flower you experience a tingling numbing sensation, followed by excess saliva secretion and a clean, fresh taste in your mouth. It is quite an experience and makes you appreciate what a powerful medicinal plant it is. Spilanthes is mainly found in subtropical regions. It is traditionally used to help relieve dry mouth, gum irritation, as an appetite stimulant & palette cleanser and to reduce toothache pain. Spilanthes has many actions including anti fungal, insecticidal, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and local anesthetic. It is an immunomodulator, which means it increases the function of the immune response (similar to echinacea).