Greater Plantain

Greater Plantain

Plantago major, P.lanceolataáPlantaginaceae Also called Common plantain, Ribwort plantain

The flatárosette orf leaves at the base of the greater plantain, plantago major ,blightámany lawns. The leavesáof the ribwort plantain,P .lanceolata are spear shaped and upright . Botháplantábear tinyáflowersáin cylindrical or egg shaped spikes. Plantain commonáin Europe and grow freely onáembandments and waste ground.

Parts used

  • Leaves
  • Leaves are collected from June to September, preferably before the plant flowers, and dried.
  • Both species are used in soothing remedies, usually applied externally. . They are also used in infusions, liquid extracts and capsules.


The leaves of both plantains contain an Iridoid called aucubin, and flavonolds - antioxidants that strengthen blood vessels and are often anti-inflammatory. Plantain also contains soothing mucilages.

Medicinal uses

Both forms of plantain have long been used in country lotions and potions to treat external complaints from itchy, chapped skin, cuts and grazes to insect bites or sore eyes.

Taken internally, the plant has a gentle expectorant action and the mucilage it contains soothes sore and inflamed mucous membranes, making it ideal for coughs and mild bronchitis. Bulgarian research in 1982 showed plantain extract to be an effective way of treating chronic bronchitis, and in 1983 it was shown that plantain relieved constr, iction of the airways. Taken internally, it can ease asthma, catarrh, laryngitis, pharyngitis, and various allergic reactions that affect breathing.

The iridoids in plantain are anti-inflammatory: Spanish scientists looking at plant iridoids in 2000 found aucubin to have demonstrable anti-inflammatory effects.

Plantain appears to contain antibacterial properties. Norwegian studies in 2000 showed that a polysaccharide extract from greater plantain fought pneumococcal infection. And a study recently published in Sweden suggested that injections of these polysaccharides could protect against streptococcus infection.


No adverse side effects or toxicity have been reported to date.


Plantain is an invasive plant. Grow in a wild part of the garden in a sunny or lightly shaded position.


For internal use

TO TREAT asthma, bronchitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis INFUSION Put 1 sachet into a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Take 1-3 cups a day between meals. CAPSULES (280mg) Take1 capsule three times a day before meals.

LIQUID EXTRACT Take 30 drops in water three times a day. For external use
TO TREAT insect bites, chapped or cracked skin, grazesCREAM Follow manufacturers' instructions.á



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