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Plantain – Plantago species

Plantain - Plantago lancelota

Family: Plantaginaceae

Height: 15-30cm

Both Greater (Plantago media & Plantago major) and Lesser, or Ribwort, Plantain (Plantago lancelotamake a valuable addition to the green food diet of rabbits and guinea pigs.  They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals when fed fresh and are valuable healing plants for a range of conditions used both internally and externally.

In Germany, plantain is the herb of choice for scouring.  Anecdotally, a poultice of plantain mixed with human saliva is said to draw out poisons from insect bites.

Psyllium is the name given to plantain seeds and husk and is used as both a laxative and to combat diarrhoea.  The mucilage produced when the seeds are soaked in water has the ability to absorb toxins from the large bowel in humans.

Used externally, a poultice of psyllium in calendula extract is used to draw out infection from boils, abscesses and whitlows.

Constituents: Glycosides including aucubin; mucilage; cholergenic, ursolic and silicic acids; flavanoids including apigenin, luteolin, scutellarin and baicalein; tannins; inorganic fumaric and benzoic acids.

Actions: Expectorant, demulcent, astringent, and diuretic.

Greater Plantain - Plantago media