Plantago major, broadleaf plantain, white man’s foot.
Composition of Plantain
Plantain is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. The plant is native to most of Europe and northern and central Asia but has widely naturalised elsewhere in the world.
Plantago major is one of the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal crops in the world. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to wounds, stings, and sores in order to facilitate healing and prevent infection. The active chemical constituents are aucubin (an anti-microbial agent), allantoin (which stimulates cellular growth and tissue regeneration), and mucilage (which reduces pain and discomfort). Plantain has astringent properties, and a tea made from the leaves can be ingested to treat diarrhea and soothe raw internal membranes.
Broadleaf plantain is also a highly nutritious wild edible, that is high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. The young, tender leaves can be eaten raw, and the older, stringier leaves can be boiled in stews and eaten.
Health benefits of Plantain
A weed that you’ve probably trampled on more than a few times could help you to quit smoking. The wild herb, plantain (Plantago major), helps reduce cravings for cigarettes. That could be one of the main reasons it is being used in many commercial smoking cessation products. Plantain has been shown in clinical trials to create an aversion to smoking
Plantain is also used by natural medicine practitioners to reduce bronchial congestion, laryngitis, lung irritations and coughs. Plantain is a wonderful herb at moving congestion from the upper respiratory tract. It will move mucus from the nose and sinus cavities with its drawing action.
It also encourages an aversion to smoking. You might find yourself skipping a cigarette or feeling unsatisfied after you smoke one. Plantain has been shown in clinical trials to create an aversion to smoking. Plantain is also a gentle expectorant, helping to expel mucous from the lungs. Plantain is often used to treat conditions of the respiratory system. It is an anti-inflammatory and demulcent herb which soothes irritated mucous membranes, including tissues of the lungs.
Not only does plantain reduce cravings for cigarettes, it also reduces lung inflammation and helps to clean out the lungs.
The internal use of plantain leaves eases coughs and irritation of the mucous membrane which are associated with upper respiratory tract infections.
Two clinical trials in Bulgaria documented the plantain plants efficacy for chronic bronchitis .
It acts as a demulcent, such as pectin and glycerin, which are common ingredients in cough syrups and throat drops. Demulcents relieve minor discomfort and irritation by forming a soothing film over the affected mucous membrane.
History of Plantain.
Growing on lawns, between sidewalk cracks, and in wild spaces alike, plantain is regularly killed by grass aficionados in search of lawn perfection. Plantain (or Plantago Major) is a common backyard herb with broad leafs. Most people think of it as a weed, though it is an incredibly useful herb.
Plantain has been used as a panacea in some Native American cultures and with some very good reasons. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic.
Legend has it that Alexander the Great discovered it and brought it with him back to Europe in 327 BCE. It has been referred to as the Whiteman’s Foot by Native Americans, as wherever they went, it seemed to spring up. and in some places, it is seen as a noxious, invasive weed. It is, however, a useful little plant. It has been used by many cultures the world over, and the Saxons considered it one of their nine sacred herbs.
Most recently, plantain is being marketed as a stop smoking aid, adding one more use to the list of ways that this versatile herb is useful.