En Español (Spanish Version) Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major
Principal Proposed Uses
Other Proposed Uses
Anti-inflammatory; Chronic Bronchitis ;Skin Conditions (Topical Use)
Plantain (not to be confused with the relative of the banana known by the same name) is a small weed often found in cultivated fields and at the edge of lawns. Traditionally, the crushed leaves were applied to the skin to treat wounds and bites, a leaf tincture was used for coughs, and the dried leaf was taken internally for the treatment of bronchitis, ulcers, epilepsy, and liver problems.
Plantain extracts do appear to have anti-inflammatory effects, at least in the test tube.5,6However, unlike most pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which work on the cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) systems, one study suggests that plantain may work in a different fashion, by decreasing levels of nitric oxide.5 Whether this indicates any real potential benefit in people remains unknown.
Contrary to some reports, one study found that plantain does not have diuretic (kidney-stimulating) effects.10
Last reviewedSeptember 2014by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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