View Full Version : Rattlesnake Plantain

23 Nov 2013, 10:14

One of our evergreens of the dry forests, rattlesnake plantain leaves make a good tea for helping to stop a cold in its tracks or shorten the duration of one if it's already made itself to home in your body. While we can measure our snow here in feet, it can still be found in winter on south facing slopes where the sun melts the snow back or in this case, under the spruce trees that creates a sheltered area. You can also gather a leaf or two from each rosette and dry it for when walking out into the woods to find medicine for a cold seems like a bit too much work.

This is not actually a plantain but a woodland orchid that likes to grow in upland forests here east of the Mississippi River. Many in my family will still put a leaf of it into their shoe on hot summer days to protect themselves from rattlesnakes. For the plants I have worked with its energy is very protective and many a granny women here will gather leaves not only for their healing but to keep the home and hearth safe. Some even put them into tobacco pouches to hang at local shrines.

For me it's one of my favorite little plants because in January when the world is dark and gray, a little green give me a reminder that yes, spring will come again.