"A range of biological activities has been found from plantain extracts including wound healing activity, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, weak antibiotic, immuno modulating and antiulcerogenic activity." A.B. Samuelsen, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo
When we first see plantain, it looks like an ordinary weed. Only after you discover its qualities, you will look at it with different eyes, as a friend who won't let you down.
Although the most popular is Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), its relatives, hoary plantain (Plantago Media) and greater plantain (Plantago major), have similar properties.
The plant is edible and has long maintained a reputation for medicinal effects as an astringent for treating wounds; in antiquity it was employed against toothache and eye infections.
Plantago major was called "the soldier's herb" for its use on the battlefield as a field dressing.
Plantain syrup is used as a natural cough home remedy.
1. Cough and respiratory diseases
Plantain has expectorant and emollient properties, which make it an effective home remedy for cough and colds.
I always keep a bottle of plantain cough syrup
in the kitchen cabinet. It's a real treat for my daughter because it contains honey. She even fakes being sick sometimes, so that she can receive a tablespoon with syrup :)
I am very pleased with it and I didn't need any other allopathic cough syrup.
For colds I make a tisane (herbal tea) with plantain and coltsfoot, sage or thyme.
A dried leaf tea is also good for tonsillitis.
In the spring and summer you can do a diet with plantain juice to strengthen and cleanse the lung airways. It is recommended for frail or sickly children or for people who look pale because it has a tonic and healing effect
Don't hesitate to use it in all lung diseases. In case of laryngitis (hoarseness) do a gargle with an dried leaf tea (2 tablespoons plantain in a cup of boiling water).
Drink an infusion with plantain leafs for asthma.
2. Stomach ulcer, gastritis
Plantain powder can clean the toxins from the stomach and makes an excellent herbal remedy for stomach ulcers, hyperacidity gastritis and duodenal or gastric ulcer.
Besides their action as gastroprotectives, plantain flavonoids also act in healing of gastric ulcers. Additionally these polyphenolic compounds can be alternatives for suppression or modulation of peptic ulcers associated with H. pylori bacteria.
Take 2-3 pinches of plantain leaf powder, 2-3 times a day. Additionally, drink 1 tablespoon of plantain infusion, every 3 hours.
Infusion recipe: Put 2 tablespoons of plantain leaves in a cup of boing water. Let steep, then strain.
* Evaluation of the Antipeptic Ulcer Activity of the Leaf Extract of Plantago lanceolata L. in Rodents.
* Botanical medicine in clinical practice by Victor R. Preedy CABI, 2008, ISBN 184593413X, 9781845934132
* Plantain (Plantago L.) species as novel sources of flavonoid antioxidants.
* Flavonoids with Gastroprotective Activities
3. Blood cleanse
Ribwort plantain syrup (narrowleaf plantain) cleans the blood of impurities, toxins and viruses.
Take 1 tablespoon of syrup daily, before each meal. Children should take 1 teaspoon.
Atherosclerosis. Take 1 tablespoon of plantain infusion (1 tablespoon of leaves in 1 cup boiling water), every 2-3 hours.
Gallstones and kidney stones. Take 8 g of plantain seeds daily. Drink also plantain tea.
4. Antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory
Plantain leaf porridge will come very handy on a mountain trip. Use it as first aid in case of rabid dog bites, venomous animals.
You can either use the whole leaf or make porridge and put it over the wounds. If you find yourself in the woods, the quickest way to use plantain is to just chew a plantain leaf and put it on the skin.
5. Plantain can cure herpes blisters due to its emollient effect. At the same time it will detoxify and strengthen the immune system, so that the body can cure itself.
6. Plantain has a guaranteed and fast effect on mosquito bites and other insects' bites as well.
When you are stung by a bee or a mosquito, your skin will swell, become itchy and red. Refrain from scratching and seek a plantain leaf. Chew it and apply it on the skin.
This will not only relieve the inflammation, but you will feel a cooling sensation.
7. Furunculosis (boils). Make poultices of crushed fresh and apply them on the skin.
8. Varicose ulcers (vascular disease). Take local baths with hot infusion of leaves 30 g / l.
9. Goiter. Take a couple of fresh plantain leaves and rub them between your hands. Mix them with some salt and applied on the neck.
10. Plantain leaves can reduce stretch marks visibly. Wrap yourself with leaves and cover them with a plastic wrap. Change the leaves 3 times a day.
This method takes time and you will feel quite odd to move around, but the effort and sacrifice will be well rewarded. In one month you will see the results.
11. Menopause. Plantain is a woman's best friend. At menopause it can soothe the symptoms of this stage - hot flashes, dizziness.
How to use plantain
Put 1 teaspoon (heaped) of herbs in a cup. Pour hot water and let steep for 3 minutes. Strain, then drink.
Ribwort (narrowleaf) plantain compresses
Wash a couple of fresh leaves. Crush them and make a paste (porridge). Apply the paste on the skin.
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