Plantago major & Plantago lanceolata
Part Used: Fresh leaf
Plantain (Plantago major & Plantago lanceolata) is a perennial herb, thought to be of Eurasian origin and now naturalized throughout the world. Plantain is considered a common and noxious weed by some and a miracle plant by others. The young leaves are edible raw in salad or cooked as a pot herb. They are very rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. The herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine dating back to ancient times. It is used to clear mucous from the body, and to neutralize poisons. As a mild tea it is used to treat lung problems in children, and as a stronger tea is used to treat stomach ulcers. It is also used for diarrhea, bladder infections. Externally it stops bleeding from cuts and wounds, soothes bee stings and insect bites, and helps to heal bruises. It has properties like vulnerary, expectorant, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, anti-microbial, and refrigerant.
The active constituents in Plantain include ascorbic-acid, apigenin, baicalein, benzoic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, citric-acid, ferulic-acid, oleanolic-acid, salicylic-acid, and ursolic-acid. The leaves and the seed are medicinal used as an antibacterial, antidote, astringent, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive, cardiac, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, laxative, ophthalmic, poultice, refrigerant, and vermifuge. Medical evidence exists to confirm uses as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension, rheumatism and blood sugar control. It also causes a natural aversion to tobacco and is currently being used in stop smoking preparations. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity, it is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars. Poultice of hot leaves is bound onto cuts and wounds to draw out thorns, splinters and inflammation. It has been used in inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, intermittent fever, etc., and as a vulnerary, and externally as a stimulant application to sores.
All Natural Encyclopedia of Herbs. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/plantain.shtml
Alternative Nature Online Herbal. http://altnature.com/gallery/plantain.htm