Plantain herb is used by people since the ancient times. It is found in almost every yard hidden among other herbs, in meadows and forests with no trees. It is not requiring special conditions for growing. It receives the required amount of water from rain. During the dry period, it doesn’t have any special requests for water.
There are two types of plantain:
- male plantain Plantago lanceolata and
- female plantain Plantago major
They are distinguished by the shape of the leaves.
Medicinal Composition of Plantain Herb
In the leaf of plantain herb are found around 6.5% mucus substance in the form of polysaccharides, tannins, coumarin esculetin, flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin and scutellarein), from the minerals zinc and potassium are found. It contains saponins which act haemolytic and two very important iridoid glycosides aucubin and catalpol.
Plantains have wide-ranging antimicrobial properties besides being anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It can not only soothe insect bites and superficial wounds but prevent infections and accelerate healing. An active biochemical aucubin is mainly responsible for the antimicrobial action of the herb. Another substance allantoin in the herb helps with skin tissue regeneration.
Plantains also have an astringent property that has a cleansing effect on the body. It helps dry up excess secretions in the respiratory tract and the digestive system, thus being useful in treating colds and diarrhea. The astringency is moderated by the demulcent effect of the mucilage in the herb, so this herbal remedy is much gentler than other commonly used astringents.
The edible leaves of broadleaf plantain are rich in calcium and other minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin K. This vitamin helps stem bleeding from cuts and wounds. Tender leaves can be eaten fresh in salads, but older leaves have to be cooked.
Aucubin has antiviral, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, and catalpol has anti-hypertensive, antitumor, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic effect.
Besides these properties, plantain acts antiseptic, diuretic, bactericidal and bacteriostatic.
Use of the Plantain Herb as Medication
The remedy which contains plantain is commonly used to treat respiratory diseases, asthma, bronchitis, cough, flu and to perform detoxification of the body.
For cold, flu, and respiratory infections – Take the tincture under the tongue or drink freshly brewed warm tea with honey.
For burns apply a poultice immediately and apply a bandage with plantain leaves.
Tea made from plantain leaves is suitable for children because it is tasty, and if necessary, you can sweeten with sugar or honey. It is used for inflammation or ulcers of the stomach or intestines. Also it is useful in diseases of the liver and bladder and against the creation of kidney stones.
To stop bleeding from fresh cuts, apply crushed plantain leaves. Wash with plantain tea to prevent infections and promote healing.
For throat infection, gargle with plantain tea or diluted tincture. Take 5-10 drops of tincture under the tongue and ingest it slowly.
Fresh leaves that have previously been crushed can be used as coatings that are placed on place of insect stings or snake bites.
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