Heal those Blisters!
Any hill-walker worth listening to will already be well aware of the vitues of plantain. There wasn't much of it today on my little forage but you can see the leaves of Plantago major L. in the top left hand corner of the basket. For botanists amongst us you might note that my basket contains Plantago lanceolata L., and not Plantago major L. There are obvious differences between the two herbs for those interested and to be honest, familiarising yourself with the two is a pretty good idea if you are out and about alot. That said the properties for the plant are the same regardless of which of the two species you use - so it really is just a matter of knowing what they both look like in case one of them isn't readily available.
Plantain, also known as "Ribwort" have valuable healing properties. I mentioned hill-walkers before because plantain can be a very valuable plant for those suffering from blisters due to the chaffing of their skin within the sock and walking boot. All one has to do is chew on a leaf for a few seconds to break up the cell walls and then place the plantain directly on the red skin and secure it in place with the sock. It is good at soothing inflamed and sore skin and is one of the main topical healing agents used by herbalists, whether it be in a lotion, compress, ointment or poutice for cuts or bruises. Similarly it can be used on heamorrhoids and ulcers.
Used internally Plantain will have a similar impact on internal membranes but it also acts as a gentle expectorant making it very useful for coughs or bronchitis. These same properties make it a useful addition to medicines prescribed for diarrhea, cystitis and hemorrhoids when accompanied by bleeding.
Making a tincture couldn't be easier but the ratios can vary a lot depending on what herbalist you follow. Some use a ratio of 1:5 w:v in 40% alcohol; others will use a ratio of 1:2 fresh herb. Those that do will suggest a 25% alcohol concentration. Considering Plantain is readily available throughout most of the year I'd absolutely recommend going for the fresh version with one caveat. Sometimes making ointments from fresh herbs can produce water, which molds easily. In such cases you might want to consider making an ointment with platain infused in oil and in this instance dried plantain may well be benificial if concerned about spoiling.