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You've probably seen it countless times, and maybe even stepped on it. But a natural remedy to those itchy, pesky bug bites might be growing right in your backyard here in Minnesota.

I'm talking about the plant below, which the Minnesota DNR says is officially called 'Cacalia plantaginea,' or 'Cacalia tuberosa.'  But you might know it better by its more common name, plantain. And you probably have some growing right in your yard-- if your backyard, like mine, seems to have more weeds than actual grass.


I've seen plantain a TON of times, both growing up back in Wisconsin and since living here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I always just thought it was a weed. But, it turns out that this plant that grows pretty much grows anywhere-- cracks in the sidewalk, or near your garden-- also has some pretty cool healing powers.

According to Do It Green Minnesota, plantain can be used as a first aid agen to help draw out nasty toxins from bug bites and stings that get on your skin. "Plantain is analgesic, and best used for abrasions, numbing the pain. It’s antibacterial, stops itching, bleeding, and swelling. The plant also contains allantoin, which promotes new skin growth instantly," it said.

READ MORE: Speaking of Life Hacks, Heggies Pizza in MN Just Invented One

And this website echoes 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

Wow... I had no idea plantain could be so helpful! There are a couple of different 'recipes' listed on how to make a quick plantain balm, while a few other sites said you can just mash up the plantain leaves you find right there in your yard and apply them to your skin. Just make sure, though, you're actually using plantain and not some other weed. Plantain-- the Minnesota weed healer!

As I learned above, plantain's scientific name is Cacalia plantaginea, which I have no idea how to pronounce. Which is kind of like the following names-- only true Minnesotans know how to say these correctly. Keep scrolling to see how many YOU know how to say!

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

Only True Minnesotans Know How to Pronounce These Names

Are you a TRUE Minnesotan? If so, you won't even have to guess how to correctly pronounce the following names of cities and towns here in Minnesota. Take a look-- how many do YOU know how to say?

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