I think we can all agree that getting a splinter isn’t fun, but what’s even worse is getting the pesky things out. I know many people, child and adult alike, who would rather leave a splinter where it is than run the gauntlet of tweezers, squeezing, and sometimes even needles – and who can blame them…that stuff hurts! What most don’t realise is that nature has just the thing for removing splinters; without the pain and completely free of charge. Splinter prone people – meet Plantago Major and Plantago Lanceolata, or Plantain leaf as they’re commonly known.
These hardy common garden weeds like disturbed soils and can often be found in lawns, parks, between cracks in pavements and in other highly frequented areas. These two varieties of Plantago are easily identifiable by their rosette growth formation and leaves – Plantago Major with wide, oval-shaped, stringy-veined leaves; and Plantago Lanceolata with narrow, lance shaped stringy-veined leaves. The best identifier are theses leaf veins – in both varieties running parallel and prominent – which are visible sticking out of the stem like little threads when the leaf is picked. Between April and September the Plantagos flower; adding a protruding, nobly looking spike from the rosette of leaves (Lanceolata has a very similar flower to those pictured on Major above, only with a shorter nobbly part).
The rather dull aesthetics of these plants are really quite misleading, they are in fact absolute treasure troves of healing goodness – but this post will focus on it’s use as the best-ever-splinter-getter-outer. Plantain poultice works on a splinter by drawing out the foreign object, and all you need to do is follow these simple steps for natural, pain free splinter removal.
What You Will Need:
A handful of plantain leaves
Step 1 Wash 2-3 leaves in warm water to remove any nasties.
Step 2 Now, you can either crush and tear the leaves into small pieces, or chew them for a few seconds (I know – sounds gross, but it’s actually more effective due to the enzymes in saliva) and apply them to the site of the splinter.
Step 3 Secure the leaves in place with a clean bandage. You should check on the progress of your poultice after approximately 4 hours.
A shallow splinter without barbs will usually be drawn out within these first four hours, deeper and/or barbed splinters can take up to 24 hours. If your splinter takes longer than 4 hours to remove, change out the old leaves for new at 4 hour hour intervals (following steps 1-3).
Et voilla – pain free splinter removal a la nature!