Herbs A-Z: Pinus & Plantago

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Our herbs this week are pine and plantain! A mighty tall tree and a humble herb of the packed earth.

Pine trees come in many varieties. Around Boston we mainly find white pine (Pinus strobus) and red pine (Pinus resinosa), but many others are similar. Pine can help sustain energy and mood, so we consider it a stimulant – but not like coffee. Pine will help you stand steady, not make you jittery. We like to include a bit of twig along with the needles in our tea, as this gets a bit of resinous material in there as well. As Ryn can (and will, at any opportunity) tell you, pines are lovely to climb – if you can make it to the first branch, that is!

Plantain – we’re talking about Plantago species, not the banana thing! – is an herb who loves paths and the people who make them. Whether the introduced and very common Plantago major or P. lanceolata, or the native-to-North-America purple-stemmed P. rugelii, this is a flexible and versatile herb. In this episode we focus on its capacity to help a uniquely modern problem: the impacts on our bodies of pharmaceuticals, especially NSAIDs. At the gut lining and the liver, plantain helps resolve the damage these sometimes-necessary medications can cause. And this from a very safe plant, with no known drug interactions!
Our Integumentary Health course features pine and plantain several times, along with an array of other herbs who help the skin: burdock and calendula, of course, but also turmeric and echinacea, among others. Whatever the problem is – whether we call it eczema, psoriasis, or just “that troublesome patch of skin”, herbs can help! Topical applications for common herbs play a big role in this work, and we also dig into the effective herbs you can take orally to see results on the skin. Like all our offerings, this is a self-paced online video course, which comes with free access to twice-weekly live Q&A sessions, lifetime access to current & future course material, twice-weekly live Q&A sessions with us, open discussion threads integrated in each lesson, an active student community, study guides, quizzes & capstone assignments, and more!

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Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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You can find all of our online herbalism courses at online.commonwealthherbs.com!

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