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greater plantain


Botanical name: Plantago major


General remarks


Greater plantain is a small perennial plant that forms a so-called rosette with long-stemmed, oval to elliptical leaves. In summer, plantain blooms yellow to green on long spikes that can reach up to 15 cm. Plantain is prevalent all over the world today. Among others, antibacterial characteristics are attributed to it.




The leaves and seeds of the various plantain varieties are used medicinally. The leaves contain mainly tannins and glycosides, among the latter, particularly aucubin. This has the effect of secreting uric acid from the kidneys. The seeds of the plantain family contain a mucilage that, by swelling up, acts as a strong purgative but also has a calming effect on the mucous membrane.




Greater plantain has diuretic and mucolytic properties. It is also supposed to promote healing and help in bacterial infections.


Medicinal uses


Plantain is used internally for diarrhoea, bleeding, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, conjunctivitis, asthma, hay fever, ear infections, dry cough and stomach ulcers.


The external uses are for wounds, insect bites or stings, ulcers, ophthalmitis, shingles, haemorrhoids and varicose vein ulcers.






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