Synonyms: Common Plantain, English Plantain, General Plantain, Hoary Plantain, Ribgrass, Ribwort, Snakeweed, Waybred
Genus species: Plantago major, Plantago lanceolata, Plantago media
Type: Perennial lawn crawler to cattail herb
Part Used: Leaves collected during flowering
Homeopathy: Tincture of whole fresh plant or tincture of root
Location: Asia, Bulgaria, Eastern Germany, Europe, former U.S.S.R., former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, North America, Poland, Romania
Actions: Alterative, antihemorrhagic, antihypercholesterolemic, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, aperitif, astringent, bactericide (only in cold fluid extracts and pressjuice, not in aqueous infusions or decoctions), bacteriostatic, contraceptive, demulcent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, hemostyptic, laxative, liver protectant, purgative, vulnerary
Indications: Asthma, bed-wetting, bee sting, bronchitis, bruise, chronic skin disorders, common cold, cough, cystitis, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysuria, hematuria, hemorrhoids, inflammation, insect bites, scrofula, sores, sore throat, stomatitis, syphilis, upper respiratory catarrh, urinary tract infection, wounds
Homeopathic Indications: Ague, burns, ciliary neuralgia, delayed urination, diabetes mellitus, diarrhea, dysentery, earache, enuresis, erysipelas, erythema, hemorrhoids, impotence, mastitis, otitis, polyuria, rhus dermatitis, seminal emissions, snakebite, splenodynia, tobacco addiction, toothache, worms, wounds
Chemicals & Nutrients: Potassium, Tannins (5%)
Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)
Dried Leaves: 2-4 g or by infusion
Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, dose 2-4 ml
Tea: Pour 150 ml of boiling water over 3 g, after 10 min. strain, drink one cup several times per day.
Tincture: 1:5 in 45% alcohol, dose 2-4 ml
Contraindication: Persons trying to conceive. Lactation, pregnancy.
Drug Interactions: May antagonize antidiarrheal drugs. Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia. Due to the antihypertensive (hypotensive) action of this herb the following interactions are possible: when taken with anesthetics an increased hypotensive effect; potentiation of antihypertensives; when taken with diuretics difficulty with diuresis and hypertension may result; antagonism of sympathomimetics.
Safety: Safe when used appropriately.
Side Effects: (Possible adverse effects and/or overdose effects) Allergenic, dermatitis, irritant.
Warning: Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)