Even though it shares the same name with the starchy fruit similar to a banana, the plantain that can help with bug bites is a different plant, explains St. Ours. “It’s a common weed that grows well in packed soil, which means it’s often easy to find at playgrounds, hiking trails, and even growing alongside the sidewalk in cities!” she says.
“You can recognize plantain species by the vertical veins that run along the leaves, which are organized like a circle of ‘rays’ emanating from a central point. This plant has impressive wound-healing abilities, which is why it’s an ingredient used in many healing salves and ointments. St. Ours recommends picking a few (clean) leaves of plantain and either mashing them with your fingers or chewing them until they’re soft before applying to the affected area.