Yesterday, my family and I were enjoying a lovely day out at Blue Lake park in Troutdale.  We  had a shady spot, the kids were splashing in the water, my partner was reading out loud, and I was knitting a sock to match the one I had already completed.  Everything was relaxed and mellow until my daughter stepped on a bee.

Most of us know how quickly a bee sting can put a damper on things.  Luckily, I knew what to do.  First, I removed the stinger and explained to my daughter that she was in much better shape than the poor bee, at least her behind was still attached to her body.  Then we made some mud to pack onto the area to suck out the venom, and finally, I found a plantain plant (see the image above), mashed it up and applied it to the sting.  Add in some ice from our picnic lunch, and within 10 minutes she was ready to continue swimming.

My son had a similar incident while on a hike a few years ago, and in this case we used mud and some Old Man’s Beard – the lichen you see hanging off of trees in forests.  This worked even better, and my son started harvesting it to bring home as he wanted it around for his next run in with a bee’s pointy end.

It is amazing how much medicine there is around us; we only need to know where to look.

More information on plantain can be found here

and

to learn more about Old Man’s Beard (also known as Usnea barbata) look here