You most likely have a weed in your yard that could save the day if you have bug bites, rashes, cuts, burns, and more.

This time of year, where you are probably trying to get rid of weeds in your yard. Most of them are a nuisance that just makes your landscaping or driveways look tacky. However, there is one that is commonly found in Indiana that you might not want to get rid of because it has multiple health benefits that could help you and your family on a whim.

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Don't Kill This Indiana Weed!

If you were to walk outside and take a look at your yard, I'd be willing to bet that you will easily be able to find a weed known as plantain. You might not know the name, but you have seen the weed practically your whole life. I have plenty growing in my gravel driveway. Typically I pull those weeds because they look like an eye sore, but that was until I found out that it has some pretty awesome healing powers.

Plantago major

Plantain is very high in vitamins A and C and in calcium. It can be used to relieve the pain of bee stings and insect bites, cuts, rashes, burns, and even stop the itching of poison ivy, according to Wellness Mama.

If you find yourself bitten or stung by an insect, here's what you need to do.

  • Go out in your yard and grab a couple of plantain leaves.
  • Wash them off.
  • Chew them up a bit (I know it sounds odd and gross, but trust me)
  • Place the wad of chewed-up plantain to the affected area and wrap it with a cloth.
  • Leave for 30 minutes
  • The plantain leaf will draw the poison or venom out of the bite, thus relieving pain and irritation.

Plantain Does More Than Just Heal Bug Bites...

But here's the kicker, plantain can help you with more than just bug bites. The website, Learning and Yearning further details the benefits of plantain, saying it can help give you relief from things like:

  • bee and other insect stings
  • spider bites
  • eczema and psoriasis
  • sunburn
  • chapped lips
  • diaper rash
  • burns
  • cuts
  • rashes
  • poison ivy or oak
  • acne
Person hand holding and healing wound with antibacterial plant mixture of Plantago major, broadleaf plantain, white man's foot, or greater plantain. Herbal medicine concept.
Helin Loik-Tomson

According to Wellness Mama, the plantain leaf can be made into a tea, tincture or infusion and used internally too:

  • To help get Cholesterol to healthy Levels
  • To aid those with Diabetes
  • For Hemorrhoid relief
  • To help relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • To help calm the bowels during Constipation or Diarrhea
  • To soothe kidney and bladder problems and to aid with Bladder infection, ITIs, and similar problems. Safe for children
  • For indigestion and ulcers
Bush of broadleaf plantain with spikes on stems, close-up

Common Plantain Heath Benefits Summary

So to sum up the different health benefits that this common weed found in your yard has, plantain is an:

  • Antibacterial: it inhibits the growth of bacteria
  • Astringent: it reduces secretions and discharges
  • Antiseptic: it inhibits infections
  • Demulcent: it soothes by forming a film over mucus membranes and draws out toxins
  • Hemostatic: it stops bleeding
  • Vulnerary: it heals wounds

Pretty cool, if you ask me. So, the next time you see this weed in your yard, be a little more hesitant to pull it. You never know when its health benefits might prove to be useful to you.

7 Invasive Insects in Indiana You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a "Pest Tracker" on their website, where you simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

10 Indiana Laws You Don't Know You're Breaking

KEEP READING: 40 Real Indiana Towns with Quirky, Weird, and Funny Names

Outside the major cities, the Hoosier state is full of tiny little towns you've probably passed through on your way to one of those cities. Most of them are likely 100 to 150 years old, or older, and have been around far longer than the large metropolitan areas such as Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville. Typically, they were started by early settlers who found their way to the state and decided to make it home. Eventually, others would join them, and a community was formed. Over time, as the surrounding areas grew, most of them were folded into those areas and governed by the nearest city or county's governing body officially making them "unincorporated," meaning they did not have their own formally organized municipal government.

A scroll through Wikipedia's long list of unincorporated communities in Indiana shows several of them have names that by today's standards would be considered weird, quirky, or just downright right funny. These are my 40 favorities.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

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