Plantago lanceolata/major Common name: Lance shaped plantain
Parts used: Leaves
Constituents: Mucilage, carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, saccharoses), Acids (chlorogenic, benzoic, caffeic, coumaric, fumaric, salicylic, asocorbic), iridoid glycosides (acubin, catalpol), tannins, flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, scutellarin, baicalein), alkaloid, gum, resins, choline, allantoin, saponins, steroids, nutrients (minerals: Zn, K+, Mg, P)
Medicinal actions: Anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, lymphatic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-allergic, anti-histamine, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, demulcent, alterative, anti-hemorrhagic, vasoconstrictor, antacid, diuretic, emollient, vulnerary, connective tissue tonic
Medicinal use: P. lanceolata shares its medicinal effects with its close relative, Plantago major. However, P. lanceolata seems to exert more of its effects internally, while P. major is a good plant for external use.
P. major leaves have been used as a wound healing remedy for centuries in almost all parts of the world and in the treatment of a number of diseases apart from wound healing. These include diseases related to the skin, respiratory organs, digestive organs, reproduction, the circulation, against cancer, for pain relief and against infections. Externally, Plantago major is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antipruritic, and vulnerary. The macerated leaves or fresh juice of the plant are excellent, quick healing agents for cuts, wounds, bruises and ear ache (infection).
P. Lanceolata is a gentle soothing expectorant most indicated in irritated coughs and mild bronchitis. It may be more beneficial long-term. It exerts astringent and alterative properties internally, especially in chronic inflammatory conditions of the mucosa, glandular tissues, or septicemias. .
Pharmacy: Capsules: 400mg, TID. Tincture (1:1, 25%), 2-4 ml TID. Infusion: 2 tsp/cup, TID. Fresh juice, 5-15 ml TID. Salve or compress applied as needed.
Toxicity: None reported. High doses can be laxative.
Contraindications: None reported.
Interactions: None reported.
Hetalnd, Protective effect of Plantago major L. Pectin polysaccharide against systemic Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in mice.Scand J Immunol. 2000 Oct;52(4):348-55.
Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, 2000.