Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Plantain - A Unexpected Benefit

With this year’s flu season off to a deadly start (and we’ve caught it ourselves!) we wanted to offer alternatives to pharmaceutical medicines to holistic ones.  Other than achy joints, weakness and body-wracking cough it was our lungs filling with fluid that caused coughing fits every time we laid down.  We made a large pot of plantain tea to naturally help dry up the mucus in our lungs.  It helped they symptoms!
Plantain Leaf

Common Name

Standardized: plantain
Other: broad-leaf plantain, greater plantain

Botanical Name

Plantago lanceolata L.
Plant Family: Plantaginaceae


The common plantain is of Eurasian descent, but has since been naturalized around the world with particular prominence in the United States.
Plantain has been used by many cultures the world over, and the Saxons considered it one of their nine sacred herbs. It was considered an early Christian. Despite its usefulness, plantain is considered a noxious weed in some regions outside of its native range.
Plantains have wide-ranging antimicrobial properties including anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It not only soothes 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.  This is why we use plantain as one of the herbs in our Herbal Salve and Bengal Balm.
Plantains have an astringent property that helps dry up excess secretions in your respiratory tract and the digestive system, it is 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.  

Parts Used

The whole leaf and some stem is acceptable.

Typical Preparations

Eaten raw and fresh in salads, as a tea, in tincture form and as an external compress.


Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Here are several links which shows the anti-inflammatory action in upper respiratory tract infections].
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) is used for the therapy of infections of the upper respiratory airways. While only few clinical data are available, results of experimental research confirm e.g. antiinflammatory, spasmolytic and immunostimulatory actions. A positive benefit-risk-ratio allows the recommendation of plantain in moderate chronic irritative cough, also especially for children.
A tea from the plantain leaves is used as a highly effective cough medicine. In the traditional Austrian medicine Plantago lanceolata leaves have been used internally (as syrup or tea) or externally (fresh leaves) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, insect bites, and infections.
NOTE: Plantain is generally considered a safe herb but as with anything, consult your doctor before using if you have any kind of medical condition. It should not be used in place of medical attention when needed.